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Locals shine in finals

Track and field: Monroy, Newton highlight league championship efforts.

May 04, 2012|BY JEFF TULLY
(Tim Berger Staff…)

ARCADIA — It's safe to say Burbank High's Julia Newton lost sleep thinking about taking part in the Pacific League track and field finals.

"Normal people would be nervous an hour before this meet," the sprinter said. "But for me, I was nervous about it for days. I've been thinking a lot about it."

Just a freshman, Newton showed no outward sign of jitters at Friday's event at Arcadia High, as she had a hand in two victories for the Bulldogs, placing first in the girls' 100 meters and running a leg on the winning Burbank girls' 4x100 relay team that set a school record.

"I really felt good today. I felt ready," Newton said. "As a freshman, I'm surprised that I am part of two league championships. It's really a lot of fun."

Newton captured the 100 title in 12.60 seconds. She also teamed up with Haley Pirruccello, Keren Zepeda and Felicia Tomitsa to take the sprint relay in 49.14.

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Newton also placed third in the 200, but didn't meet the qualifying standard for the CIF prelims. League champions earned automatic berths for the prelims and the second and third finishers moved on to CIF only if they met pre-existing standards.

The two league championships were among four won by the Bulldogs and one captured by Burroughs.

Perhaps the gutsiest performance of the meet was turned in by Burroughs senior Monroy in the boys' 3,200. After qualifying for the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet in the event as a sophomore in 2010, Monroy — a two-time state qualifier in cross-country — battled a foot injury last season and failed to make the CIF preliminaries.

Monroy admitted last season's disappointment was definitely on his mind when he took to the track in Friday's 3,200. Battling Arcadia standout Sergio Gonzalez, Monroy tucked in behind the Apaches standout for most of the first seven laps of the eight-lap race. But Monroy made a move and surged out in front just before crossing the line for the bell lap. However, that lead was short-lived, as Gonzalez battled back to go in front on the first turn of the final lap.

"I knew if I let him step in front of me like that I would just fall back, so I knew I had to go all out at that point," Monroy said.

And he did.

Monroy took back the lead down the backstretch and blazed into the final turn. He turned it on during the final straightaway, outlasting Gonzalez to win the race in 9:18.42. Gonzalez was close behind in 9:18.87.

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