The rain seemed as if it was coming down sideways by the end of the Patriot Games track and field meet on Friday at Liberty, but Centennial's Isaac Trevino knew he had a race to run.
"Hey it was rainy, wet, but you've just got to run like it's the last race you'll ever be in," said Trevino, who came from behind to anchor Centennial's 1,600-meter relay victory in the wet evening's final race. "It's just about not letting your team down."
Earlier, Trevino also won the boys 800 in 1:57.62, holding off North's Curtis Threlkeld (1:58.84) and Bakersfield's Elbon Flanagan (1:59.32).
"There were a lot of guys who wanted to beat me," Trevino said. "They pushed me, and I had to give it everything I had."
The Patriot Games invite only the 16 best times from Kern County and a handful of outlying schools -- namely Quartz Hill, Arroyo Grande and Paso Robles. But this year's version was marred by the weather and by a scary moment early in the meet, when Wasco sophomore Bri Martin fainted and collapsed on the track near the end of the girls 400.
Martin regained consciousness and was taken to Memorial Hospital via ambulance; Wasco coaches said later she was being held overnight for testing but that her condition was good.
Soon after that half-hour delay, the rains came, and with them, a number of scratches from elite athletes. Liberty junior Morganne Hill overtook the Central Section wind-legal lead in the 100 hurdles with a 14.32 (she previously had run a wind-aided 14.00), but then Hill scratched from the 300 hurdles and Liberty pulled out of the 1,600 relay when the weather turned bad and the track got wet.
Several other top athletes called it a night early, and the biggest local track star of all, Stockdale senior Blake Haney, wasn't scheduled to run at all.
But other athletes stepped in to fill the void. Independence senior Isaac Clark, known primarily for his basketball prowess, continued his explosion onto the section hurdles scene, winning the 110 hurdles in 14.73 and the 300 hurdles in a personal-best 38.94.
Earlier in the week, Clark had set a personal best with a 14.65 in the 110.
"I didn't think I really liked track, but I decided to come out one more time, and it's been much better than I thought," Clark said. "I think anybody, once they start having success, would start to enjoy it a little more."
Clark, the 2013 BVarsity Boys Basketball Player of the Year, now has the section's fastest two times in the 110 hurdles and is second-fastest, behind Frontier's Gabriel Gaeta, in the 300. Still, by his own admission, Clark is a beginner.
"I'm nowhere near where I should be as a hurdler," Clark said. "A lot of it comes with more practice, and I'm trying to even do a little work on my off days to catch up."
Clark also ran the third leg of the 1,600 relay for Independence and put the Falcons in the lead, forcing Trevino's comeback run in the fourth leg.
The girls 1,600 relay was equally as dramatic, with Quartz Hill opening up a huge lead only to watch Garces freshman Jamie Penner nearly make up the entire deficit in the final leg. Rams coaches timed her at 57.8 seconds in her split, but she came up four-tenths of a second behind Quartz Hill anchor Shamaya Flanagan.
"She was pretty far out," Penner said. "I was just trying to stay with her. I really like track. I hadn't done this before, but I'm glad I've done it."
Earlier, Penner had already set the Garces school record by winning the 200 in 25.84 seconds, and she was third in the 100 in 12.56. The Rams' relay time (4:08.83) was also a school record.
"I'm kind of just running and enjoying it," Penner said. "Whatever happens from here, happens."
Liberty's Anthony Mariscal swept the boys sprints, running a season-best 11.05 to edge Stockdale's Corey Collins (11.07) in the 100, and then dominating a rainy 200 in 22.70.
Mariscal also helped Liberty to a surprise victory in the 400 relay. The Patriots, running from the outside lane, ran 43.34 to beat Bakersfield (43.37) and Stockdale (43.45), both teams that had run much faster times earlier in the season.
Other notable performances included Frontier's Colton Foster, who had a season-best 175-10 in the discus and also won the shot put (49-11); Stockdale's Asia Chesley, who won the girls high jump by four inches (5-5); and Ridgeview's She Pree Brevil, whose winning mark of 36-2 in the triple jump was her season best by more than two feet.