Pettijohn and Pietrzyk Set School Records in Malibu Track and Field

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Dyer Pettijohn soars through the air to a new school record in the boys long jump.

One soars through the air with power and strength while the other glides across the track with grace and efficiency. But both are scintillating performers for Malibu High track and field.

Senior Dyer Pettijohn and junior Caroline Pietrzyk set school records at the Marie Smith/Malibu High Invitational last Saturday. 

Competing against 15 other schools, Pettijohn took first place when he jumped an astounding 21 feet, 8.5 inches in the boys’ long jump. The leap broke a school record he set two days earlier. 

Meanwhile, Pietrzyk set a new school, meet and track record in the girls’ 1600 meter when she dusted the rest of the field with a time of 5:02.93. 

The athletic pair weren’t done there, though. 

Pettijohn also took first in the triple jump (40-09) and second in the high jump (5-8) while Pietrzyk placed second in the 800 with a time of 2:24.11.

Other standout performances by the Sharks included junior Michaela Cosentino winning three events (100 hurdles, 16.97 seconds; high jump, 4-10; and triple jump, 30-01), Madeleine Ward taking second in the 100 hurdles (18.16) and 300 hurdles (50.24), Alec Wilimovsky second in the 3200 (10:39.42) and Devin Sarantinos second in the pole vault (11-6).

Two days prior to the Marie Smith/Malibu High Invitational, MHS hosted the second Frontier League meet of the season.

The Sharks girls went 4-1 against league opponents, defeating Bishop Diego (86-16), Grace Brethren (79.50-29.50), Santa Clara (76-41) and Villanova Prep (90-0). Malibu lost to Santa Paula (72.50-54.50).

The boys defeated Bishop Diego (58-21), Grace Brethren (52-44) and Villanova Prep (57-10), but lost to Santa Clara (63-56) and Santa Paula (73-50).

Pettijohn led the way with three first-place finishes (400 meters, long jump and triple jump, 40-02) and third in the high jump. He vaulted to a then school-record 21-04 in the long jump, only to break it two days later.

In the 400-meter race, Pettijohn came from behind to win in dramatic fashion. Trailing by more than five meters with the finish line in sight, Pettijohn sprinted past Pedro Magana of Santa Paula to win in a photo finish. Pettijohn’s time of 53.59 edged out Magana (53.67) by the slimmest of margins.

“That was quite a race. I wasn’t sure if I could pull out the win because everybody started out pretty fast,” Pettijohn said. “I wanted to keep pace but the last 100 they started to slow down. It came down to the wire and I was able to get the win. I leaned and my head crossed first. It was great.”

Pettijohn’s toughest competitor in the field events was his teammate, Linus Gordon. The senior cleared 6-0 in the high jump to take first and long jumped 20-03 for second place.

Gordon made six feet on his first attempt and literally has taken his jumping ability to new heights this spring.

“I really like it because it’s different from most track events,” Gordon said. “There isn’t a lot of running but it still requires a lot of strength and flexibility too. It’s so much fun.”

In other field events, Sarantinos won the pole vault with a height of 11’ and Cooper Barton took second in the shot put (38-08.50) and fourth in the discus (83-09.25).

Alec Wilimovsky and junior Julian Paige finished one-two in the mile with times of 4:55.23 and 4:55.94, respectively. Paige also captured first in the 800 in 2:12.18.

“It was a lot slower than we wanted to go because there wasn’t too much competition,” Wilimovsky said about the mile race. “Coming down the stretch I totally thought he (Paige) was going to catch me. I managed to hold him off but he is getting a lot faster from the first day he came out.”

Cosentino sparkled for the Lady Sharks as she won three events. Just as she did in the Marie Smith/Malibu High Invitational, Cosentino won the 100 hurdles (16.91), high jump (4-8) and triple jump (30-10).

Cosentino set a personal best in the 100 hurdles.

“I wanted to go out there and beat my PR (personal record),” she said. “I did and I was very happy about that. I was trying to get in the low 16s or high 15s. I’m getting there.”

Pietrzyk won the 3200 (11:47.14), senior Emma London claimed first in the 800 (2:40.35) and Jenna Weinberger out-jumped the competition in the long jump (14-02).

Ward finished in second in the 300 hurdles (49.76) and Caitlin Myers took second in the 1600 in 5:59.54.