Scotts Valley High senior Sam Freeman won the 200 meter race and helped the Falcons 4x400 relay team win its race during the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League Track and Field Championships at Santa Cruz High School on May 5. (Juan Reyes/Press Banner)

Scotts Valley High senior Sam Freeman was stacked up against some of the best athletes at last weekend’s Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League Championships, knowing that it could’ve been his final time wearing a Falcons’ track and field uniform.

“Of course I was nervous,” he said. “I always like to think that if you’re not nervous, you’re not ready. I knew I was not going to come out here and just get everything handed to me.”

Freeman won the 200 meter in 22.61 just slightly ahead of Soquel High junior Jordan McCord (22.65), who was victorious in the 100 in 11.09. 

Both athletes qualified for the Central Coast Section Track and Field Championships semifinals at Gilroy High School starting at 10am. The top two finishers in their respective event advanced to this weekend’s trials. 

“It was so close. I literally just barely pulled it out in front of Jordan by a nose,” Freeman said.

The Falcons placed fourth as a team with a score of 84 behind Soquel (107), Santa Cruz (117) and this year’s league champion Aptos (173). 

Freeman also qualified in the 400 after he placed second in 50.41 behind Soquel senior Brody Staley (49.25), and he helped the 4×400 relay team (Samuel Abel, Mason Lantz, Ian Jory, Freeman) win their race.

The Falcons were behind after the first leg until Lantz turned on the afterburners to give them the lead for good. Freeman capped it off as the anchor and finished ahead of Aptos High senior Trent Nosky for the victory.

“I heard him the whole race,” Freeman said. “I was like, ‘Stay in front of him, stay in front of him,’ and it worked out.” 

In the 800, Lantz (2:00.09) and fellow junior teammate Ben George (2:01.53) placed second and third, respectively, behind Aptos High senior Trent Nosky who won in 1:59.87. Lantz and Nosky both advanced to the CCS trials.

Also joining them will be the 4×800 relay team (Aiden Boothby, Spencer George, Ben George, Mason Lantz) after winning their race in 8:06.75.  

San Lorenzo Valley High junior Joshua Gabrielson qualified for the CCS trials following a second place finish in the 110 hurdles in 16.71 behind Santa Cruz High junior Luke Tanguay (15.86).

The Cougars finished with a team score of 31 points.

Scotts Valley junior Lorenzo Gonzalez became the first ever Falcons track and field athlete to win a league title in the shot put event. His best toss of the day was a personal best 42 foot, 1 inch throw that gave him the gold medal.

“I was ecstatic,” he said. “Putting in work and having to sit that 30 days from the transfer, it was great to see it all pay off.”

Gonzalez—who transferred from Aptos High—had to sit out for 30 days in order to fulfill the protocols after having switched schools. He continued to work during his downtime and then as soon as dual meets started coming around, the personal records started to happen. 

He edged Santa Cruz senior Franz Pohlmann (41-11.50) for the championship, who both qualified for this weekend’s CCS trials.

Gonzalez accomplished his goal of making it to the next set of championships and now he just wants to prove to himself how far he can go. 

“I know there’s a lot of great guys over the hill, a lot of good competition,” he said. “But honestly, I’m just competing against me.”

Freeman is also looking forward to extending the season for what he hopes will be at least two weeks.

“I’m just always looking for more opportunities, trying to buy myself more time,” he said. “Running [in] high school has been awesome…[I] kind of want to have as much of this as I can.”

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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.


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