Pena sparks Sunnyside with three District titles


RICHLAND – Elijah Pena accounted for two-thirds of the Sunnyside boys track team’s score during the District track meet held last Friday.

The senior, who plans to compete at an international track meet in Australia this summer, captured first-place honors in the triple jump with a mark of 42-8.75, the 300m hurdles with a time of 40.52 and the 110m hurdles with a clocking of 15.35.

“He’s only been competing in the triple jump for about a week,” Coach Darren Mezger said of Pena. “He’s just a very special athlete.”

Oh, and tireless, too, as the senior was also runner-up in the long jump with a leap of 20-6.75. He was bested only by a mark of 20-10.25 by Hanford’s Ben Kelly.

In the four events, Pena tallied 38 of the Sunnyside boys’ 55 team points. The total was good four fourth-place team honors. Hanford won with 224 team points.

Besides Pena, other Sunnyside boys advancing to this coming weekend’s Regional meet in Pasco include Bernaldo Madrigal. The junior was seventh in the 200m in 23.35 and part of the Grizzly 4x100 relay team that qualified with a fourth-place clocking of 45.13. Also on that foursome are Jesus Magallan, Julian Naranjo and Griffey Sarmiento.

Grizzly David Lopez topped his previous best in the pole vault by soaring to a mark of 11 feet, good for seventh place and a berth at Regionals.

Another Sunnyside boy moving on to Regionals is Fabian Gonzalez, who posted a fifth-place toss of 147-9 in the javelin.

In girls competition, Sunnyside’s Jeniya Guillen punched her ticket to Regionals with a third-place clocking of 1:01.79 in the 400m. In addition, Guillen teamed up with Brittney Broersma, Jessica Linde and Cecilia Guillen in the 4x200m relay to earn third-place honors and a Regionals berth.

Linde and Broersma also move on to Regionals in the 200m, with respective fourth and fifth place times of 26.79 and 26.92. Linde also qualified in the 100m with a fifth-place time of 13.40.

Broersma, too, will represent the Lady Grizzlies in the 100m and 300m hurdles. She garnered fourth-place honors in both events with respective times of 16.60 and 48.68.

Rounding out the Sunnyside girls’ contingent to Regionals are Cecilia Guillen, with an eighth-place time of 1:05.18 in the 400m and Adela Castaneda in the 300m hurdles, where she posted a seventh-place time of 50.18.

The Lady Grizzlies tallied a total of 46 points to place fifth. Kamiakin won the team title with 317.5 points.

The top three in each of the Regional events will advance to State.

Mezger says Pena, Linde, Broersma and Jeniya Guillen are the Sunnyside thin-clads who likely have the best chances of qualifying for State.

“Fabian has a shot in the javelin, maybe, but he’d have to have a big PR. He’s capable of that,” Mezger said.


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