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Hilmar athletes leap into finals
Olson moves on to Masters
Hilmar's Dani Olson leaps over a hurdle in the Division IV-V Track and Field finals, finishing in second place and earning her a trip to the Masters trials. - photo by CANDY PADILLA / The Journal



The Division IV-V Track and Field finals concluded on Thursday after small school athletes ran, jumped and hurdled their best at California State University, Stanislaus’ Warrior Field.

Hilmar, Delhi, Denair and Turlock Christian high schools each had at least four competitors at the trials, with more than 20 schools present at the event.

Only four total local athletes competed in the finals — Hudson Harris, Kenzye Spears, Dani Olson and Gabriel Teixeira,  all from Hilmar.

At the end of the day only Olson will be moving on to the Masters trials next week at Elk Grove, after finishing in second place in the 300 meter hurdles race with a 47.5.

“She didn’t even run last year, so to be brand new and second in Sections is pretty cool. She is happy and happy to find a new event and it makes it different when you like the event,” Hilmar head coach Clement LeBrouche said. “Another week to go and she still has a faster time every time.”

Olson also competed in the mile and 200m hurdles just moments within each other but did not manage to qualify for finals in those events.

At the Master’s trials, 28 athletes will be opening in the trials run and nine will move on to finals, with only the top three heading to State.

“Dani [Olson] is figuring out the hurdles, she can cut off two seconds with her errors, but that’s the exciting part. One more week ... a lot of amazing things can happen,” LeBrouche added.

Hilmar’s Hudson Harris improved on his time and took home a personal best after topping out in seventh in a very competitive 300m hurdles race. Despite leading after the first four hurdles, he stumbled at the end to barely miss the qualifying mark.

There was a one second difference between first and ninth place with only the top four moving on.

“It was a very competitive hurdles final and it was crazy, very tight race,” said LeBrouche.

Spears also finished just outside the qualifying mark in the mile race, but had a personal record with a time of 4:37.00, which is two seconds off from the school record that has stood for over 40 years.

Teixeira finished the mile with a time of 4:40.00 and missed qualifying, but will be trying out for the CSU Stanislaus track team this upcoming season.

Denair sent  12 athletes to trials but, unfortunately, none made it into the finals.

“Several put in personal records but none made it to finals,” Denair head coach Jim Wagner said. “We had some good performances but just couldn’t get over that hump.”

Delhi sent 14 athletes to compete in trials, but again, no Hawks will move on this year.

“Eventually we’ll get there. We just need to keep focusing and take baby steps,” said Delhi head coach Matt Cabral. “We did put a team together.”

Senior Francisco Rodrigues, who previously completed a 19-foot-11 inch jump, missed qualifying for Masters due to a wardrobe malfunction in the long jump when his shoe exploded as he was taking off for his second jump.

“In his third jump, he didn’t even get to 19 feet. He would normally hit 19 feet consistently this year,” said Cabral.

The Turlock Christian girls 4x400 relay team competed in the trials, as did Abi Bawcum in the shot put, but no Eagles made it to the finals.