Pitman and Turlock High’s varsity track and field teams excelled at the first Central California Conference Center Meet of the season held on Wednesday at Golden Valley High.
The Pitman varsity girls finished in first place with 139 points while Turlock took second with 132.
Turlock’s varsity boys placed first with a team score of 142 while Golden Valley took second with 122 and Pitman (81) placed third.
“Our team is amazing. We're hitting huge marks all around, not just in one or two events. We have strong varsity and JV teams. We work together and support each other. It's such a great group of kids,” said Turlock High coach Bergann Hernandez.
“Everybody has to try and make adjustments,” said Pitman head coach Thad Moren. “We kind of have a plan for the next center meet to have some kids change things around and our team understands and is willing to work hard and some of those spots helped us out and we’ve been doing well in distance as well.”
The most notable highlight of the day came from Turlock High junior pole vaulter Silas Fredeen, who broke a school record that was held for nearly two decades.
The previous record came in 2001, when Nathan Garibay cleared 14 feet, 10 inches.
Fredeen went on to break the record after clearing 15 feet.
Other big performances on the boys’ side from Turlock came from Willie Ashman followed by Colton Cummings, and Bailey Vandergriff.
“For the girls we fought hard but didn't pull it out in the end,” said Hernandez. “We still hit some huge marks with Julia Handy running under a minute in the 400 and Katja Guerrero running 26.34 in the 200.”
Handy and Guerrero were top scorers, along with Bernie Hollcraft, and Hernandez said the best part to all these great performances is that they have a strong JV team that are doing big things as well.
The Pride varsity girls ended up winning the whole thing by seven points after they led by five heading into the final race, the 4x4 relay.
Made up of a freshman, sophomore, junior and senior, the Pride 4x4 relay team finished the race with a time of 4:15.25 after Ximena Cesa, Bianca Garcia, Maddy Hall and Cierra Verdone captured first place.
The Pride also had the luxury of multiple first place finishes from Whitney Barnes and Verdone.
Verdone took first in the triple jump after clearing 34 feet, 10.25 inches.
“We depend on her to jump and to race on the relays,” said Moren of Verdone.
The strongest events for the girls came from the throwers.
Whitney Barnes of Pitman topped all with 43 feet, 3-inch clearance and teammate Delilah Vieira placed third (34’4.5”).
Madison King of Pitman had the highest finish in discus with a second-place result after clearing 102 feet, 3 inches. Abby Perry of Pitman took third with 97 feet, 4 inches.
“We had a couple people really step up and make up for it,” said Moren. “Strongest event of the day came from our throwers, and on the girls side four girls scored in shot put and discus, led by Whitney Barnes who right now is No. 6 in the state. She finished 14th last year and first in section as well.”
One of Pitman’s top performance from the boys’ side came from Matt Shino who took second in the shot put with 43 feet, 11 inches. Turlock’s Dustin Grein finished with 48 feet, 9.5 inches.
Nathan Day of Pitman placed second in pole vault, behind Fredeen after clearing 14 feet.
“I thought on the boys side, Turlock was strong this year,” said Moren. “We tried to do the best with some young guys and have the strength with a lot of juniors and sophomores and ran one of the fastest times ever for a clash meet and trying to work around that with our sprinting group.”
Turlock’s 4x1 relay team placed first with a time of 43.07 ,while Pitman followed in second with a time of 43.36.
Ty Thompson of Pitman took second in the 400 meter race with a PR of 51.28.