Individual runners excel during CIF post-season


Nate Hollander ’17 passes off the baton to a teammate in the 4x400m relay at the meet against Crespi. Credit: Joe Levin/ Chronicle

Bryant Wu

The varsity track and field team has exceled this season, going nearly undefeated in the Mission League and overall.

Seventeen members of the squad made it to CIF playoffs individually, with a breakdown of seven boys and 10 girls, and nine of those people qualified for the finals on May 21.

The boys are ranked eighth out of 45 and the girls are ranked 14th out of 44 in Division III schools.

“I would say that the team is very tough this year,” Casey Crosson ’17 said. “Despite disappointing varsity losses to the very impressive Notre Dame team, our team still managed to come home with 70 new personal records and personal bests, which is really cool and shows that win or lose, we’re still working hard and improving.”

To qualify for CIF Finals, event participants must place in the top nine in playoff events.

Nine people qualified for Finals—Alex Barnum ’16 for both the 100m and 200m races, Bennett Yee ’17 for the pole vault, James Chung ’19, Mason Rodriguez ’18, Brayden Borquez ’19 and Barnum for the 4x400m relay, Nina Milligan ’16 for the 100m hurdle, Tierni Kaufman ’19 and Claire Chapus ’17 for the high jump and Danielle Spitz ’18 for the pole vault.

To qualify for CIF Masters, members of the team must place in the top nine across all four divisions.

This means that even if someone placed first in their event in Division III, if nine other people had faster times than them in the other divisions, they would not go to Masters.

Barnum qualified for Masters in the 200m race, and Kaufman qualified in the high jump.

This is the 15th consecutive year in a row that at least one Wolverine athlete has qualified for CIF Masters.

“I really know how hard [Barnum and Kaufman] worked, and so it is good to see those two leaders of our team be rewarded,” Andrew Berg ’17 said.

Unfortunately, the team’s “throw squad” did not have much success in the Mission League Finals for the shotput and the discus as the rest of the team.

The only varsity member of the throw squad, Tony Bouza ’16, who did qualify, missed the competition due to an unexpected illness.

“[Bouza] is not just a throw squad leader but a leader of the entire track team,” Berg said. “It was a bummer that he couldn’t end his Harvard-Westlake career in glory, and he will be hard to replace next year.”