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At the track, it’s Battle of the Theriots

TRACK & FIELD: For this brother and sister, who run for rivals Newport Harbor and CdM, the Battle of the Bay gets personal.

April 12, 2008|By Soraya Nadia McDonald Daily Pilot

For Tina and Bucko Theriot, sibling rivalry is institutionalized.


Tina is a junior at Corona del Mar High, while her brother Bucko is a senior at Back Bay rival Newport Harbor.

They both compete in track and field.

Somehow, the family ended up splitting by gender across the bay.

Tina and Bucko are the latest products of a lineage of Theriot athletes. Their oldest brother, Trevor, was a standout football player for the Tars. He now plays fullback at UCLA. Danielle Theriot, 19, was another track standout at CdM. She’s slated to start classes at Orange Coast College. Their father Brian, competed in track at Newport Harbor before graduating in 1975.


When Tina and Bucko’s parents divorced about four years ago, they had joint custody of their children. Tina and her older sister Danielle’s primary residence became their mother’s house in Corona del Mar, Tina said. Bucko’s and Trevor’s was with their father in Newport Beach.

Tina, and her brother, who will run today at the Arcadia Invitational, see each other daily for dinner at one house or the other, and of course, at the Battle of the Bay.

“It wasn’t really a decision,” Tina Theriot said of her enrollment at CdM. “It’s just the way the family arrangements worked out.”

This season, the CdM girls won and Newport Habor boys’ teams both won.

“At invitational meets I see her,” Bucko said. “Going against each other at Battle of the Bay, that was weird, too, because my dad’s rooting for two teams. It all worked out because the boys won that day and the girls won, too.”

Theriot transferred to Corona del Mar after her freshman year, and sat out as a sophomore, per CIF Southern Section rules. She wants to run track in her best event, the 800 meters, for UCLA.

“I love him,” Theriot said of CdM Coach Bill Sumner. “He’s much more filled with running. He helps me a lot with speed workouts. I benefit from him a lot. He’s one of the best coaches in the nation.”

While Bucko’s running roots revealed themselves early — in 1997, at age 7, he set the Orange County record in the 200 with a time of 39.5 seconds — he couldn’t run until now, his senior year at Newport Harbor. Bucko broke his left tibia playing soccer when he was in eighth grade, then re-injured his leg the same year, breaking it again in a physical education class.

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