MURRIETA – The Saddle Up Invitational, which is one of the top local track and field preseason events, took place at Vista Murrieta High School Saturday, March 11. The event was rescheduled from Saturday, Feb. 28, due to the rain, which could not be escaped again this past weekend.

Orange Vista’s Kailah Mackenzie placed first in the high jump clearing 5’2” Saturday, March 11, at Vista Murrieta High School. Valley News/Action Captures Media Group

This year’s event included athletes from the following schools in the Valley News coverage area: Ambassador League – Linfield Christian; Ivy League – Elsinore, Orange Vista, Rancho Verde; Southwestern League – Chaparral, Murrieta Mesa, Murrieta Valley, Temecula Valley, Vista Murrieta; Sunbelt League – Paloma Valley, Temescal Canyon.

Top performances by area athletes and teams included:

  • Vista Murrieta pole vaulters Aspen Fears (13’) and Katie Rodriquez (12’) placing first and second in the pole vault. Fears failed short of setting the school record, failing on three tries to break the record.
  • Vista Murrieta boys swept the 110m hurdles with first place going to Arthur Celestine 15.37, second place Levi Vela 15.39, and third place Julian Moore 15.58. Arthur Celestine also placed first in the 300m hurdles with a time of 41.09. Levi Vela placed second in the 300m hurdles with a time of 41.49.
  • Vista Murrieta’s Alyssa Alumbres performed exceptionally well setting a season record in the long jump with a mark of 19’4.5” and finished second in the 200m dash with a time of 25.52.
  • Orange Vista’s Kailah McKenzie placed first in the girls high jump clearing 5’2” and also won the 100m hurdles with a time of 14.56.
  • Paloma Valley’s Jason Deal placed first in the 400m run with a time of 49.32 (personal best) and finished second in the 100-yard and 200-yard dash races with times of 10.73 and 21.54 respectively.
  • Linfield’s Ava Shaffer placed first in the 4×100, first in the 200, second in the 100, and sixth in the 4×400. Emilee Brurs placed first in the 4×100, first in the 100, and second in the 200.

Article contributions made by Action Captures Media Group. The results were compiled from the events official time keeper’s website,

JP Raineri can be reached by email at