Jagdeep Chahal still isn’t sure it is his best event, but Saturday afternoon the soon-to-be Burroughs High graduate was the best the CIF Southern Section had to offer in the 1,600 meters.
Chahal set a school record by running 4 minutes, 12.73 seconds to win the Division 1 title at El Camino College.
Chahal, who is headed to UC Santa Barbara, credited his competitors for helping him.
“If it wasn’t for Edgard Villa (Vista Murrieta) and Anthony Stone of Loyola, if they didn’t take it out fast, I probably wouldn’t have run 4:12,” said Chahal, who is Burroughs first individual CIF champion in track since Carolyn Brown won the 800 in 2000. “Thanks to them, it happened. I wasn’t trying to go all out because I need to conserve for the two mile.”
Chahal’s time was the third fastest on the day. Only Timothy Sterkel of West Ranch (4:12.03) and Rory Abberton of West Torrance (4:12.13), both of which competed in Division 2, had faster times.
Chahal came back later and finished third in the 3,200 in Division 1 in 9:05.85. Mira Costa’s Xavier Court won in 9:04.49, followed by Zach Arias of Ayala High (9:05.22).
Chahlal, who ran 9:00.61 in the 3,200 earlier this season, said he probably will drop one of the two events since there isn’t as much rest time in the CIF Masters Meet next Saturday.
“If I choose to the do mile, I’m planning on trying to go sub-4:10,” Chahal said.
Joining Chahal at the Masters Meet will be girls’ pole vaulter Elizabeth Switzer. She finished third in Division 1 by clearing 12 feet. She was one of eight vaulters to clear 12-0 across the four CIF Divisions.
“The conditions were kind of hard with the wind and it was kind of cold, but I ended up matching my PR,” Switzer said. “I’m moving on. That’s all I wanted do.”
Switzer’s 12-0 in the second best in school history. Ironically, her father Jon, is the second best in school history in the boys’ pole vault.