From left, Torre Anderson (Catholic Community of Pleasanton), third place; Chardai Victorian (St. Lawrence O'Toole), first place; and Angelina Mercurio (St. Bonaventure), second place, in a photo taken after the Sixth Grade Girls 400 Meter run in which Chardai broke the diocesan meet record with a run of 1:00.37.
Anthony De Los Santos/Special to The Catholic Voice
Records broken in CYO Track and Field event
More than 500 top athletes from around the Diocese of Oakland competed in the two-day CYO Track and Field Championship Meet.
This years' meet was the last in a seven-week spring outdoor CYO track and field season that had runners competing during the "El Niño" with the weather varying wildly with weekly meets on rainy, windy days in addition to meets on hot, sunny days. During the diocesan meet May 6-7, the damp skies made for great running weather that featured fast times in the races and saw three diocesan records fall and one record tied.
During the Friday night distance races, the first record to be broken was the Fourth Grade boys 800-meter run with Tyler Bergren (St. Perpetua, Lafayette) finishing the race in 2:29.7, shattering the old record of 2:36.9. Tyler also set a diocesan record in the 800-meter run last year as a third grade runner.
During the Saturday events, the record was set in the Fourth Grade boys 400-meter run by Holden Hoffman (St. Michael, Livermore) with a time of 1:05.3, breaking the old record of 1:05.8. Holden also won the 200-meter event. The previous 400- and 800-meter records were both set in 2009 by Dylan Scott (Holy Rosary, Antioch).
Chardai Victorian (St. Lawrence O'Toole School, Oakland) set a record for the Sixth Grade girls 400-meter run with a time of 1:00.4, breaking the 2008 record of 1:00.8 by Haley Lukas (Catholic Community of Pleasanton). Chardai also won the 200-meter dash this year and tied a record as a Fifth Grader last year in the 100-meter dash. Also for the Sixth Grade girls, Desie Armstrong (St. Catherine, Martinez) tied a 1988 record in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.9 now sharing the record with Alicia Cortez (St. Paschal Baylon, Oakland).
The diocesan meet began on Friday night with the 800-meter and 1600 meter distance races. On Saturday morning, the meet continued with all the other events and the day began with an "Olympic style" parade of athletes around the track followed by an opening prayer led by athletes from Holy Rosary Parish, Antioch. Prior to prayer, adult coaches and meet officials were recognized for outstanding contributions to the CYO track and field program.
The recognition awards for outstanding service were presented to: Jay Gomez (Queen of All Saints, Concord), Sayra Morales Pedroza (St. Cornelius, Richmond), Bill Reynolds (St. Philip Neri, Alameda), Shane Rogge (Transfiguration, Castro Valley) and Peter Petit (St. Anne, Union City).
Two special awards were presented, Lifetime Achievement Awards for long-term volunteer service to CYO Track and Field. These awards were presented to R. Wendell Smith for his work in coaching and mentoring young people in the St. Ignatius CYO track program, Antioch, and to Herbert Yarbrough Jr. for his dedication as longtime meet starter and for his leadership as coordinator for the Oakland/West Contra Costa CYO Track Section 2.
The championship meet was the final event for the 2016 CYO Track season. The meet was hosted by Moreau Catholic High School, Hayward, and Granada High School, Livermore. Track events at the meet included sprints, distance races and a variety of relays. Field events were the Long Jump, High Jump, Shot Put, Softball Throw and the Tetherball Toss.
Runners qualified to participate through qualifying meets conducted the previous weekends in the three CYO track sections around the diocese.
This past season, more than 2,200 athletes from 45 parishes and Catholic schools in the Oakland diocese participated in the CYO Track and Field season that began in March and ended in May.
(Bill Ford is the director of the Catholic Youth Organization in the Diocese of Oakland. See more at www.oaklandcyo.org.)
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