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By Zach Cavanagh
Dawson, Markow Win Double Golds at Track League Finals
The Dana Hills track and field team earned 12 CIF-SS entries at the South Coast League Finals on Friday, April 29, at Trabuco Hills High School, with five individual league champions among them.
Highlighting the winners were distance running stars senior Jai Dawson and junior Allura Markow.
On the boys side, Dawson picked up victories in the 800-meter and 1,600-meter runs, with the 1,600 being his best time of the season in the event. It was Dawson’s third 800-meter league title and second 1,600-meter title. Dawson was clocked at 4:09.50 in the 1,600, which was the eighth-best time in the state this season.
Dawson is the top seed in both events at the CIF-SS Division 2 preliminaries this weekend. The CIF-SS Division 2 prelims will be run at Ventura High School on Saturday, May 7.
On the girls side, Markow won in the two longest races—the 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter runs. These were Markow’s first league titles after taking second place in both events last season. Markow, the county champion in the 3,200, is the fifth seed in both events for the CIF-SS prelims. Also qualifying for the Dolphins in the distance events were freshman Annie Ivarsson in the 1,600 and sophomore Cooper Murphy in the 3,200.
Dana Hills’ other league champion was sophomore Paige Scheer, who won the 800-meter run with a personal record time of 2:21.41.
The Dolphins had two more individual qualifiers on the girls side.
Senior sprinter Sienna Frederiksen qualified in the 200-meter and 400-meter sprints, with a wind-aided, personal-record time of 25.53 in the 200. Junior Allison Karner qualified in the pole vault with a personal-record clearance of 10 feet, 7 inches. The Dolphins also qualified their 4×400-meter relay team.
On the boys side, senior pole vaulter Brandon Chang was the only other qualifier, with a personal-record clearance of 13 feet, 1 inch.
Davies Qualifies for State Diving Championships
Dana Hills senior Rhys Davies secured the final qualifying spot for a trip to Fresno at the CIF-SS state qualifying meet on Wednesday, May 4.
Davies was the only Orange County boys diver to advance to state with a six-dive total of 304.75 points to claim the sixth and final qualifying position. Davies finished third in the CIF-SS Division 1 Finals with a nine-dive total of 483.90.
The CIF State Championships are Thursday, May 12, at Clovis West High School in Fresno.
On the girls side, senior Olivia Paquette, who won the CIF-SS Division 2 title last season, finished second in Division 2 with a nine-dive total of 489.60 points.
Despite seven entries with a league champion among them, no Dana Hills swimmer advanced out the CIF-SS preliminaries this week.
In the Division 2 girls preliminaries on Tuesday, May 3, sophomore Julia Gordon posted Dana Hills’ best finishes with an 11th-place swim in the 200-yard freestyle and a 12th-place swim in the 100-yard breaststroke. Gordon finished third and second, respectively, in those events at league finals.
In the Division 1 boys preliminaries on Wednesday, May 4, junior Brandon Saeedi equaled Gordon for the best Dolphins finish with an 11th-place swim in the 200-yard freestyle. Saeedi was the South Coast League champion in the 100-yard backstroke, but he finished 15th in the event at prelims.
Zach Cavanagh is the sports editor for Picket Fence Media. Zach is multiple California Journalism Award winner and has covered sports in Orange County since 2013. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ZachCav and follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SouthOCSports. Email at email@example.com.