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Small school athletes shine in track finals
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A combined total of 25 athletes from Delhi, Denair, Hilmar and Turlock Christian competed in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Track and Field Division IV-V finals at Sierra High School in Manteca on Thursday. Although local athletes fell short of the gold, many notched respectable finishes.

“It does not matter if you win, but if you compete that is the biggest thing,” Delhi track coach Matt Cabral said. “I am really proud for one thing. We are a smaller school. I am very proud of them for going out there and taking care of business.”

Delhi led the way with 11 athletes competing across eight events for the finals. Rosemary DaLuz placed 20th in the 800m. Sarah Cruz took 19th in the triple jump and 25th in the  long jump. Erik Serrato placed 17th in the long jump and 21st in the boy’s 4x400m, relay which consisted of Serrato, Cosme Soto, Fernando Nuno and Hector Jimenez. Garret Thomas took 20th in the triple jump and Luis Valdez took 21st in the discus. The boys 4x100m team of Soto, Thomas, Rene Guerra, and Hayden Steger placed  14th. David Hernandez took 22nd in the 110m hurdles.

 “This is my sixth year coaching, first track and field job. And it was a very small program at first with only seven or eight athletes the first few years,” Cabral said. “I want to get that track excitement back from this area, once we get the program rolling, I am really excited about the potential of what we can put up. We are definitely top three. The talent is definitely there.”

Hilmar had only a handful of representatives in the finals. Hudson Harris placed 16th in the 100m hurdles and also finished 11th in the 300m hurdles. Angelique Souza finished 20th in the high jump for the Yellow jackets. And the third representative was Dani Olson who placed 24th in the girls 100m.

Denair High had a number of representatives, with Samantha Watts leading her squad with a 10th place finish in the 100m hurdles, 18th in the 100m and 800m and 23rd in the 200m. Vandon Weaver took 20th in the 1600m and 24th in the 800m. Trey Howze placed 13th in the 300m hurdles and 14th in the 110m hurdles.

For TC, in the boys 4x400m relay team consisted of Carlos Ordaz, Jose Almanza, Erick Cervantes, and Jared Zuniga who finished in 22nd place. Cervantes also placed 25th in the 800m. Dante Barron, the only senior for the Eagles squad, took 20th in the 400m and 19th in the high jump. Malik Portillo placed 22nd in the 100m and 16th in the 200m. For the girls, Mikayla Yagi took 23rd in the long jump and 26th in the 200m.

“I think it was good for the fact that before the season started we didn’t really have a track team, everyone on the team went to section except one person,” TC head coach Chris Pugh said. “From stand point to not having anybody to some running track did very good. Just getting there, they did well. Good start for next year because only one senior, very young team and inexperienced.”

“I think it was very positive, we could have said because were very small, because only had about six, we looked at it as a challenge and opportunity,” Pugh said. “I think we looked at it as proposition, we all did our best, and it’s a great setup for next year, young team.”