DFAL Varsity Championship FINALS
Campolindo High School
Moraga CA
Friday, May 11, 2012



Epic Triple Sparks Cougar Boys to Upset; Girls' Triple Threat Earns Nine Victories

What Thomas Joyce (12) accomplished at Friday's DFAL Track & Field Championship finals was the stuff of legend.

To be sure, the 1600m school record holder was a favorite to score in each of the three distance events; but, defending mile champion Jamie Fehrnstrom of Miramonte, area leading 800m top seed Adler Faulkner of Acalanes, and the Mats dangerous sit and kick 3200m star Tyler Hansen, comprised a talented trio of adversaries few expected him to withstand.

As it turned out, Joyce didn't "hang in there;" Rather, he turned the tables completely.

Following a pedestrian opening split in 69, Joyce shot from the pack, throwing down a 2:04 800m going into the final lap of the 1600m. Fehrnstrom didn't balk at the challenge, and at the bell was still on Joyce's heels. In fact, the 2011 champ looked in perfect position to kick down Joyce in the final stretch. But Joyce would not be denied. He held off Fehrnstrom to finish less than a second ahead in 4:16.75.

The time is the fastest 1600m ever run in Cougar stadium.

As he stumbled his way back to the bullpen, Joyce appeared exhausted, and spent a considerable amount of time sitting in the shade of the infield tent before trudging off to manage the short time left before having to face a fresh 1:54 800m ace. Faulkner had stepped off the track after only a lap and a half of the 1600m. The 800m favorite watched from the backstretch shade as Joyce was pushed to his limit.

45 minutes later, Joyce lined up to Faulkner's left, as the third seed.

Less than two minutes later, Joyce was crossing the line to the right, and slightly ahead of the Don's middle distance specialist.

The race was hardly tactical. Faulkner was in front from the gun, taking the pack though the 400m mark in 58 seconds before pressing hard. The move strung out the field, with Joyce in tow. Into the final turn, Joyce moved for the lead, but Faulkner responded, finding another gear that gapped the smaller athlete. It looked as if the winning card had been turned, but half way down the home stretch, as the crowd roared to life, so did Joyce.

Campo assistant coach Andy Lindquist called Joyce's final surge for the win "another level of existence." The upset moves Joyce to 3rd all-time on the school record board at 1:55.87, and adds to an already impressive list of underdog achievements.

It also sent the senior staggering from the track a second time.

50 minutes later, he set off on his final tour around the oval, and as had been the theme in the previous two contests, it wasn't easy. Hoping for a slow, tactical pace, the fatigued Joyce saw Miramonte's Matt Stewart break from the pack after the second lap. Joyce was forced to cover the move, and with that Hanson accelerated as well.

The race was on, again.

This time, however, Joyce left off the drama. Fatigued from the previous battles, but perhaps more tired of the nail biting finishes, he somehow ran away from his pursuers, to end up six seconds ahead of second place, in 9:32.24. The time is the fastest DFAL winning mark in recent memory, and topped a day that registers as one of the greatest single meet performances in school history.

And that was how it went for the Cougars.

Ryan Hoffman (13) came alive in the open 400m, finishing third. Darren Brodowy (12) willed himself to victory in the 300m hurdles, with a gutsy Andy VanHeuit (13) charging through the final flights to grab third place.

On his final attempt in long jump, Tony Knox (12) eclipsed the 20 foot mark, moving up four places to finish fourth. Brian Pfaff (13) and Marcus Harland-Dunaway (14) qualified for NCS in the 110 hurdles, while Eric Gabrielli (12) earned his post season ticket in both discus and pole vault.

The impressive team effort was capped with a 1600m relay performance that had all four legs at 52 seconds or better. VanHeuit again showed his courage, holding off Las Lomas to help his squad finish second in a season best time of 3:27.08.

In all, the Cougars amassed 93 points, outdistancing rival Acalanes by 15 to earn sole possession of the 2012 league title.

With the likes of Rhea Jayachandran (12), Hadley Swanson (13) and Carrie Verdon (12), who each won three individual events, and came up runner's-up in a fourth, the girls' varsity squad bulldozed over the rest of the league. Jayachandran's 34-2 mark in the triple jump moves her to 6th all-time.

The trio accounted for 106 of the Cougar's 188 points.

Also qualifying on to the NCS Tri-Valley Championships were Margaret (12) and Jane Macy (12) in the discus, as well as Erin Ross (12) in the hurdles, and Brighie Leach (15) in triple jump.




400 Relay Coffee-Bernardo-Ross-Quint=53.30, 1600 Carrie Verdon 5:05.57, Juliet Farnan 5:10.70, Rachel Johnson 5:19.87, Mary Orders 5:22.35, Brighie Leach 5:43.33, Sarah Orders 5:52.72, 100 Hurdles Rhea Jayachandran 15.43, Ashley Bernardo 20.36, 400 Hadley Swanson 58.97, Kendall Coffee 63.39, 800 Carrie Verdon 2:18.25, Juliet Farnan 2:24.12, Rachel Johnson 2:28.29, Brighie Leach NS, 300 Hurdles Rhea Jayachandran 46.64, Erin Ross 49.64, 200 Hadley Swanson 25.88, Kendall Coffee 27.34, 3200 Carrie Verdon 11:15.29, Juliet Farnan 11:21.60, Mary Orders 11:44.71, Rachel Johnson 11:46.51, Sarah Orders 12:40.31, 1600 Relay Coffee 63.0-Jayachandran 59.4-Erin Ross 63.3-Verdon 63.0=4:08.75, TJ Rhea Jayachandran 34-2, Brighie Leach 33-0, HJ Hadley Swanson 5-0, Laura DeCrescenzo 4-6, DT Margaret Macy 110-2, Jane Macy 95-6, Laura DeCrescenzo NS

Campolindo 188, Miramonte 77, Acalanes 61, Dublin 55, Las Lomas 53, Alhambra 30, Dougherty Valley 29


400 Relay Ebarlie-Hoffman-VanHeuit-Havel=45.58, 1600 Thomas Joyce 4:16.75, Vinson Compestine 4:26.59, Adam Hathaway 4:32.64, 110 Hurdles Brian Pfaff 16.18, Marcus Harland-Dunaway 16.30, 400 Ryan Hoffman 51.02, 800 Thomas Joyce 1:55.87, Leland Wong 1:59.61, 300 Hurdles Darren Brodowy 41.76, Andy VanHeuit 42.47, Marcus Harland-Dunaway 43.84, 3200 Thomas Joyce 9:32.24, Vinson Compestine 9:45.48, Adam Hathaway 9:50.72, Daniel Johnson 9:58.68, Kevin Fong 10:06.78, Charlie Chen 10:09.43, Cameron Sun 10:09.74, Rod Farvard 10:29.98, 1600 Relay Hoffman 51.5-Knox 51.9-L. Wong 52.1-VanHeuit 51.7=3:27.08, LJ Tony Knox 20-2, Patrick Kalvass 19-9.25, PV Andres DelValle 14-6, Eric Gabrielli 12-0, SP Tyler Wilson 39-8, Patrick Kalvass 39-7, Aaron Havel 33-2.5, Cameron Goldbeck 32-8.5

Dublin 103, Campolindo 93, Acalanes 78, Miramonte 78, Las Lomas 72, Dougherty Valley 46, Alhambra 26