Assistant Coach Bradley Hartman (far left) joins Scotts Valley High School girls’ 4x800-meters relay team (Ashlyn Boothby, Jenni Brownfield, Ava Decleve and Diana Alivov) after they placed first with a time of 9:29.91 at the Arcadia Invitational on April 5-6. Scotts Valley High School boys’ 4x800-meters relay team (Mason Lantz, Aaron Weiss, Spencer George and Ben George) placed second with a time of 8:07.29 at the Arcadia Invitational on April 5-6.

The Scotts Valley High track program is starting to heat up just at the right moment as both the boys’ and girls’ teams head into the final stretch of the 2023-24 track and field campaign.

Their most recent success came when the Falcons girls’ 4×800-meters relay team (Ava Decleve, Diana Alivov, Jenni Brownfield and Ashlyn Boothby) won their race in 9 minutes, 29.91 seconds at the prestigious Arcadia Invitational on April 5-6.

The boys’ 4×800 relay team (Ben George, Spencer George, Aaron Weiss and Mason Lantz) also shined after taking second in 8:07.29. They competed alongside 4,000 athletes from 37 states as well as three Canadian provinces at Arcadia High for the 56th annual track and field meet.

Ava Decleve, a sophomore, got the girls’ team off to an amazing start, while senior Diana Alivov and sophomore Jenni Brownfield held down the lead. Ashlyn Boothby, a senior, capped it off with the victory for the Falcons.

“That was just a really fun race,” Boothby said. 

Boothby is coming off a stress fracture on her right foot she suffered during the cross country season in 2023. She wore a boot throughout the rehab before getting back into light running for six weeks at six days a week, and speed work didn’t come until the track season started.

Returning to peak performance has been a slow and stressful process for Boothby. For now, she will continue to hold out until the upcoming championships starting with the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League finals at Soquel High on May 1 and 3.

If all goes as planned, Boothby will compete in the Central Coast Section finals at Gilroy High on May 11 and 18, and finally in the CIF State Championships at Buchanan High in Clovis on May 24-25.

It was around that point last season where Boothby peaked at the 2023 State finals. She placed second in the 1600-meters in a personal-best 4:39.45.

“After I ran that race, I remember thinking to myself, ‘Oh my gosh, next year I’m gonna be just unstoppable. I’m gonna run some amazing times, if I can keep this up,” she said. “Then I got injured, which obviously is not ideal. It was really frustrating. I felt like all hope was lost, and my season was just gonna be a total disaster.”

The road back to recovery has been tough on Boothby, especially after coming off a record-setting season.

A goal set this season was to get faster, which definitely had a huge setback with the injury. Boothby wasn’t pleased with her performance in Sunday’s mile race at Arcadia after she took ninth in 4:51.11.

Despite the bumps in the road, Boothby remains confident she’ll be ready to go in time for next month’s set of championships. Assisting her along the way is a huge support group that keeps the Falcons star runner positive and looking ahead to the future.

“Hopefully I’ll be back at my peak fitness, ready to run an amazing race,” she said.

Boothby—who is a Stanford University commit—is also set to compete at the Nike Outdoor Nationals at Hayward Field at the University of Oregon in Eugene on June 12-15.

On the boys side, senior Mason Lantz continues to see improvement for himself and his teammates throughout the season.

Lantz went into last week’s 4×800 race at Arcadia unintimidated knowing the Falcons deserved to be there, earning their spot just like all the other schools.

“I got handed the baton, I was a little bit down in the race, about 20 meters back from the guy in front of me,” he said. “I know I’m fast, I know I can compete, so I’m gonna do my best to try to chase him down and it ended up working out.”

The distance medley [1200-400-800-1600] relay team (Ben George, Samuel Abel, Aaron Weiss and Mason Lantz) took first in 10:45.80 at the Stanford Invitational on March 30. 

“It’s really encouraging for what I think the team will be able to do at CCS, and hopefully State,” Lantz said.

Lantz believes he’s getting close to tip-top shape similar to how he felt at the end of the 2023 season. He mentioned that Scott Valley coach Todd Hoffman is starting to ease off on the distance and strength in order to build speeds where they can all peak properly.

The SCCAL finals are right around the corner, but Lantz has eyes set on CCS trials and finals. 

“The guys from our section, they’re running great this year. I know it’s going to be a super competitive race,” he said. “I trust myself like I trust Todd [Hoffman], I know he’s gonna get me to the point where I think I can come out on top and get myself to State.”

But despite looking down the road, Lantz also mentioned he’s not taking the remaining meets for granted as his time in a Falcons uniform is coming to a close.

“These next few races are gonna be the last time I race with my teammates, and some of the guys I’ve raced with in the past few years who have become pretty close,” he said. “[It’s] just having fun in every race, not focusing on results. Even if I have a bad result, having fun with the guys.”

Next up, Scotts Valley will compete in the inaugural Santa Cruz County Meet of Champions at Aptos High on April 13 at 10am.

Previous articleSan Lorenzo Valley Elementary celebrates diversity and inclusion with inaugural We Belong Fair
Next articleSeese’s gem performance leads Falcons to victory over Aptos | High school softball
A Watsonville native who has a passion for local sports and loves his community. A Watsonville High, Cabrillo College, San Jose State University and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism alumnus, he primarily covers high school athletics, Cabrillo College athletics, various youth sports in the Pajaro Valley and the Santa Cruz Warriors. Juan is also a video game enthusiast, part-time chef (at home), explorer and a sports junkie. Coaches and athletic directors are encouraged to report scores HERE.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here