Chula Vista firefighter bravely recovers dog from underground pipe

Chula Vista firefighter bravely recovers dog from underground pipe
Red Devils, Titans, Mustangs, Barons run to league titles
Sammy, a small dog that appeared to be a Pomeranian mix, had been missing from his home in Eastlake since Monday, his owners said.

They thought he was in the storm drain and looked for him until they could pinpoint his exact location.

View this post on Instagram                   @chulavistafirefighters with teamwork from @thinkchulavista Public Works and @chulavistapd have successfully rescued “Sammy” a neighborhood dog in Eastlake Trails. “Sammy” was in an 18” pipe underground for nearly 4 days. #thisischula #confinedspacerescue #dogsofinstagram #dogrescue #rescue

Firefighters brought out their heavy equipment to North Creekside Drive and pinpointed the location of Sammy through his barks.

Family members called the fire department which responded, along with Chula Vista Public Works crews and Chula Vista Police, to find the dog in an 18-inch drainage pipe underground.

The rescuers were able to push Sammy through the pipe to a secondary point in order to get the dog to the surface, he said. 

The scared whimpers of a little dog which had been missing from his Eastlake home for days led to a courageous rescue by a Chula Vista firefighter Thursday morning.

    View this post on Instagram         @chulavistafirefighters with teamwork from @thinkchulavista Public Works and @chulavistapd have successfully rescued “Sammy” a neighborhood dog in Eastlake Trails. “Sammy” was in an 18” pipe underground for nearly 4 days. #thisischula #confinedspacerescue #dogsofinstagram #dogrescue #rescue

Firefighter Jed Burt went down a manhole and crawled through the drainage pipe, which was roughly the size of his helmet, to reach Sammy.

Castle Park High Schools Estela Bustillos won the 800-, 1600- and 3200-meter runs and finished runner-up in the 4×400 relay at last springs South Bay League track and field finals.

Im more of a middle distance sprinter and miler — the longest I had ever run before was the two-mile distance in track, explained Bustillos, a junior.

The 30-pound dog, Sammy, disappeared from his home in Eastlake Trails Monday, according to Chula Vista Fire Department officials.

I had to teach myself how to breathe (for cross country endurance runs). With the help of my coaches, they helped me keep a good pace. I started to pick up my pace every race.

She picked up the pace even more to emerge as this years South Bay League individual champion after covering the 4K course at Rohr Park in 16:54 during last Fridays league finals.

Early Thursday morning, Sammy’s family noticed sounds coming from a drainage pipe near their home on Secret Canyon Place.

Bustillos finished 27 seconds ahead of the second-place runner in the league, Sweetwater junior Gabriela Rodriguez, and 28 seconds ahead of Chula Vista senior Maya Thomas, the third-place runner in the South Bay League race.

When the dog refused to come out on his own, Burt pushed the dog through the pipe to another manhole nearby.

I feel very happy, Bustillos said. I wanted to have a very good effort for our coach and our team, and I did that.

There were a lot of happy runners at last Fridays league finals, a time of the year when a seasons worth of training is usually rewarded with personal best times.

The Eastlake High School girls varsity and junior varsity teams certainly put their collective best feet forward at last Fridays Mesa League finals.

The Titans won the varsity girls race by 50 points over runner-up Otay Ranch and notched the win in the junior varsity girls race by 14 points over Otay Ranch.

Eastlake placed six of the top 10 runners in the girls JV race and five of the top eight runners in the girls varsity race.

Senior Luz Mercado won the girls varsity race in 15:22 while freshman Savannah Kipp won the girls JV race in 17:12.

Beltran-Picos, a two-time state meet qualifier, finished the 4K course in 15:39. She had beaten Mercado both times the two had raced this season in invitationals.

I did not expect anything, Mercado said. I knew I was running with Mariana. I admire her a lot. I broke away past the first mile. I had to pick up my pace.

I fell a little behind, then I picked it up. I didnt know if I had the strength to come through at the end. But I knew I needed to do that.

Im pretty grateful. I wasnt expecting anything at the start of the season. But its my last year. I was looking to push the team. I knew we could be successful if we all trained hard.

Eastlakes remaining five scorers included Mercados twin sister Ana (third, 16:01) and freshmen Natalie Borba (fourth, 16:22), Selena Wimbish (seventh, 16:42) and Lake Merrifield (eighth, 16:43).

The twins and the freshmen came through, EHS coach David Koopman said. Were obviously very proud of the girls program. We had the fastest girl in the South Bay in both races. There were a lot of fast girls from lots of different schools. We represented Eastlake High School very well.

The Titans showed definite potential when the freshman girls team won its division at the prestigious Mt. San Antonio Invitational on Oct. 19. Eastlake (without its freshman runners) finished 10th in the girls varsity division.

Borba finished third in her race at Mt. SAC while Merrifield was seventh and Wimbish was 13th to all collect medals.

You can talk about the future for these girls but you have to appreciate the now, Koopman underscored.

Olympian had two top 10 finishers in the race. Junior Rosanna Javier finished fifth in 16:24 to give the Eagles two top five place-winners.

Bonita Vista sophomore Sequoia Kriss finished sixth in 16:38 while Otay Ranch freshman Elicia Arredondo finished ninth in 16:49. Mater Dei Catholic junior Christine Carey finished 10th in 16:52.

The top 10 finishers are considered the all-league first team. However, the league awards medals to the top 15 place-finishers.

Medalists in this years Mesa League girls race also included Bonita Vista freshman Lauren Salt (11th, 16:55), Eastlake junior Patricia Miessner (12th, 16:58), Otay Ranch senior Alexyia Hernandez (13th, 17:01), Olympian junior Virginia Javier (14th, 17:08) and Otay Ranch junior Cristina Carrillo (15th, 17:16).

Eastlake finished first in the team standings with 23 points, followed by Otay Ranch with 73 points, Olympian with 76 points, Bonita Vista with 83 points, Mater Dei Catholic with 110 points and Hilltop with 175 points.

Seeing red Sweetwater captured the boys and girls varsity teams titles in the South Bay League. The Red Devils won the girls title outright after winning both halves of the season (dual meet and league finals) while the boys team needed some help after dropping its final regular reason dual meet at San Ysidro.

Sweetwaters boys team topped the finals field with 32 points, followed by Southwest with 61 points and San Ysidro with 67 points.

The order of finish at the finals allowed Sweetwater to finish in front of San Ysidro in the final standings.

When we got through last week, the team was determined to run a great race on our home course for the finals, which is Rohr Park, Romero said. It was a great effort all around.

Southwest senior Esteban Magana won this years individual league title in 16:48. The Red Devils placed four runners among the top eight league finishers and seven among the top 13 finishers. San Ysidro had two of the top six runners while Southwest placed two runners in the top 10.

Sweetwaters Jose Galvan finished second among individuals in 17:06 — 18 seconds behind Magana — while Mar Vistas Sebastian Pimentel finished third among league runners in 17:12.

Sweetwaters Alfred Vargas finished fourth in 17:13 to give the Red Devils two of the top four place-finishers. San Ysidros Missael Felix (17:15) and Edgar Jimenez (17:22) crossed the finish line in fifth and sixth places, respectively. But Sweetwater provided some breathing room for itself when Luis Moreno (17:46) and Lorenzo Martinez (17:54) finished seventh and eighth, respectively.

Mar Vistas Robert Gonzalez (ninth, 17:54) and Southwests Juan Carlo Zurita (10th, 17:58) broke up the field before the Red Devils sent three more runners across the finish line — Cesar Gonzalez (11th, 17:59), Alberto Barraza (12th, 18:00) and Angel Rodriguez (13th, 18:01) — to secure the team title.

Medalists also included Chula Vistas Cezar Carvajal (14th, 18:16) and Southwests Williams Wines (15th, 18:16).

Mar Vista finished fourth at the league finals with 100 points, followed by Chula Vista with 131 points, Castle Park with 164 points and Montgomery with 187 points.

The Sweetwater girls team placed its top five scorers among the top 11 finishers while runner-up Chula Vista placed its fifth runner 16th overall (behind all seven Red Devils on the course).

The girls were 6-0 in duals but Chula Vista was a tight second, Romero said. We won today because our sixth and seventh runners displaced their fifth runner.

Following Bustillos, Rodriguez and Thomas on the course, in order, were Sweetwaters Audrey Vargas (fourth, 17:22), Chula Vistas Elvia Lara (fifth, 17:43), Sweetwaters Brizeth Barajas (sixth, 18:03), Chula Vistas Kelly Garcia (seventh, 18:07), Castle Parks Andrea Sarabia (eighth, 18:20), Sweetwaters Monica Lona (ninth, 18:21) and Chula Vistas Clarissa Hoffas (10th, 18:31).

Sweetwaters Beatriz Espeleta finished 11th in 18:31, followed by Southwests Galilea Palencia (12th, 19:07), Sweetwaters Cheyra Torres (13th, 19:30), Sweetwaters Nayeli Villarreal (14th, 19:31) and Southwests Valeria Fierro (15th, 19:35).

Sweetwater recorded 32 points to top the standings at the league finals, followed by Chula Vista with 41 points, Southwest with 87 points, Castle Park with 89 points and Mar Vista with 130 points.

Co-champions Bonita Vista suffered a 25-30 dual meet loss to Otay Ranch during the regular season but out-pointed the Mustangs by 20 points at last Fridays league finals to earn a Mesa League co-championship.

Otay Ranch senior Justin Mulvany returned in near top form from an early season injury to run away with this years individual championship, winning by a solid 24-second margin over Jonathan Kelly, Bonita Vistas top scorer, who finished second in the 5K race on an unseasonably warm day.

I wouldnt say 100 percent but I felt good that I was ready to compete, Mulvany said. It was definitely hot. I feel if I had someone else up there with me I could have pushed myself more.

Mulvany took the lead three-quarters of a mile into the race. I just had to tell myself I could do it, he said. Ive got a goal in sight and Ive got to reach it.

Mulvany finished second at last years league finals as a junior and second as a sophomore. Its been three years in the making, the Otay Ranch runner said.

Mulvany could be among the favorites to qualify for this years state championship meet. That will be decided at Saturdays upcoming San Diego Section championship meet at Morley Field.

Im just going to go out with the top guys, let them do the work and see what I can do from there, he said.

The defending Division I champion Barons flooded the field with five of the top seven finishers to clinch first place at the league finals and, in the process, pull up alongside the Mustangs for a league co-championship.

Bonita Vista finished the race with three of the top four finishers. Mario Barone followed Kelly across the finish line in third place in 16:34 while Christian Salt was fourth in 16:41.

Otay Ranchs Colby Parise finished fifth in 16:44 but two more Barons crossed the finish line after him — Christian Mason (16:46) in sixth place and Samuel Hernandez (16:48) in seventh place.

Rounding out the top 10 all-league finishers were Olympians Jaydon Caoile (eighth, 16:49), Otay Ranchs Joel Talamayan (ninth, 16:42) and Olympians Eric Simmons (10th, 16:52).

Medalists also included Otay Ranchs Grant Bice (11th, 17:00), Bonita Vistas Gustavo Vazquez (12th, 17:02) and Eastlakes Gregory Martinez (13th, 17:16), Edgar Salazar (14th, 17:26) and Leo Capuno (15th, 17:32).

Bonita Vista tallied 22 points, followed by Otay Ranch with 42 points, Olympian with 75 points, Eastlake with 88 points, Hilltop with 126 points and Mater Dei Catholic with 190 points.

Kelly was unavailable for the teams dual meet against Otay Ranch due to a recruiting trip. He admitted there was extra motivation for the rematch at last Fridays league finals.

I definitely wanted to come back strong knowing how we lost the dual meet, he said. We were united. We wanted to put it together and it showed.

Former Bonita Vista High School standout Isaiah Labra, a member of last year’s San Diego Section Division I championship team, has continued running at the next level and with a fury, it seems.

Labra, a freshman at San Diego Mesa College, timed 20:09.4 over the four-mile course to win the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference individual men’s championship at the conference finals held Oct. 20 at San Bernardino Valley College. Labra won by a 10-second margin on Cuyamaca’s Kibrom Elias, who timed 20:19.3.

Mesa freshman Stefen Rasmuson, another high profile San Diego County prep runner, finished third in 20:30.8. Mesa freshman Bobby Brana was fourth in 20:39.9.

With three of the top four finishers in the race, Mesa won the team championship with 30 points. San Bernardino Valley finished second with 60 points, followed by San Diego City in third place with 72 points, Cuyamaca in fourth place with 74 points, Palomar in fifth place with 144 points, Southwestern in sixth place with 188 points and College of the Desert in seventh place with 192 points.

San Bernardino Valley freshman Alissa Johnson won the 5K women’s race in 18:57.0, followed by Imperial Valley freshman Sabrina Benavides in 19:27.4 and Cuyamaca sophomore Courtney Clifford in 19:39.3.

San Bernardino Valley won the women’s team title with 30 points, followed by Palomar in second place with 71 points, Imperial Valley in third place with 93 points, San Diego City in fourth place with 99 points, Cuyamaca in fifth place with 111 points and Southwestern in sixth place with 130 points.

“I knew I was going to race to win,” Labra said. “I knew the guys I was going to race against. I knew I was one of the top cross country guys (after competing in a regional-draw meet a couple weeks before). We had an 8K at Riverside. I was the top California cross country runner. There were guys from Texas there and other states.”

Labra finished sixth among individuals at the Southern California regional championship meet Nov. 2 in Cerritos. Mesa finished third in the team standings.

Mt. San Antonio sophomore Salvador Capetillo finished first at the regional meet in 19:01.3. El Camino sophomore Carson Bix finished second in 19:40.3. Rasmuson finished third in 19:41.8 while Elias was fourth in 19:41.9. Glendale sophomore Marcelo Ramirez was fifth in 19:42.0, followed by Labra in 19:47.7.

Mt. SAC won the team title with a low score of 59 points while El Camino was second with 97 points. Mesa finished next in the team standings with 109 points.

Cuyamaca finished seventh in the team standings with 258 points while San Diego City finished 12th with 386 points.

L.A. Harbor sophomore Brenda Rosales Coria won the 5K women’s race at the SoCal regionals in 17:51.1. L.A. Harbor won the team title with 53 points to easily out-pace runner up Mt. SAC with 110 points.


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