New scoring system has coaches wondering who they’re running against at league’s first meet
Berkeley High hosted the first track & field meet of the ACCAL season on Thursday, but the results won’t be in until Saturday. That’s because none of the coaches at the meet knew exactly who they were competing against.
The league instituted a new type of meet this season, a “double dual” format. With four teams running, throwing and jumping, no one knew how the meet would be scored.
“This new meet was not explained very well to us at the league meeting,” Berkeley head coach Darrell Hampton said. “I’ll have to call the league office and have them walk me through how to score this thing.”
So Berkeley, Pinole Valley, Richmond and Hercules all went against each other on Thursday not knowing who they were trying to beat. Berkeley won the most events, but Hampton couldn’t say if they would end up winning overall.
Thursday also marked the emergence of the Berkeley distance program. Always a poor sister in the track program in the past, the ’Jackets’ contingent of cross-country runners dominated, winning all six distance events. Alex Enscoe, a sophomore who won the league’s cross-country title in the fall, won the 1,600- and 3,200-meter races as the boys took five of the top six spots in each event, while no other team even entered any girls into the distance races.
“Our distance program is really coming together, and they can really help us this year,” Hampton said. “In the past our sprints have carried us, but now they’re helping us out.”
The distance events should be a strong point for Berkeley throughout the season, as Alameda is the only other ACCAL school with a comparable group of runners.
This is a rebuilding year for Hampton’s girls’ sprints, traditionally the team’s strength. The ’Jackets were beaten by the brand-new Hercules team on Thursday, as the newcomers won the 100- , 200- and 400-meter dashes as well as the 4x400 relay, with Meia Tezeno winning the 100 and 200.
“I wasn’t surprised (Hercules) did so well,” Hampton said. “They’ve got a good program and they believe in it. That’s what happens.”
Pinole Valley won most of the boys’ sprints, led by all-league tailback DeAndre MacFarland. McFarland won the 200 and 400, beating out Berkeley running back Germaine Baird in both races. Lodge James claimed the 100 crown for the Spartans, who also won the 4x100 relay.
Berkeley’s Rebekah Payne was a triple-winner on Thursday, winning both hurdles races as well as the shotput.
Hampton put a happy face on the confusion about scoring the meet, although the coaches from each school expressed displeasure with the new system.
“This kids came out and had fun, and that’s the most important thing,” Hampton said. “Obviously we’ve still got some tweaking to do when it comes to the new system.”