The Sac-Joaquin Section Divisional tournament concluded last Friday for local schools and when the day ended a total of 27 local athletes from Turlock, Pitman, Delhi and Hilmar high schools had punched their ticket to the Masters tournament.
Turlock and Pitman competed in D-I from Elk Grove High, while Hilmar and Delhi competed from the Stanislaus State stadium in the D-IV and V bracket and each school saw a positive turnout.
Turlock saw the most athletes qualify with a total of 15 who advanced — seven girls and eight boys.
“The work has been done now we see what we can do,” said Turlock head coach Bergann Hernandez. “It's time to shine. We have a couple ranked in the top eight of their events; top three will continue on to state. It will be exciting to see what happens on race day.”
Pitman saw a total of 10 advance and head coach Thad Moren couldn't be any happier. The Pride also had two girls at the varsity level place second at Divisionals — Cerah Moren and Whitney Barnes — in their respective events.
Barnes finished in second place in the girls shot put with a PR of 40 feet, 6 inches. In the girls discus, Moren finished in second after clearing 122'3. Turlock's Nikohl Jordan placed 9th after hitting 112'6.
“We had three top three finishes last week at Divisionals, and now we have the kids ready for this week,” said Moren.
In the 1600m, Pitman’s Mavleen Mann had the best time for all locals with a 12th place finish and a time of 5:33.00. Priscilla Bazan took 17th with a time of 5:45.96.
Turlock's Julia Handy placed 11th in the 400m race with a time of 1:00.27. In the 3200m, Sofia Andres took 21st with a time of 12:40.43.
In the 100m hurdles, Jocelyn Harris had the best finish in 7th place with a personal record time of 15.32. Ade Fredeen also had a PR with a time of 15.36 which placed her in 9th. Fredeen also placed 14th in the 300m hurdles with a time of 47.01.
Nathan Garibay of Turlock took third in the pole vault after clearing 13'10 and Pitman's Nathan Day took sixth with a PR of 13'4.
Brendan Patterson of Pitman took third with a clearance of 22'2 in the long jump, while Dustin Grein of Turlock cleared 21'6.5 for sixth place.
Arguably the most memorable performance from Divisionals was Pitman freshman Michael Moore, who had a standout day after he qualified for three events.
“Michael Moore put on a show,” said Moren of his first-year track star. “It’s rare that we have a boy pull that off, let alone a freshman. He might be the first boy from Turlock to run the 100/200 at this level in decades, if ever.”
Moore was the lone freshman in the 100m and 200m races. He placed 10th in the 100 and 7th in the 200. Colton Cummings of Turlock placed 8th in the 200 with a PR of 22.83.
Pitman's 4x1 relay team placed fourth after Colby Vierra, Quincey Williams, Guillermo Francis and Michael Moore finished with a time of 43.19.
From the small schools, both Hilmar and Delhi had one athlete advance.
Hilmar sophomore Isaac Sharp advanced in the 400m after he placed fourth in the D-V section meet to move on.
“He broke our JV school record from 1976 with a time of 52.04,” said Hilmar head coach Clement Lebrouche.
From Delhi, Fabian Garcia advanced for the 300m hurdles after the senior won the section title for the event in D-V.
“He worked hard this year,” said Delhi head coach Matt Cabral. “He plans on going into the Marines and so he's been preparing for that, mentally and physically, and I think it has paid off for him with his final year of athletics. I think a switch went on in his mind this season and he saw that he was a legitimately talented track and field athlete.”
Garcia, along with a heard of boys, were big contributors in earning the school’s third consecutive Southern Athletic League title for the boys varsity. It was also the school’s fourth since 2012.
“He definitely was a big part in our league title this year,” said Cabral. “Andrew Vazquez finished third in the 1600m in the section for D-V, but finished just outside the top five overall who move on. However, CSU Stan liked him, he landed a spot on their team, so that was a nice consolation.”
The Masters tournament will run from Elk Grove High at a time yet to be announced from May 25-26.