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Pitman dominates cross-county, league meets
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Turlocks Makenzie Salyer keeps pace ahead of Pitmans Mackenzie Hassett in the 1600m at Saturdays County Clash meet. - photo by CANDY PADILLA / The Journal

Rain or shine, in league competition or in a clash of counties, Pitman High’s track team, both boys and girls, are on a hot streak of success.

The Pride showcased their athletic abilities Tuesday afternoon during the first Central California Conference Center Meet of the season where their boys and girls teams both placed first with 155 and 229 points, respectively. Pitman’s pair of first place finishes wasn’t a first for the school, however, as its boys and girls also placed first during Saturday’s County Clash Meet.

 “It seems some of the other teams are spread out. Our kids get a couple of points here, a couple of points there, and they add up,” Pitman coach Thad Moren said.

“I knew our girls team was strong and that our boys team had improved, so I thought we might get a coed title, but I was a little surprised to see the boys team win it,” he added about the County Clash results.

Sydney Holmes, Claire Littlefield, Kiana Clay, Madi Todd, Scarly Tristao, Mackenzie Hassett, Elisiah Frank, Jamie Stroup, Lindsey Phillips, Allysa Gonzalez, and Lauren Cariaso all emerged as big winners for the Lady Pride on Tuesday as each walked away with first place finishes in their respective events.

Holmes finished first in the 300m hurdles while also placing second in the long jump and third in the pole vault. Stroup finished first in the high jump, Gonzalez finished first in the long jump, and Cariaso finished first in the triple jump. Clay, Todd, Tristao, Hassett, Frank, and Littlefield contributed to the pair of first place finishes in the 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m relays, with Clay also finishing second in the 200m and 400m races.

“She’s one of those kids that’s on campus and comes out and does really well for us. She really stood out today and in only her third track meet ever,” Moren said of Holmes.

Other notable performances include Cerah Moren, who finished second in the 100m hurdles and third in the discus along with Allie Austin who placed second in the pole vault.

Pitman’s boys team also boasts some young blood who, along with veteran teammates, helped lift the Pride to back-to-back team wins.

Aaron Mayfield showed his consistency has he duplicated his performance from Saturday with another 800m win on Tuesday, while Isaac Gonzalez did much of the same with his second place finish in the 3200m and third place finish in the 1600m. Grant Tallent, Aaron Lusher, and D’Andre Griffin also notched second place finishes in their respective events of 110m hurdles, shot put, and triple jump.

Chance Hagar had a big day with a pair of second place finishes in the pole vault and long jump, while also earning his team points in the 100m with an eight place finish. Other notable performances include first year runners Josh Flethcer and Kyle Rickey, who finished a respective third and fourth in the 100m.

“That was a huge boost on the boys side because we won the boys side by 10 points. They helped give us 13 points in the 100m, and I don’t remember the last time we did that,” Moren said. “It’s fun to see them go out and compete. Today was the first time we were able to get everybody out there and compete and contribute.”

But Pitman wasn’t the only school to compete at both the County Clash and CCC Center Meet—Turlock High also made its mark.

The Lady Bulldogs walked away from both meets as the most accomplished of their school’s teams as they placed second on Tuesday with 130 points and fifth on Saturday with 110.33 points. As for the boy Bulldogs, they finished sixth on Tuesday with 82 points and 14th on Saturday with 22 points.

Makenzie Salyer was the only girl to place first individually as she claimed the 3200m on Tuesday. Salyer also placed third in the 1600m. Cierra Booz—who was the only Lady Bulldog to finish first individually on Saturday —  also performed well on Tuesday as she placed second in the high jump, third in the triple jump, and fourth in the long jump.

“Cierra and a few of our other female athletes are just that – athletes. Some have been plagued by injuries and shin splints, so they’re working through the injuries, but I’m very confident that they will finish the season strong,” Turlock coach Undrea Walker said.

Erin Knopp-Sargoni, Emily Romo, Raveena Samra, and Jocelyn Montes put in a second place effort in the 4 x 400m relay while Jessica Bettencourt and Cassandra Derdivanis also placed second in the 100m hurdles and 200m, respectively.

On the boys side, Ryan Weaver had a stellar outing during his league debut as he earned first place finishes in the 100m, 200m, and 4 x 400m relay alongside Adrian Rodriguez, Jesus Robledo, and Bryan Montez. Weaver also aided in the third place finish in the 4 x 100m relay alongside Rodriguez, Fernando Rodriguez, and Demitrius Brown.

“Ryan Weaver was a stud today,” Walker said.

“The team has a huge upside. There’s untapped potential and I think we’re going to help these kids achieve their PR goals and we’re going to have a great year,” Walker added.