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Burroughs boys' track team captures first league title in 17 years

Track and field: Indians best rival Burbank to clinch Pacific League crown, while Bulldogs girls' squad earns cross-town victory.

April 23, 2014|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com
(Raul Roa Staff Photographer )

A long standing league championship drought was going to be snapped Wednesday.

The Burroughs High and Burbank boys' track and field teams entered the final dual meet of the season tied and undefeated in the Pacific League. With both teams vying for their first crown in the Pacific League, the Indians were looking for their first title in 17 years, while the Bulldogs hadn't notched a championship in 29 years. Both of those titles came in the Foothill League.

Behind outstanding performances by Matt Schwartz and Corwin Scherer, Burroughs was the team which was able to finally end the drought, besting Burbank, 79-57, at Memorial Field.

The Indians (7-0 in league) secured their first title since 1997, which was under co-coaches Mike Krose and John Peebles, the current Burroughs coach.

On the girls' side, it was Burbank which was able to walk away with a 91-45 victory against its rival, securing third place in league.

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"Both teams came out and competed and that's what it's all about," Peebles said. "There were also tons of [personal records] set today and that was nice to see as well.

"Really, a solid effort across the board for the boys' team. We asked some kids to do events they don't normally do and we had some very good efforts."

Both teams were without their top sprinters for the meet. Burbank junior James Williams was out of state attending the funeral of his grandmother. Williams would have competed in the sprints and jumping events. Burroughs was without sophomore Niko Guerrero, who was sidelined with a leg injury. The Bulldogs were further hampered when Josh Cantong was hobbled in the opening event, the 4x4100-meter relay and didn't compete the rest of the day.

"Not having James was a big loss for us," said Burbank Coach Darin Wolf, who was on the Burroughs team the last time the Bulldogs won a league title in 1985. "He is our team's leading scorer."

To try and make up for the lost points, Peebles shuffled his lineup, and his athletes came through.

Leading the way was Schwartz, who won three events and placed second in a fourth. Along with taking the pole vault with an effort of 15 feet, he was also first in the high jump (5-10) and the long jump (20-0) and set a new PR with a runner-up effort in the shot put (40-9).

"Schwartz getting second in the shot was huge," said Wolf, who expected a Burbank sweep in the event.

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