It didn’t take an announcer’s voice, cheering fans or looking at the official time for the Monterey Trail Mustangs to realize they had won two state championships at the CIF Track and Field State Championships.
They already had a feeling that they were going to win the state championship prior to the race, said Monterey Trail head coach Robbie Longan, and Zach Larrier in the 400 as well as the 4x100 boys relay team of Andre Crump, Prophet Brown, Camden Wheeler and Larrier won state championships to cement a breakthrough track season and make history.
“Utter excitement. They knew they were going to do it,” Longan said of their reaction after the win. “They did their job. That dude is special. Our kids were there to make history and they did it,” Longan added about the relay team as well as Larrier.
The 4x100 team is just the third area team in history to win a relay state championship (Hiram Johnson and Woodcreek are the two other Sacramento-area teams to win relays), according to Monterey Trail athletic director David Coronado.
Larrier is only the third regional runner in history to win state in the 400 and is the first runner since 1975 to win the 400.
Monterey Trail won the 4x100 men’s relay with their time of 41.47 seconds. The 4x100 team is just the second team in the region to win the 4x100 in the last 20 years.
Larrier won the 400 meter run with his time of 46.73 seconds and teammate Camden Wheeler turned in the fifth-fasted time in the event with his time of 47.45 seconds.
Meanwhile in the 4x400 meter relay, the Mustangs placed sixth at 3:20.37. The Mustangs had qualified for the 4x400 finals after they placed sixth with their time of 3:17.67 in the preliminaries.
Their teams ensured that the Mustangs men’s team finished in second place with 27 points, while Clovis North won the team rankings with 41 points.
The 4x100 relay team had qualified for state with its time of 42.88 seconds at the SJS Masters.
Larrier’s personal record in the 400 meters is 46.49, which he set at the Arcadia Invitational on April 6. He qualified for the state finals with his preliminary time of 46.76, which was also good enough for first place at the trials.
The 4x100 team qualified for the finals by finishing in 41.37 seconds.
In describing watching the Mustangs bring home two championships, as well as finish second place as a team, Longan’s choked back tears.
“I’m proud of those kids. It just makes you proud. You try to do it the right way (and we succeeded),” Longan said.
The 4x100 team started in lane seven and Larrier came from behind in the final leg to beat Clovis North (who finished second in 41.49 seconds).
“We’re in lane seven for a reason. I think we were ranked seventh at the time. Andre Crump started with the first leg, Prophet Brown, Camden Wheeler kept us close enough and Zach finished that thing for us. He wanted it more than anything else,” Longan said.
Longan has been coaching at Monterey Trail for 11 years and has taken athletes to the CIF meet 10 out of those 11 years.
“We believed it all year. We’re not rebuilding we’re reloading,” Longan said.
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