HOLLISTER — Clever hurdlers Gage Evans and Rylee Lansdown setting school records were among the slew of highlights for the Jays and Lady Jays in Class 3 District 6 action Saturday.
Evans posted a 43.34 to beat the old record of 43.5 while finishing runner-up in the 300 hurdles.
This season has been Evans’ first competing in the 300 hurdles.
“It was a good idea to substitute the 400 for the 300 hurdles,” Evans said. “It’s opened up some new opportunities for me. To be honest, I didn’t even know 300 hurdles was even a thing until midway through last year. It was not something that interested me at all. My main focus was the 400.
“I’m proud of myself, to do this in my first year,” he added. “It means a lot to me. I’ve been working my butt off in practice and done a lot of conditioning.”
Clever coach Luke Brosius sent Evans and Lansdown an instructional YouTube video last week that paid immediate dividends.
“The video emphasized jumping off of both legs, so that way you’re not stutter-stepping as you come up to the hurdle,” Brosius said. “Some hurdlers try to match up (their) jump off (on their) strong leg. I’ve seen improvement in their form and not slowing down to stutter-step to get to the perfect leg. They’ve been using both legs to jump and that’s been the biggest difference.”
“I made sure to watch (the video) right away and see the methods they used in the six-step drill,” Evans said. “I’ve been working on that; it’s helped me a bunch the past couple of days. It’s a hard thing for me not to stutter-step. I’ve tried jumping off of my opposite leg and I’ve fallen a couple times. Pretty soon, I’ll be able to jump with both legs.
“I’m very motivated,” he added. “I have a lot more to learn.”
Lansdown turned in a winning effort while setting a new record of 48.86 in the 300 hurdles. The old mark was 48.90.
"I was pushing for time,” Lansdown said “I saw :44 (on the scoreboard) and thought to myself, ‘I’ve got four seconds to get there and get the school record.’”
She was also motivated to finish as soon as possible due to the burning sensation in her feet.
“My feet were really hot,” Lansdown said. “These shoes are really thin. I was using that as adrenaline, just to get the race over and done with.”
Lansdown was happy to hold off Aurora’s Maise Phillips at the finish. Phillips had a time of 49.88.
"I’ve been trying to beat her for a long time,” she said. “My goal was definitely to get her this year.”
Clever’s Jayleign Flood swept first-place finishes in the 100 (12.96) and 200 (26.65) and was second in the 400 (1:01.42).
Maliya Clark won the triple jump (34-2 3/4), was second in the 100 hurdles (16.39) and pole vault (10-0) and fourth in the long jump (16-1 1/4).
Valerie Cowles was first in the high jump (4-11 3/4).
The Lady Jays’ 4 x 400 relay posted a 4:15.31 while finishing first.
Riley Britton was fourth in the 800 (2:28).
On the boys side, Xavier Robinson was third in the high jump (5-11 3/4) and Aaron Rice was fourth in the long jump (20-2 1/4).