PLEASANTON -- A sensational duel and a fast time in the boys 1,600 meters highlighted the action in the North Coast Section Tri-Valley Area track and field meet at Amador Valley High on Saturday.
As the crowd cheered, Livermore's Tyler Olson lopped seven seconds off his personal best time and upset Blair Hurlock of De La Salle. Olson finished in 4 minutes, 7.99 seconds, and the Stanford-bound Hurlock had a personal best of 4:08.33.
Both marks were just off state-leader Garrett Corcoran of Villa Park (4:06) and are in the top five all-time in the section. The same duo went one-two in the Tri-Valley meet 1,600 last year, but Hurlock prevailed in 4:15.82.
With the top seven in each event, plus at-large qualifiers, earning spots in the NCS Meet of Champions on May 30-31 at Cal's Edwards Stadium, there wasn't too much pressure on the elite competitors.
Deer Valley easily won the girls team title with 95 points, and Amador Valley won the boys crown with 80. The Wolverines won the girls 400 relay, and got victories from Briana Guillory in the 100 and Artearra Coffey in the 400.
Olson's bold 1,600 run seemed to stun Hurlock, who'd hoped to pace himself and kick late.
"I never really got separation," Hurlock said. "Olson was just on my shoulder the entire time. He passed me, and I was really surprised because last week I beat him by five seconds or so. He's a really good tough competitor. It was an awesome race for him."
Hurlock and Olson were also under the old Tri-Valley meet mark in the 3,200, with Hurlock prevailing handily in 9:13.71 and Olson running a 9:18.96.
In other meet highlights, the Amador Valley boys 1,600 relay team rallied for a thrilling win over San Ramon Valley, as Dons anchor JaMaun Charles, who won the 100 and 200, ran down the Wolves' anchor. The Dons' quartet of Ledre McCullough, Chris Bayley, Charles and Conner McKinnon, the impressive 800 winner, ran best time of 3:17.49. Heritage star Frank Kurtz was just off the meet record in the 400, winning in 47.72. De La Salle's Marquis Morris swept the boys hurdles races.
Monte Vista sophomore Brooke Starn won a close 1,600 over Chloe Hansel of Las Lomas and Brighie Leach of Campolindo, in 4:54.34. Then Starn held off Megan McCandless of Granada in the 3,200 in 10:58.61.
Dublin's Mecca McGlaston was a double-winner in the girls 100 hurdles and 200, with fast times.
McKinnon, whose time in the 800 was a solid 1:54.99, has lofty goals of winning a state championship and breaking Dan Gabor's school record of 1:50.7. He looked confident and strong kicking away on the last lap on his home track.
Carondelet's Christina Chenault was just off the meet mark in the triple with a mark of 38-0.50, and also won the 400.