Clear skies and sunshine, graced the 100th Russell Cup, held at Carpinteria High School’s Valley Memorial Stadium on Saturday, April 13. Track and field teams from as far away as Yosemite and Rosamond gathered together to compete in the special event, which began with the CHS band performing the national anthem. A small fleet of vintage planes then executed a flyover, courtesy of the Lions Club, to entertain the crowd. 

Carpinteria City Councilmember Gregg Carty, State Senator Hannah Beth Jackson and CIF assistant commissioner Rainer Wulfwere all on hand to watch the meet. Coach and meet director, Van Latham was recognized by the 100th Russell Cup Committee as “Honorary Meet Director” for his role in over 40 Russell Cups. “From the moment the color guard entered the beautifully prepared Carpinteria Valley Memorial Stadium, participants knew that they were going to be part of something special,” wrote Carpinteria athletic director Pat Cooney in his weekly Athletic Bulletin.   

Foothill Tech was the winner of the Boys Sweeps, which consisted of 32 events with a total score of 143. Oaks Christian captured the Girls Sweeps, also 32 events, tallying 109 points. The Grand Sweeps winner in the combined 64 events was Foothill Tech with 251 ½ points, and Oaks Christian took second with 239 ½ points. The Crespi boys four x 100-yard relay team ran a time of 42.53 seconds and the Oaks Christian girls four x 400-meter relay team finished in 3:58.11 minutes, setting special marks for the historic meet. As for the local schools Cate tied for 12th place with Yosemite and Heritage Christian with 47 points, and Carpinteria finished 17th, tied with Santa Paula with 39 points in the Grand Sweeps. 

Early in the meet, the Warriors’ Victor Rinaldi medaled in the 400-meter run, finishing in fourth with a time of 52.08. Rinaldi joined teammates Mateo Handall and Luke and Solomon Nahooikaika-Anderson in the last event of the day, the boys four x 400-yard relay. The group ran a seasonal best of 3:33.89, good for third place. The Rams also made their mark early on when Buba Fofanah won the boys 100-yard dash in 10.03. Fofanah also took the boys 200-meter with a time of 22.25. Cate’s Rivers Sheehan won the triple jump, traveling 35 feet, seven inches. Sheehan also finished second in the long jump with a 16 foot, 5 inch leap. 

Other notable performances by CHS athletes came from Isaac De Alba who finished in fifth place, one slot shy of earning a medal from, with a toss of 47 feet in the shotput. Ytxzae Enriquez scored a point for Carpinteria in the mile with a personal record (PR) of 4:38.65 to finish sixth. Teammate Savannah Alvarez earned a fourth-place medal in the triple jump with a PR of 32-04.5 and took fifth in the long jump with a distance of 15 feet 4.75 inches. A trio of sixth place finishes came from the Warrior girls: Breanna De Lira, Lucy Light and Sallury Hernandez. De Lira finished with a PR of 64.68 in the 400 meters, and Light also PR’ed with a time of 17.49 in the 100-meter hurdles. Hernandez flung the discus 95-01. Carpinteria’s lone first place result was in the Frosh/Soph Girls High Jump that Fatima Cervantes cleared at 4 feet 1 inch.  

“It was so great to see so many Russell Cup alumni come back for the 100th, both from CHS and other schools,” said Latham earlier this week. “A big thank you to the small army of volunteers that help make the meet run smoothly,” he added, “Last kudo goes to the Russell Cup committee for all their hours of planning and work.”

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