Pitman High’s track and field team placed 33rd out of 50 schools at the Oregon Relays this past Friday and Saturday. Out of the 17 Pride invitees, 10 finished in the top 10. Kelsee Derr placed first in the 100 meter hurdles heat with a time of 15.57 becoming the first Pitman representative to win a race at this event.
“The fans were great and the atmosphere was different from any other place [we] have ever been to,” Pitman’s head coach Thad Moren said. “The stands were filled and kids got to [hear a] loud roar from the huge crowd; they got to see what it’s like in the next level.”
There were only three returners from the previous 2011 squad, Derr, Elisiah Frank and Terri Gallon, all placed in the top 10 in their respective events. Kiana Clay, only a freshman, placed sixth in the 400 meter dash with a time of 59.08.
“[They] definitely did better this year than last,” Moren said. “Most of our squad from then went just to get a feel for it and this time we chose who we wanted to go.”
The Pride saw most of their top 10 finishes coming from throwers. Rashel Pritchard finished top eight in hammer with a distance of 95.11 and in discus with 108.1. Aaron Lusher took sixth as he hit the 48.11 mark in shot-put. Bryan Rosales also finished in the top eight in hammer with a distance of 129.5.
Pitman girls ran the 4x400m relay to end the two-day event for the Pride, with an outstanding finish of 4:08.31, the second fastest time in school history. Moren felt confident that this group could have potentially broken the first place school record of 4:06.49 set back in May 21, 2010.
“Clay and Derr were cold by the end of the day,” said Moren. “If they would not have been like that, I think they could have finished under 4.4 minutes.”
Next for the Pride is a visit to the Sacramento Meet of Champs at Hughes Stadium on Saturday.
"Eleven kids got in, one is nursing injured, so officially 10 kids now,” said Moren. “We are looking forward to the events in post season and how we match up against those schools.”
The following participants will compete at the Meet of Champs: Lauren Cariaso (triple jump), Kiana Clay (400 meter dash and 200 meter), Kelsee Derr (100 hurdles, 300 hurdles), Terri Gallon (high jump), Chance Hagar (pole vault), Claire Littlefield (triple jump), Aaron Lusher (shot put), Lindsey Phillips (pole vault), Rashel Pritchard (discus), and Nick Roditis (discus).
“In practice, many discus throwers are doing better,” Moren said. “I think Roditis can hit 160 on discuss but he’s only been able to do it in practice. Hopefully, he can do it at the meets.”
Roditis is the only representative who did not attend the Oregon Relays.
The Pride track and field girls team currently sits in first place in the Central California Conference, with an undefeated record of 10-0; cross-town rivals, Turlock High Bulldogs, stand behind in second.
Both the Bulldogs and the Pride will be hosting the third CCC Center Meet of the year at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Joe Debely Stadium.
Pitman girls have the opportunity to capture their fifth consecutive CCC title after the Center Meet.