Hilmar High's track team is, as it has been for some time, on the small side this year. Not physically, but in overall numbers. There are roughly 40 athletes filling the overall roster, most of whom are young, which has made the 2015 hunt for the Trans Valley League title a non-issue for the Yellowjackets.
But while Hilmar isn't currently running after team glory, it is chasing down individual progress and success with a group of four senior athletes — four 'Jackets who went to Saturday's Modesto Junior College High School Invite and walked away with three event wins and three top-three finishes.
“We had a good day,” Hilmar head coach Clemente Labrouche said. “We were looking to just get some good marks before spring break.”
Instead of just getting good times, Labrouche watched a Hilmar varsity record be broken with Kenzye Spears' first place finish in the 1600m with a time of 4:33.64. The run was nearly a full two seconds faster than the previous record of 4:35.8 which was set in 1978 by the late Luis Bennen and just a second away from the Hilmar JV record held by Frank Fegundez, which was set in 1975.
“Our JV record is actually faster than our varsity record, but he's on pace to do that,” Labrouche said. “I didn't think he would hit this quite so soon, but I'm glad he did, because normally he goes 10 seconds under at the end of the season from how he starts the season. So now looking at the 4:20's, that's a high possibility for him now.”
Spears also placed 6th in the 3200m.
Dani Olson and Angelique Sousa also placed first in their respective events with Olson taking the 300m hurdles with a time of 48.75 and Sousa taking the high jump with a personal record of five feet.
“That's still kind of a new race for her,” Labrouche said of Olson, who also placed third in the 100m hurdles. “I think that's her strongest event. She's been doing well, we're just trying to get her steps down.”
Hilmar's fourth athlete at the MJC HS Invite was Hudson Harris who took second place in both the 110m hurdles and the 300m hurdles with respective times of 16.04 and 42.22.
“He's a dual athlete this year,” Labrouche said of Harris who is also playing baseball for Hilmar. “If anybody can do all those things it's Hudson.”
The 'Jackets hit the track again in a week with a Wednesday road trip to Ripon High for their second TVL Dual Meet of the season where Labrouche and his four seniors will continue their efforts to qualify for the April 17 Woody Wilson Invitational at UC Davis.