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March 19, 2008 > Track begins in Mission Valley Athletic League

Track begins in Mission Valley Athletic League

By Idorenyin Uto-Uko

The sun is shinning, the birds are chirping, and that means it's time for spring high school track and field in the Mission Valley Athletic League (MVAL). The MVAL looks to make another impact on the North Coast Section and the rest of the state this season. Returning dominate league teams are Newark Memorial High School and James Logan High School. Newark Memorial looks to achieve league honors for the boys' events and the ladies from Logan seek to continue their dominance.

The Newark boys team is led by UC Davis bound distance runner Martin Mwangi. He won the MVAL cross-county title this fall and is one of the top returning 800 meter runners in Northern California. Mwangi placed fourth in the 800 at the prestigious K-Bell Invitational early this month and second in the 1500 at Newark's 10th Annual Cougar Invitational held on March 15.

Joining the talented distance runner this spring are hurdlers Nick Chandler and Micheal Gates. Gates won the 110 hurdles at the K-Bell Invite on March 8. Chandler won the 300 hurdlers at the Cougar Invite on March 15. Other members for the Newark Memorial Cougars seeking a league title are Andrew Akre (200/400 meters) and Chris Grover in the Triple Jump. "We are looking for all our athletes to reach NCS and the State Championships," said Newark Track Coach TonyVariceo.

Logan returns Junior Olympic Champion Brianna Stewery in the 110 hurdles. They also have state meet qualifiers Jamie Hardy in the 800, and the nationally ranked Donnise Powell in the 400 meters. Last year, the Logan ladies won the National Track and Field Championships as a team. Logan Track Coach Lee Webb instills in his athletes the daily affirmation that's needed to succeed "We try to make each day a masterpiece. I teach them to be the best they be, in order to effect them in a positive way," said Webb. Some of the City of Fremont high schools that are part of the competitive MVAL are Washington, Irvington, Mission San Jose, and American.

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