Oxford Academy girls track team dominates Academy League finals

Oxford Academy, an elite public college preparatory school and part of AUHSD, known more for being ranked as one of the top rated academic schools in the country, is making a statement in girls track and field.Two years ago, the school had a mission to improve its coed track and field program by bringing in a first class coaching team led by coaching veteran Bill Murvin.On Thursday, May 7, the first pillars of seeing this vision through were completed as the Lady Patriots earned the school’s Academy League track and field championship by a convincing margin with 181 points, 66 points over runner-up Crean Lutheran of Irvine, which finished with 115 points.After last year’s girls’ team wound up in second place in league standings, Murvin and his coaches convinced a core group of athletes to commit to a year-round program that would propel them to win the championship title this year.“Our girls bought into the program and worked extremely hard during the past year," Murvin said. "When we decisively won the first cluster meet without two of our top girls, we were sure that we had an excellent chance.”Their hard work certainly paid off as the season culminated in victory last Thursday at league finals in Irvine. The Lady Patriots were led in points by senior Brianna Washa and sophomore Rachel Gagnon on the track. Junior Emily Huynh and sophomore Xochitl Bryson dominated on the field.Washa and Gagnon each took three first place titles in three separate events. Washa set two new school and stadium records in the 100-meter dash at 12.50 seconds, and in the 200 meters, recording a time of 26.14 seconds. Gagnon set a new school record in the 100-meter hurdles at 15.83, and established a new school and stadium record in the 300-meter hurdles with a recorded time of at 48.7 seconds.Both girls were in the winning 4 X 100 relay at 51.67, a new school record, and later placed second in the 4 X 400 relay.Huynh also ran in the winning 4 X 100 relay while placing first in the long jump with 16’ 10” and second in the triple jump at 33’ 7” as well as placing third in the 100m dash. Bryson outthrew the discus by 36 feet over second place with a whopping 116 feet. Bryson also came out first in the girls’ shot put with a 32 ft 7 inches.Other notable contributors to the girls’ scores were sophomore Rachel Chen, scoring twelve points for the team by placing third in the 100m hurdles and third in the high jump and Allison Lu, senior, who also ran in the winning 4 X100 relay as well as placed third in the triple jump.Although the boys team didn’t place as highly as the girls team, certain individuals were key to their success. Randy Yiv, junior, placed first in the triple jump with 39’ 4” and second in the long jump at 19’ 6”. Chris Wang, senior, placed first in shotput with a 45’ 4” throw and third in discus with 117’ 9.” Junior Albert Nguyen placed second in the 3200-meter run and fourth in the 1,600 meters.Murvin has high expectations for both teams’ continued success.“During the season, our boys and girls teams broke 13 school records," Murvin said. "Now that we have completed the team end of our goals, we are looking forward to advancing as many individual athletes to the CIF Finals from the prelims this weekend. We have 17 athletes who have advanced from the League Finals to the CIF prelims. We expect our athletes to continue to compete at the highest level. When you give 100 percent effort to the task at hand, you can and should expect great outcomes!”Oxford’s Athletic Director David Clifton also echoed his support and excitement around this recent success. “This achievement underscores what Oxford stands for – excellence in academics as well as athletics (and the arts). Our school community is excited by what these young people are capable of achieving. We’re developing great leaders at Oxford Academy.”Oxford will be sending the following girls and boys to compete in the CIF Southern Section prelims on Saturday, May 16: Brianna Washa, Rachel Gagnon, Emily Huynh, Alison Lu, Hae-Rang Park, Rachel Chen, Tiffany Lwin, Mary Garcia, Xochitl Bryson, Randy Yiv, Dan Ta, Albert Nguyen, Chris Wang, Richard Chau, Alex Belyea, Lee Sasaki and Jacob Fatalla.

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