Skip To Main Content
Keaton Robar
Keaton Robar

By Andrew Turner
Staff Writer 

Newport Harbor junior Keaton Robar let it be known during the CIF Southern Section postseason meets that it had been some time since she had been in a competitive race.

Those comments followed a new lifetime-best performance in two minutes 7.01 seconds to win the 800 meters in the Masters Meet, a race in which she was pushed by Claremont senior L’Mio Edwards.

To little surprise then, Robar picked up where she left off, rising to the occasion to place third in 2:07.40 in the CIF State track and field championships on May 25 at Clovis Buchanan High.

Robar wound up fourth overall in the state in the 800 for the season, bumped down one spot after Poway senior Tessa Buswell’s state title-winning time of 2:06.51 moved her into third.

Corona del Mar senior Melisse Djomby Enyawe, headed to Cal Poly in the fall, finished ninth in the same race in 2:12.23. She concludes her prep career fourth (2:12.13 at the Masters Meet) on the Sea Kings’ all-time performance list in the 800. The school record belongs to Elizabeth Morse, who ran 2:08.16 to win the state championship in 2000.

Athletes who scored points for their team (placing in the top nine) received state medals.

Edison senior Alexa Sheldon reached the state finals in the discus throw (12th, 123 feet, 10 inches) and the shot put (sixth, 41-5¾), bringing home a state medal in the latter. The Cal State Fullerton commit’s mark of 44-3½ to win the shot put in the Arcadia Invitational on April 6 is now a school record.

Newport Harbor senior Carlos Maradiaga, also committed to compete in college for the Titans, set a new school record in the 3,200 meters in his last opportunity. In a sizzling state final paced by Dana Hills junior Evan Noonan in 8:43.12, Maradiaga finished 14th out of 29 runners in 8:55.58.

Maradiaga dropped seven seconds off his state-qualifying time in the Masters, surpassing Kenny Wanlass, who became the Sailors’ record-holder with a time of 9:01.43 in the Azusa Pacific University Meet of Champions a year ago.

“Kenny was a lead-by-example kind of mentor, so he would set the bar for everything, and I would just follow,” Maradiaga said. “He wanted me to break the school record. He was telling me way back in December, supporting the idea that I could do it.”

Huntington Beach freshman Sydney Rubio continues to make her mark, her seventh-place showing (10:20.46) in the 3,200 setting a new standard for the Oilers in the event. She bettered the time of 10:22.90 turned in last season by Northern Arizona-bound teammate Makenzie McRae.

“I always have to give so much credit to everyone that coaches cross-country and the distance squad because it is such a team effort to run the workouts and time, give her the support, and teach her how to race,” Huntington Beach coach Kareen Shackelford said when asked about Rubio’s freshman season success. “She had such a good teammate with Makenzie, learning how to pace throughout the year. She just really came into her own. What I love the most about her is that she is just fearless.

Shackelford added that Rubio is the sort of athlete that if someone puts an idea in her head, she believes she can do it. The coaching staff encouraged her to push for a top-three finish at the state cross-country finals, and after achieving that, she received a bid into the Nike Cross Nationals.

Newport Harbor sophomore Natalie McCarty stumbled just before the finish line in the 300 intermediate hurdles to finish eighth in 45.08 seconds. Ocean View senior Isis Salazar and McCarty did not advance out of the state preliminaries in the high jump.