Stars Emerge at Youth Palisades-Malibu YMCA Track Meet

Photos by Lesly Hall

In a Pacific Palisades tradition that goes back 45 years, about 100 young athletes (age 3 to 15) competed in the Palisades-Malibu YMCA track meet on May 21 at Palisades High School. Palisades Optimist Club members volunteered in various roles, including timing and running the field events.

New this year: the javelin throw. Setting the age 7-8 standard were Marshal Lazar with a throw of 27’10”, and on the girls’ side, Ameilia Sarkisian won with a 23’5” toss. In the 9-10 age category, Gage Santos sent it soaring 51’6” and sister Saskia threw it 49’1/2”.

Palisades Optimist Dr. Mike Martini admires the young long jumper’s form.

Palisades Optimist Dr. Mike Martini admires the young long jumper’s form.

In shot put, which was attempted by only 9- and 10-year-olds this year, first place went to Anne-Sophie Radford (13’3-1/2”) and to Gage Santos (12’).  

The highly competitive 7-8 long jump saw Alexandra Mitchell leap 9’10” to beat Mae Durkin by two inches. In the boys division, Flynn Gallagher won (6’1”), with Misha Susin was second (5’9”).

Girls 9-10 had Annie-Sophie Radford win (9’9”) by more than a foot. Blake Sigworth (11’31/2”) easily outdistanced the next competitor by almost two feet.

Saskia Santos went 10’11” to take first in the girls 11-12 long jump.

Owen, 11, and Cara Huang, 9, who attend Mirman School were both winners.

Owen, 11, and Cara Huang, 9, who attend Mirman School were both winners.

The 25-meter race in the boys 3-4 division saw Misha Susini (5.28) edge Max Miller and Dylan Davis. No girls competed in this age category.

In the girls 50-meter run, Georgina Benjamin was first (11.69), Mila Lindo second and Zenya Sarn third in the 3-4 division. Ages 5-6 saw Ella Sarn first (8.44), Katie Sakamoto second and Kaia Solum third. Mae Durkin topped the 7-8 group, with Kit Maclean second and Skyla Burmeister third.

In the boys 50-meter run for ages 3-4, Avett Burnes (9.87) was first, Misha Susini second and Dillon Miller third. Max Miller led the 5-6 group (8.6), followed by Jackson Mitchell (second) and Mario Seltzer (third).

Mae Durkin, 8, Carlthorp School was a multiple winner.

Mae Durkin, 8, Carlthorp School was a multiple winner.

The boys 7-8 race saw speedy Theo Radford win (7.46), followed by Colin Ridgley. In the 100-meter contest, the two once again ran neck and neck, but Radford prevailed (14.0). The two also competed in the 200-meter race with Radford winning in 36.81. The rivalry wasn’t over because in the 400-meter race, persistence finally paid off for Ridgley (1:24.31), who beat Radford and Conner Nocas.

The girls 100-meter competition began with Mila Linda (25.30) beating Georgina Benjamin (second) and Clara Ellis in the 3-4 division. In the next age group, Kary Campos won (13.97), with Sierra Solumn second and Ella Sarn third. For the 7-8 year olds, Durkin was first (15.60), Maclean second and Burmeister third. Saskia Santos (11.30) led the next age division with Tea Koudsi second and Stela Estes third.

With the youngest boys, Avett Burnes (21.22) prevailed, with Misha Susini second and Liam Schmitz third. In the next age group Connor Nocas was first, Max Miller second and Mario Seltzer third. The 9-10 group was evenly matched but Blake Sigworth defeated Marshall Lazar. Owen Huang took first (14.4) in the 11-12-year-old group.

With only the 200- and 400-meter races left to run, the athletes gave extra effort to place in the top three.

Blake Sigworth, 9, Marquez School captured three first place ribbons.

Blake Sigworth, 9, Marquez School captured three first place ribbons.

Nocas (39.40) led boys 5-6, with Flynn Gallagher and Seltzer taking second and third. In the girls category, Mae Durkin ran 36.20, giving her a third blue ribbon in the running events. Lalid Susini finished second and Sienna Nocas was third.

The 7-8 girls race saw a one-two-three finish of Kary Campos (33.15), Maclean and Burmeister. The 9-10 girls winner was Tea Koudsi (32.40) with Saskia Santos second and Cara Huang third.

In the 200-meter race for boys 9-10, Sigworth took first (32.25), Santos was second and Lazar third. Huang won the 11-12 division (31.34).

In the longest run of the day, Durkin captured the 400-meter run (1:18.46), ending the meet with three firsts and one second. In that race, Maclean was second and Burmeister third. 

The 9-10 race was won by Koudsi, with Santos taking second and Radford third. For the boys in that age group, Finn Evans ran a 1:15.8 to take first, with Gage Santos second and Lazar third. 

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