Top boys track athletes » Ventura County Star

Published by chadscott
Jun 14th 2012, 2:53am | 1110 views

Selig named Star's top boys track athlete

Blake Selig's versatility was fully appreciated by teammates and his coach

Coach Brian FitzGerald could tell Blake Selig was a special kid the moment he first saw him at Rio Mesa High.

And this was before the two of them ever stepped out onto a track together.

"From Day One, when he stepped on our campus as a freshman and I was his freshman football coach, he was just a super motivated kid; hard-working, willing to do whatever it took to achieve," FitzGerald said.

Selig migrated to track and field soon enough and for his success this season competing in the 100, 200, long jump and relays, is The Star's Boys Track Athlete of the Year.

"As the years have gone by, I've become really close to him and we're good friends," FitzGerald said. "There are a lot of other things that I notice about him, too: his work ethic, he's a smart kid, he's a student of track and field, he studies the sport. There are many, many factors there that go into making him the good athlete that he is."

Selig had Ventura County's best time in the 100 meters — 10.50 seconds — at the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 finals at Mount San Antonio College. His time of 21.74 in the 200 is second in the county only to teammate Cameron Roach. He set the school record and a meet record at the Ventura County Championships at Moorpark High with a leap of 24 feet, 1¼ inches.

At the CIF State Championships at Clovis 12 days ago, Selig anchored the Rio Mesa 4x400 relay that won the title in 3 minutes, 16.21 seconds. The Spartans were actually more favored to win the 4x100 relay, but were second to Sherman Oaks-Notre Dame by just three-thousandths of a second — 41.122 to 41.125.

"It converts to like an inch and a quarter we lost by," said Selig, who ran the second leg.

The 4x100 was even more of a disappointment last year for Selig. He broke his leg during the CIF-SS prelims and wasn't able to advance with his teammates.

"It was tough breaking my leg last year," Selig said, "but that just helped me come back this year with an extra little fire."

Rio Mesa reaped dividends from Selig's versatility, even if it made for some tough choices as the CIF competition got closer.

"I could put him anywhere, he would do anything I asked him to in a track meet to score points," FitzGerald said. "We had to make some big decisions in the postseason because he could possibly make it to Clovis in four events. So even though the 200 might be the best event for him sprint-wise, we decided to put him in the 100 because it would just be too much."

Selig is going to UCLA next fall and said he's looking forward to winning national championships with the Bruins.

"In the future, in college, the long jump might be his best event," FitzGerald said. "I can see him being a 26-foot college long jumper.

"I imagine, if he becomes a jump specialist, they'll teach him the triple jump. He might be one of those kids who just blossoms as a triple jumper, too."

At this point, Selig has no idea what he'll wind up doing at UCLA. He doesn't even really know now which event he enjoys more.

"That's a tough one because when I think I'm doing well at one event, I'll just come out and surprise myself in another," Selig said. "I'm definitely excited for the future and what that's going to bring."

One thing is certain. Even after he leaves Rio Mesa, his friendship with FitzGerald will remain strong.

"Coach Fitz and I, we have a really good relationship," Selig said. "I think it's what everyone calls a little father-son relationship we have here. I definitely think that's a key to our success, that we're comfortable with each other, working out and whatnot.

"… We play golf all the time. It definitely goes beyond coaching. I'm going to depend on him next year because he went to UCLA before so I'm going to depend on him to maybe give me a little bit of the secrets of Westwood."

It was Selig's idea, as a sophomore, for the team to try to qualify for the Penn Relays.

"From Day One, he had ideas," FitzGerald said. "Blake was in my ear for six months before the Penn Relays: 'Fitz, we've got to go to this meet. Fitz, we've got to go to this meet. It'll be great.' And it was. It was one of those things that was fantastic. He had a little bit of vision, and he made it an adventure for himself and his teammates."

FitzGerald makes no effort to hide his appreciation of Selig.

"In 32 years of coaching track here at Rio Mesa, he is one of the favorite kids that I've ever been able to coach," he said. "It was just a pleasure coaching him. He made coaching easy for me and he made it exciting."

Name School Year Event(s)
Vinnie Saucer Oaks Christian Jr. 100
Ahmed Obed Camarillo So. 200
Eric Holguin St. Bonaventure Sr. 400
Tommy Lopez Thousand Oaks Sr. 800
Kyle Medina Ventura Jr. 1,600
Mikey Giguere Westlake So. 3,200
Adam Augustyn Westlake Sr. 110 hurdles
Anthony Teart Rio Mesa Jr. 300 hurdles
Corey Lee Moorpark Sr. Long jump
Idrees Bernard Agoura So. Triple jump
Clark Nelson Westlake So. High jump
Bobby Eckert Moorpark Sr. Shot put
Zack Bornstein Oaks Christian So. Discus
Luigi Colella Westlake So. Pole vault
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