Qualifying for the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Meet is nothing new for the Pitman High track and field team.
The Pride did it last season, sending enough athletes to fill up a van.
But this time, they hope for a longer stay. They not only want to compete well on the first day, which is Thursday at Hughes Stadium at Sacramento City College, but they also want to participate on Friday, when the majority of the event finals take place.
Coach Thad Moren said there's a chance his Pride can do just that this week.
Pitman is sending nine athletes to the Masters, with discus thrower Markus Sanders having arguably the best shot at making the CIF State Championship cut. His personal best is 181 feet, which is 12 feet more than the qualifying mark to reach the state's biggest track meet in Clovis, taking place at Buchanan High on June 4-5.
The last time the Pride had a state competitor was in 2005, when now-UC Davis senior Polly Gnepa did it in the boys hurdles.
Other Pitman Masters qualifiers include Erica Sickert in the girls shot put, Caitlin O'Connell in the high jump, Kelsee Derr in the 100-meter hurdles and Aman Hundal in three events (the 4x100- and 4x400-meter relays and 400-meter dash), a feat that had never been accomplished in school history.
But it's likely Hundal will not compete in the 400 meters, as her coach wants to conserve her energy for the relay events.
Hundal's 4x100 team consists of Derr, Jasmine Roberson and Hailey Stroud. Roberson and Hundal are also part of the 4x400 team, along with Vickie Rouse and Victoria Alvarado.
In the girls shot put, Sickert is coming off a Division I Championship performance in which she threw 37 feet, 1 1/2 inches to take fourth. She made the Masters last season, but missed the state meet by two spots after finishing fifth.
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