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Pitman tops out at County Clash
Turlock comes in third
Pitman track pic1
Cerah Moren hands the baton off to Madi Todd in Pitman High's first place finish in the 4X100 meter relay at Friday's County Clash meet in Oakdale. - photo by FRANKIE TOVAR / The Journal

Stanislaus County dominated Merced County on Friday at the County Clash track meet, with Pitman, Oakdale and Turlock High finishing first, second and third, respectively.


The Pride placed first by a whopping margin with a team score of 203 points. For comparison, the Mustangs finished with a total of 125 points and the Bulldogs with a total of 120 points.


“We won on the strength of our girls,” Pitman head coach Thad Moren said.


The Lady Pride finished first overall in the girls standings as it took first place in five individual events— the 4 x100m relay team of Scarlet Tristao, Kianna Clay, Cerah Moren and Madi Todd, the 4 x 400m relay team of Grace Willming, Clay, Moren and Todd, the 400m with Clay, the pole vault with Lindsey Phillips and the triple jump with Lauren Cariaso.


The Pride boys also put in a good showing at Oakdale High on Friday with Branson Garcia winning the triple jump and the 4 x 100m relay team of Tyress Pope, Isiah Marable, Jose Chavez and Josh Fletcher finishing second.


While Pitman's overall win was a product of its girls' performance, Turlock's third place team finish was greatly aided by its boys.


Justin Serpa placed first in the long jump and second in the high jump, Ryan Weaver placed second in the 100m, Ryan Montes place second in the 300m hurdles and Albert Soto placed third in the 800m. Weaver was also part of the 4 x400m relay team's second place finish alongside Montes, Jesus Roblado and Adrian Rodriguez.


“I was really happy with the third place. That's good for where we are right now,” Turlock head coach Joanne Davison said.


As for the Lady Bulldogs, the best performance of the day belonged to Jessica Bettencourt who placed first in the 300m hurdles. Bettencourt was also part of the second place finish by the 4 x 100m relay team alongside Amy Del Rey, Hope Salsig and Adelae Fredeen.


“She had a stellar day,” Davison said.


Turlock and Pitman weren't alone at the County Clash, however. Hilmar High was also present, representing Merced County. While the Yellowjackets' numbers didn't match those of the Pride and Bulldogs, they still managed a first place finish with Dani Olson's 100m hurdles performance. Olson also placed second in the 300m hurdles while Kenzye Spears placed second in the 1600m.


“We're just really working on her time, telling her to battle herself,” Hilmar coach Mark Santos said of Olson. “Her goal is to make it to sections and then to State.”


All three track teams are now eying their first league competitions on Wednesday, though Pitman and Hilmar will compete once more before at the Brenda Invitational at CSU Stanislaus today.


“We're looking forward to our league opener,” Davison said. “I just want everybody to run good, solid times. These meets are fun, our focus is on league competition and beyond league.”


“We just have to get ready for the first CCC meet,” Moren said. “I think there's a lot of things we can do to get better. I know there's some people who didn't perform as best as they thought they could today.”