Sheldon High School’s 4X400 Meter Relay team took first place to highlight a contingent of local track and field athletes who placed in last week’s Sac-Joaquin Section Masters event held at Elk Grove High School.
The team of Cameron Stone, Taron Johnson, Drew Lang and Steven Edwards circled the Elk Grove-Laguna Creek Community Stadium oval in a time of 3:19.20 to win the gold medal in the event.
They were just .43 of a second faster than Monterey Trail’s team of C’Maje Ramseur, Jahmar Sexton, Isiah Bair and Adam Huynh who were second.
They along with eleven other Elk Grove-area athletes will now compete in the State Track and Field Meet in Clovis at Buchanan High School starting Thursday.
The top three finishers in each event qualified for the state meet. Also, any competitor besting a pre-set mark or time also qualified.
Another relay team that took first place was Franklin’s 4X100 Meter squad of Chinyere Dike, Jorden O’Neal, Desiree Winters and Ifunanya Ezimora. Their winning time was 47.85 seconds. Monterey Trail was fifth and Cosumnes Oaks placed seventh, both out of the running for a berth in the state meet.
One member of that Monterey Trail 4x100 team, Ciara Levy, qualified for the state meet by finishing third in the girls’ 100 meter hurdles.
“I’m still disappointed with my time,” Levy said, fighting back tears.
Her time was 14.41 seconds. She is seeded 13th at the state meet this week.
Last year the Monterey Trail girls won the Division I championship, yet still had a strong squad in 2013 under Levy’s leadership.
“It’s been hard, but I’m not going to dwell on the past,” she said. “I’m going to help build up our team to be better.”
Makayla Webb will represent Valley High School at the state meet after finishing third in the girls’ 300 meter hurdles. Levy finished fifth in that race.
Three local girls raced in the finals of the 100 meters. It was won by Florin’s Daijah Joe-Smith in a time of 12.27 seconds, just .05 of a second faster than Dike of Franklin and .08 of a second quicker than Natusmi Mcgee of Cosumnes Oaks, who had the best time in Thursday’s preliminary sprint.
“I think I did well for a prelim,” she said. “But, there are girls out there who have good times and I’m going to have to bring it on.”
Mcgee did not qualify for state in the 200 meter dash. She finished fourth behind Nia Dorner of Cordova (an impressive time of 24.36 seconds), Joe-Smith and Dike.
Next year, Mcgee sees Cosumnes Oaks as likely repeating as the Division IV champion, a title they’ve won now three years in a row.
“We just really push each other and we encourage each other a lot,” she said.
In the boys’ 400 meters this week Sheldon’s Stone is a qualifier after finishing second in that event at the Masters. Elijah Whitmore of Cosumnes Oaks was seventh and Elk Grove’s Armando Martinez was eighth in the Masters’ final.
There were a few local tracksters who just missed qualifying for state. Sheldon’s Abdul Hamid was fourth in the 3200 meter run. Ben Garcia of Pleasant Grove finished sixth in the 800 meter run. In the girls’ 100 meter hurdles, Fiyin Olusola was fifth.
Elk Grove’s girls’ 4X400 meter relay team was seventh in the Masters’ finals. In the boys’ 4X400 meter relay, the Cosumnes Oaks’ team finished eighth.
In the field events, Davis Hallberg was ninth in the pole vault. Long jumper Mishaye Venerable was eighth in her event. Tiara Webb of Monterey Trail finished 11th. In the boys’ shot put, Jaime Cruz of Elk Grove placed seventh.
Qualifying for the state meet in the long jump were Monterey Trail’s Romin Geiger and Pleasant Grove’s Richard Cooper. Both leapers recorded a mark of 23 ft. 2 inches to finish in a tie for second.
In his preparation for the event Cooper, only in his second year competing in the long jump, said he had his starting point on the runway marked to the inch.
“We don’t count steps, we use a measuring tape and my mark is 111 feet, nine inches,” he said. “If I’m there then I’m going to hit the board every time.”
Last spring when Cooper just tried a long jump for the grins, he leaped 22 feet the first time.
“I knew then that was my event,” Cooper said.
There were a few of the field events that staged its finals on Thursday. In the boys' triple jump, Gieger placed third with a leap of 46 ft., 6.5 in.
Tais Marinho-Gomez of Cosumnes Oaks and Webb on Monterey Trail both qualified for the state meet in the shot put. Marinho-Gomez was third in the event with a toss of 38 ft., 10 in. Webb's throw of 38 ft., 7 in. placed her fourth at the Masters, but was long enough to give her an at-large berth in Clovis next week.
There was one Section Masters record set in the meet and that was by Center's Xavier Howell. He cleared the high jump bar at seven feet even, bettering the old record of 6 ft., 11.5 in. set in 1980 by Johnson High School's Ivan Morris.