The participants of the second annual County Clash Meet, between Stanislaus and Merced counties on March 29, were decided on Friday at the Stanislaus County Meet, which saw 60 local athletes make the top-eight cut of their respective events.
Pitman High, who qualified 14 boys and 19 girls, finished on top of both team standings as its girls team won the event for the seventh time in the past eight years with 170 points and its boys team won the event for the first time ever with 111.5 points.
“It’s just a good time for us to get out here and see the top kids competing,” Pitman coach Thad Moren said. “It’s good to see what our kids can do.”
Turlock High’s boys team finished in fourth place with 66 points and its girls team finished third with 78 points as they qualified 13 and 14 athletes, respectively.
“We are ecstatic about that (finish) because we don’t have a lot of depth, but what we have is quality,” Turlock coach JoAnne Davison said. “These kids will do three or four events, I call them our big dogs, and they are chomping at the bit to race and get better.”
The performance of the day belongs to Pitman’s Kianna Clay who, for the second consecutive year, placed first in all four of her events—the 200m, 400m, 4 x 100m relay, and 4 x 400m relay.
“It definitely is a good feeling because all my hard work is paying off. We train really hard and it’s good to know that everything I’m doing is worth it in the end,” the sophomore Clay said. “It definitely gives me confidence, but I know my work isn’t done.”
The Lady Pride dominated the pole vault competition as Lindsey Phillips, Amber Flores, and Allie Austin swept the event. Other first place finishes include Terri Gallon in the high jump and Elisiah Frank, Serena Anderson, Cerah Moren, Scarly Tristao, Madi Todd, and Claire Littlefield alongside Clay in the relays.
The Lady Bulldogs didn’t walk away from Friday with a first place qualifier, but they showcased impressive performances, finishing in the top three of five events. Cierra Booz had the best performance of the day for her team with a second place finish in the long jump.
“We only have 27 girls on our team and we finished third,” Davison said. “We nickeled and dimed it with seconds and thirds, that’s how we pulled it off.”
Pitman’s boys team took the top spot in six events, with Aaron Mayfield placing first in the 400m, 800m, and 4x 400m relay while Isaac Gonzalez—who was also part of the first place finish alongside Mayfield, Jose Chavez and Branson Garcia in the 4x4 relay-- and Change Hagar repeated first place performances in 1600m and pole vault, respectively.
Aaron Lusher set a personal record with 51’ foot throw in the shot put that earned him a first place finish, too.
“I wasn’t expecting to win the boys title, so that was cool,” Moren said.
Turlock’s Justin Serpa earned a first place finish in the long jump for the second consecutive year, while teammate Ryan Weaver finished first in the 200m.
“He is a man on fire this year,” Davison said of Weaver. “And Justin seems to be working a lot harder on his running, and I think that’s what’s helping his jumps.”
Complete list of County Clash qualifiers:
Sydney Holmes Savannah Avalos