Track & Field
Four-Time Defending CIF Champion Girls Track & Field 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018
CIF Champions Boys Track & Field 1996, Runner-Up 2018
BOYS HISTORY | Santa Margarita High School opened in the fall of 1987, welcoming 218 freshmen to its beautiful 42-acre campus. Coach Dave Zeitler arrived in 1989 after leaving Mater Dei and had been the Head Coach up until 2011, when he passed the baton to his son, Sean Zeitler. Coach Dave Zeitler's first team in February 1990 consisted of 26 athletes, today, the Eagles boast 143 athletes on their roster. With increased numbers came greater success. The Eagle Boys Track & Field team has won seven league championships, one Angelus, five Serra League and one Sea View League. In 2001, the Eagles earned the prestigious Orange County Championship. The Eagles have also finished in the runner up spot at Orange County on three other occasions; 1996, 2000 & 2002. When it really counts, at C.I.F. Finals, the Eagles have one third place finish in 2000, four 2nd place finishes, 2001 - 2003 and 2018 and a C.I.F. Championship in 1996.
Individuals from the team have also excelled. The track program has produced 20 individual/Relay C.I.F. Champions: Matt Blasdel in the 300IH in 1996, Pat Luke won two Pole Vault Championships in 1999 & 2000, Sean Zeitler won his C.I.F. Championship in the 300IH in 2001 and Jeff Jacobs won a C.I.F Championship in the 400m in 2002 and repeated in 2003. Andrew Prodoehl was C.I.F Pole Vault Champion in 2005, Ryan Martin in the 800 in 2006 and 2007, Jimmy Martin garnered the 300IH championship in May of 2009. Parker Curry carried on the pole vaulting tradition as he was crowned CIF Champion in 2013. Austin Tinsley won the Division 3 CIF Championship in the 300IH in 2014 before becoming SMCHS’ first individual Masters champion when he won the 300IH in a time of 37.25. Blake Hennesay earned CIF individual titles in the 100-meter and the 300IH, with times of 10.71 and 38.20 in his junior campaign. Hennesay would go on to advance to the CIF State Championship Finals in both events, including running school record times of 10.54 and 36.95. Blake's 36.95 makes him the fifth fastest in Orange County history and the fastest junior ever in Orange County history. Hennesay would double down his senior year, defending both CIF titles in the 100m (10.57) and the 300 hurdles (37.72), guiding his team to a runner-up finish in Division 3, the best finish for the boys since 2003.
Relays have also played a major part in the success. C.I.F. Championships have been won by the 1996 4 x 100m relay team, the 1998 4 x 400m relay team, the 2000 4 x 400m relay team and the 2001 4 x 400m relay team. Numerous individuals and relay teams have qualified for the Masters Meet, the southern section's State qualifying meet. Individual athletes that have qualified for the California State Meet are: Pat Luke in the Pole Vault, Jeff Jacobs in the 400m, Brandon Clark in the 400m, Jim Lunnen in the High Jump, Matt Blasdel, Andrew Prodoehl in the Pole Vault, Ryan Martin in the 800m, Parker Curry in the Pole Vault, Austin Tinsley in the 300IH, Blake Hennesay in the 100 and 300 Intermediate Hurdles in 2017 as well as 2018, and Sean Byrne in the 1600 also in 2018. The 4 x 100m relay team of 2002 also qualified for the State Meet. The 4 x 400m relay teams qualified for the State Meet for four consecutive years, from 2000-2003. In all, the Eagle boys boast 20 Individual CIF Champions in less than 30 years of Santa Margarita school history.
GIRLS HISTORY | Coming Soon
This year, the Eagle tradition continues.
The mission of the Eagle Track & Field program is to take a group of collective individuals and teach them how to become a team. Eagle track and field athletes will all be held to the same standards and expected to up uphold the Catholic-Christian standards and values of the school and the program. Our goal as a program is to teach these young men and women the value of hard work, patience, sacrifice, and teamwork, all of which will be used well beyond high school.
CORE VALUES: Integrity | Effort | Accountability
Santa Margarita Track & Field Hall of Fame Requirements
In order for an athlete to gain entry into the Santa Margarita Track & Field Hall of Fame they must have maintained a positive academic & disciplinary record during their tenure at Santa Margarita (no periods of academic ineligibility or disciplinary probation). Additionally, once an athlete began their track & field, they must have completed their track participation with no interruptions (i.e. quitting, taking a year off, not competing in a post season meet for which he/she qualified, etc.). Admission to the Hall of Fame will only take place after the completion of the athletes’ senior year of competition & graduation.
In addition to the above-mentioned criteria, the athlete must acquire 17 points in order to be considered for entrance to the Hall of Fame. Of those 17 points, at least 8 points must be earned through individual accomplishments. The athlete must also have earned a minimum of 10 CIF points. Points towards Hall of Fame induction can be earned in the following ways:
- California State Meet Champion in an individual event: 10 points
- California State Meet champion on a relay team: 4 points
- California State Meet finalist in an individual event: 7 points
- California State Meet finalist on a relay team: 3 points
- Ranking in Top 100 nationally in an individual event: 5 points
- Ranking in Top 100 nationally on a relay team: 2 points
- Masters Meet qualifier in an individual event: 4 points
- Masters Meet qualifier on a relay team: 1 point
- CIF Champion in an individual event: 6 points
- CIF Champion on a relay team: 3 points
- Orange County Champion in an individual event: 3 points
- Orange County Champion on a relay team: 1 point
- Compiling 15 career CIF Finals points (individual & relay): 3 points
- Compiling 20 career CIF Finals points (individual & relay): 4 points
- School Record holder in an individual event: 1 point
- Santa Margarita Team Captain: .5 point
Please note: Each point total is based upon one accomplishment. For instance: winning 2 separate CIF individual Championships would accrue 12 points (6 points x 2 titles = 12 points).
Also, when calculating career CIF Finals points, relay points awarded to the team are divided by 4 in order to tally the individual’s point total. For example, if a relay team places 2nd at CIF Finals, the team earns 8 points and each member earns 2 towards their career total points ( 8 points divided 4 team members = 2 points)
1996 | Matt Blasdel
1997 | Katie Nuanes
1998 | Matt Brooks
1999 | Amanda Shanklin
2000 | Pat Luke
2001 | Sean Zeitler
2001 | Lori Mann
2003 | Brandon Clark
2003 | Jeff Jacobs
2005 | Lauren Collins
2006 | Julian de Rubira
2006 | Jessie Lucier
2007 | Ryan Martin
2009 | Jimmy Martin
2014 | Parker Curry
2015 | Kaitlyn Merritt
2017 | Kate Thomas
2017 | Erin Gerardo
2017 | Lauren Drysch
2018 | Nikki Merritt
2018 | Blake Hennesay
2018 | Sean Byrne
Director of Track and Field | Sprints & Relays | Sean Zeitler '01
Coach Sean Zeitler has been with team in various capacities for the past 18 years and is entering his 8th year as Head Boys Coach, fifth year as the girls’ spring coach and his first as Director of Track & Field. He competed on the SMCHS track and field team from 1998 - 2001, where he was a team captain in 2000 and 2001, helping to lead the Eagles to their only Orange County Championship in '01. Coach earned a CIF Championship in the 300IH in 2001, was part of 2 CIF Championship 4 x 400m relay teams, and competed at the California State Meet on 2 occasions, finishing 7th in 2000 and 5th in 2001. Coach had personal bests of 14.92 in the 110HH, 38.30 in the 300IH, and 48.3 relay split on a 3:15.70 CIF Championship 4x400m relay team. Collegiality, Coach competed for three years at Cal Poly Pomona University where he was a named a team captain. In college, he ran 53.71 in the 400IH at CCAA Conference Finals and was a part of a 3:14.70 4x400m relay team. Coach currently working in the Athletic Department as the Sports Information Director and Assistant Athletic Director. In the Fall, he is on the freshman football coaching staff where he coaches wide receivers and defensive backs. He earned has his B.A. Degree in Communications, his Masters Degree in Coaching and Athletic Administration from Concordia University, and was named the OCVarsity Boys Track and Field Coach of the Year in 2018. Coach resides in Lake Forest with his wife Meghan and their two daughters, Morgan (5) and Emma (3). Coach can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hurdles & Sprints Coach | Dave Zeitler
Coach Zeitler is in his 36th year coaching Track & Field. His first 6 years were spent at Mater Dei High School and the past 28 years here at Santa Margarita. Coach Zeitler comes from a family of track coaches as his dad coached XC and T & F for 34 years and his brother, who is still coaching, is in his 50th year. Coach Zeitler graduated from Holy Family DHS in New York, SUNY Cortland and earned his Masters’ degree from Azusa Pacific University. Coach Zeitler is a contract substitute teacher at SM after having taught in the science department for 26 years at SM. Coach Zeitler is married to Colleen (37 years) and has 3 adult children and 6 grand-daughters. The 4 older grand girls are Erin’s daughters (and Broc) and are 12 year old Michaela Margaret, 10 year old Hannah Christine, 8 year old McKenzie Grace, and soon to be 7 year old Hope Elizabeth. Coach (Sean) Zeitler has two daughters of his own (with Meghan) and they are Morgan McCrea (5) and Emma Shea (3).Erin Zeitler Meserve, competed on the track team for all 4 of her high school years, graduated from SMCHS in '99 & Cal State Fullerton in '04. She and her husband own and operate The Bagel Shack in San Clemente. Coach's son Sean also competed four years on the SMCHS track team earning a CIF Championship in the 300IH in 2001 and was part of 2 CIF Championship 4 x 400m relays. Sean is currently our Head Coach and the Sports Information Director for Santa Margarita. Peter David, P.D., is medically retired from the U.S. Marine Corps and is currently enrolled at U.C.S.D. Peter served 2 tours of duty in Iraq, then served his country in the Pentagon as the P.S.D. (Private Security Detail) for the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps., the highest enlisted Marine in the Marine Corps. Pete ran for 3 years at SM before transferring to Trabuco Hills HS for his senior year. His specialty was the 300IH. The family moved to R.S.M in 1987 and currently live in RSM.
Pole Vault Coach | Mandie (Rowell) Owens '03
Mandie has been around the pole vault pits for 15 years and is in her sixth year of coaching. She competed for SMCHS from 1999-2003, and was captain her senior year. Mandie was a CIF qualifier every year and won OC Championships as a sophomore. While at SMCHS she also competed in triple jump and hurdles. Mandie attended the University of Utah on a four-year Track and Field scholarship where she graduated with a degree in Sports and Exercise Science. She made the Dean's List all four years and was chosen captain of the Track and Field team her senior year. She placed at the Mountian West Championships in both triple jump and pole vault in 2005-2008. She was also a NCAA regional qualifier in 2007. In just four years, she has coached six individual pole vault CIF Champions (Kaitlyn Merritt x4, Parker Curry, Kate Thomas), two State Champions (Kaitlyn Merritt x2) and two other State Finalists (Kate Thomas and Parker Curry). Coach Rowell can be reached at: email@example.com
Distance Coach | Gil Garcia
Coach Gil Garcia has been coaching the distance runners at Santa Margarita for 20 years. Coach Garcia is also the head girls and boys cross country coach and was the head girls’ track and field coach from 1998 to 2000. He was an assistant track coach under Hayes Ferry from 2002 to 2012.Prior to coaching at SM, Coach Garcia spent 6 years coaching at his Alma Mater St. Paul High School. There he accumulated a 30- 6 dual meet record on the girls side and a 28- 8 dual meet record for the boys. During his 3 years as head coach at SM, the Eagles placed 3rd, 2nd and 1st at the orange county championships and won the 1999 CIF Division II championships. In 1999 the Eagles won the League title, the OC championships and the CIF title. Coach Garcia was named Coach of the Year by the LA times and Orange County Register in 1999. Coach Garcia has an extensive knowledge in each event having studied exercise physiology and kinesology at Cal State Long Beach and attending over 60 track and field clinics. He has coached CIF finalists in 14 events. Coach Garcia took over the head coach position for a second time in 2013. In his first year back, he coached the sprints where the 4 x 100 relay team tied the school record and the 4 x 400 team broke the school record in a time of 3:51 being the first girls relay team to advance to the State meet. Coach Garcia is married to his wife Megan and together have three children: Julian, Charlotte and Sophia. Coach Garcia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Long and Triple Jump Coach | Kristyne Hanberg
Coach Kristyne Hanberg graduated from Mission Viejo High School in 2005 where she was a four year varsity letter in Track and Field and a three year letter in soccer. Kristyne was a CIF finalist all four years in the 100m and 200m. Kristyne attended Cal State Fullerton, on a four year Track and Field scholarship, where she graduated with a degree in Kinesiology in 2010. Kristyne was Big West all conference in 100 meters in 2006,2007, and 2009 as well as Big West all conference in the 200 meters in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. She was also a NCAA regional qualifier in the 4x400 meters in 2007. Kristyne was the Boy's and Girl's Head Sprint/Relay Coach at Irvine High School from 2011-2014. She has also been the Girls' Junior Varsity Head Soccer Coach from 2011-2013 and is now the Girls' Varsity Assistant Coach 201-present. Kristyne currently teaches at SMHS in the ASP department.
Assistant Distance Coach | Brittany Adame '06
Coach Brittany Adame has been coaching the distance runners for four years. She also teaches Biology at SM. Coach Adame was a distance runner at SM from 2002-2006 running in both Track and Cross Country. Prior to coming to work at SM, she lived and worked in Flagstaff, AZ where she also coached. Coach Adame enjoys spending her free time with her dog Parker, and her family.
Assistant Distance Coach | Mike Powers '03
An Alumni of SMCHS, class of '03, Coach Powers was CIF SS champion in cross country and went on to run at UCSB where he finished as a All-American Steeplechaser. He hopes, through athletics, to instill the virtues of disciple, hard work, and sportsmanship, so that they can then apply these principles to their lives outside of sport. Coach Powers' philosophy approaches each athlete as an individual, hoping to help his students set and reach their athletic goals, resulting in a life long love of running and fitness.
Throws Coach | Preston Walrath
Preston Walrath's father also named Preston Walrath attended University of Oregon as a throws athlete after graduating high school but entered into the armed forces as the Vietnam Conflict was ongoing and felt it was his duty to do all he could do for his country. Coach Walrath's father threw for the United States Air Force in Europe. In 1969, Coach Walrath was born, and shortly thereafter began training in Shot and Discus. In 1984 For Wilson High School in Portland, Oregon, coach Walrath opened his freshman season by beating all discus throwers, including all varsity opponents at their invitational, with a throw of 110' (approximately). Coach Walrath went on to place in the City League Championships and move on to the state meet discus. After earning a varsity letter in three sports a, football, wrestling, and track, Coach Walrath moved on to another successful year as a sophomore, winning the city and placing in the state meet. Coach Walrath's family moved to southern California where he attended Capistrano Valley High School, hoping to build on the success of a super sophomore 1985 during his junior year football campaign, both of his shoulders suffered multiple dislocations and separations that required surgery on both. Undaunted Coach Walrath rehabbed and competed his junior and senior years, throwing well at times and competing at the highest local levels. Coach Walrath earned a division one scholarship and started for the UNLV Running Rebels in football as a center and played in Europe and Arena Football. At the conclusion of his football career, he began coaching at Saddleback College both football (Offensive and Defensive Line, Strength and Conditioning, Shot Put, Discus, Javelin, and Hammer), 2000-2007. Currently coach for the Santa Margarita Eagles, and teach for Orange County Department of Education, in San Juan Capistrano. Coach Walrath is married, to Marie and has a four year old daughter Siena and reside in Rancho Santa Margarita. Coach also has two nieces who graduated from Santa Margarita Catholic High School.
Throws Coach | Hollie Schillig
Coach Schillig competed for El Toro High School from 1985-1989 in both the shot put and discus. Hollie was a league champion and CIF qualifier both junior and senior year and was chosen as the Varsity Team Most Valuable Player. After high school, she competed at Saddleback Junior College from 1989-1990 and was actively recruited, receiving scholarship offers. She was unable to pursue her throwing career at the next level due to a family illness, but never lost her love of the sport. Coach Schillig has worked in the fitness industry for the last fourteen years as both a trainer and group fitness leader. She has held certifications in a variety of exercise and fitness formats such as cardio kickboxing, body combat, weightlifting, interval training, dance, indoor rowing, and cycle/spin formats. She is still currently teaching strength training and cycle classes at 24 Hour Fitness. Coach Schillig graduated from CSULB with a B.A. in Liberal Studies and a Master’s Degree in World and U.S. History. She has been a teacher at CSU Long Beach for the last thirteen years in the Departments of History, Geography and Liberal Studies. She currently teaches critical thinking, World, U.S. and California History, and works in the College of Education in teacher training with the Liberal Studies Department. Hollie resides in Lake Forest with her husband and three children, all students at SMCHS, Brandon, Jason and Jacqueline.
High Jump | Albert Miranda
Coach Miranda has a long career in the sport of track and field, he is also a Vietnam Veteran who served with the First Infantry Division in Vietnam. Coach Miranda started his coaching career at Canyon High School in Anaheim Hills and coached there from 1980 through 1991. During that time he was an Assistant XC and Track and Field coach and became the Girls Head Track coach in 1987. While he was at Canyon the Comanches won 5 Century League Champions and sent several athletes on to compete at the college level. Most recently, Coach Miranda was the Boys Head Track Coach at Tesoro High School from 2011-2015. During that time the Boys Track team won the school’s first Sea View League Championship in 2012 and the track team was consistently competing for additional championships until his retirement in 2015. In addition several of the student athletes on the track team became Sea View and South Coast League Champions and CIF Champions and several went on to compete at the State track and field meet. Coach Miranda credits his success to his strong faith and the opportunities it has given him to give back to the community he lives in by coaching the sport that he loves.
Assistant Sprint Coach | James Martin '09
Class of ‘09, Coach Martin competed at SMCHS in the 300IH and 110HH and was a CIF champion in the 300HH. He went on and competed at UCSB running the 400IH and was on the 4x400 meter relay team where he qualified for NCAA regionals in both the 400IH and the 4x400 relay. In love for the sport and fitness, Coach Martin is studying to become a personal trainer as well a strength and conditioning coach. Coach Martin brings what learned from his running career and looks to pass it on to his athletes to achieve their goals on and off the track.
|2019 Boys Track and Field Schedule 7.2.18|
|Athlete Meeting |
1st Official Practice
|Wedneday||2/20/19||Trabuco Hills Dual||SMCHS||3:15pm|
|Saturday||2/23/19||Mustang Roundup||Trabuco Hills||8:00am|
|Friday||3/8/19||South County Classic*||Trabuco Hills||3:00pm|
|Saturday||3/16/19||Trophy Invitational||Laguna Beach HS||8:00am|
|Thursday||3/21/19||Mater Dei**||Mater Dei HS||3:15pm|
|Saturday||3/23/19||Mt. Carmel||Mt. Carmel||9:00am|
|Saturday||3/30/19||Trabuco Hills Invitational||Trabuco Hills||8:00am|
|Thursday||4/4/19||St. John Bosco**||SMCHS||3:15pm|
|Friday/Saturday||4/5-6/19||Arcadia Invitational||Arcadia HS||All Day|
|Saturday||4/13/19||Orange County Championships||Mission Viejo HS||8:00am|
|Wedneday||4/17/19||League Prelims||Mater Dei HS||2:00pm|
|Friday||4/26/19||League Finals||Mater Dei HS||5:00pm|
|Saturday||5/4/19||C.I.F. Prelims||Estancia HS||11:00am|
|Sunday||5/5/19||Team Awards Picnic||SMCHS track||12:00pm|
|Saturday||5/11/19||C.I.F. Finals||El Camino||12:00pm|
|Fri or Saturday||5/17 or 18||Masters Meet||El Camino||TBA|
|Friday||5/24/19||State Meet - Qualifying||Buchanan HS||3:00pm|
|Saturday||5/25/19||State Meet - Finals||Buchanan HS||4:00pm|
|League Meet **|
|Easter Break April 19-22|
Because we are limited in the amount of entries we are allowed, the Eagle Track & Field Program utilizes a set of standards for consideration to participate in invitationals, away dual meets, and League Prelims. For our home dual meets, all athletes will participate in the events they sign up for, or are assigned to. See below for the standards as well as our team contract.
- Standards: Click Here for the Invitational, Away Dual Meet and League Prelim Standards
- Team Contract: Click Here for the Track & Field Team Contract
The 23rd Annual Eagle Invitational | Saturday February 16, 10:00am
Esperanza | Mater Dei | Newport Harbor | Notre Dame | Santa Margarita | St. John Bosco & St. Josephs
3/16" Pyramid Spikes Only. No athlete will be permitted to participate in their event until their spikes have been checked first. Failure to comply will result in disqualification. Spikes will be for sale at the Clerk of the Course for $1 per shoe.
All throwing implements will be weighed prior to competition.
Surface: Installed in 2014 - Brand new BEYNON Synthetic BSS 1000 ML Full-Pour Blue Track Surface.
- 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 100/110H & 300H: 3 entries per team per level for each of these events *note: Boys Frosh/Soph 110 hurdles will 36" (intermediate height)*
- 1600m: 5 entries per team per level.
- No 3200m - the 4x800 will be run instead.
- 4 x 100m Relay 1 entry per team per level.
- 4 x 400m Relay 1 entry per team per level
- A 1 minute time limit will be in effect for all field events.
- Long Jump, Triple Jump, High Jump, Shot Put & Discus: 5 entries per level
- LJ & TJ: Boys in the east pit, girls in the west pit. We will use an open pit but Varsity has priority on the runway.
- Pole Vault: 3 entries per team, per gender, per level
- High Jump Opening heights or a higher agreed upon height: G Var 4'06" | B Var 5'06" | G JV 4'02" | B JV & F/S 5'02"
- Pole Vault 3 entries per level; Opening heights or a higher agreed upon height: G Var 7'00" | B Var 10'00" | G JV 6'06" | B JV 9'00" | B F/S 8'00"
Girls Sprint Tryouts | January 8, 9, 15 & 16: 2:20-3:20. Although we are a NO-CUT sport, in order to be a sprinter (100m-400m + Hurdles), you will need to tryout. Non-sprinters can compete in the 800m-3200m and any field event. You must have physical on file and be cleared with the trainers before participating.Click Here to begin the clearance process