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Turlock schools top competition in CCAL Center Meet
track and field
Edwin Mendoza of Pitman High (left) finished second in the 400-meter race after hitting a personal record time of 51.37. He was also part of the 4x4 relay team that took second (CANDY PADILLA/The Journal).

The Turlock and Pitman high track and field teams dominated the second Central California Athletic League Center Meet on Wednesday from Joe Debely Stadium.

Turlock High’s varsity boys and girls shined in the league meet, but Pitman was right there with them. The Bulldog girls won with 210 points and the Pride had 192. Turlock’s boys had 247 points for first place while Pitman followed with 200.5 points.

“Center meets are supposed to be full participation for all schools in the conference.  But at times, and certainly in some events, it just feels like it's a Turlock-Pitman dual with a few spectators,” said Pitman head coach Thad Moren. “We will chunk out massive points in some events, and Turlock is able to do the same in others.  Not really the best way to measure a two-team race.”

“My catch phrase for the meet yesterday was ‘Turlock is on fire,’ and we came ready to fight in all our competitions,” said Turlock head coach Bergann Hernandez. “We moved athletes around to fill spots and to make sure all our events were covered. We’ve had an ongoing sickness going through our team so that’s been a struggle these last few weeks. But that didn’t hold anyone back at all.

In the first Center Meet, Turlock varsity boys won 217 while Pitman followed in second (185).  The Pride varsity girls won the first Center Meet with 195 points while Turlock followed in second with 180 points.

For varsity girls, only four events were won by any other school besides Turlock and Pitman.

On the varsity boys side only three first place winners were from other schools not named Turlock and Pitman.

“The boys 100 is a good example, Turlock/Pitman kids took 12 of the top 13 spots,” said Moren. “We have numerous kids ranked in the section.  Quincey Williams, Edwin Mendoza, Jayson Martin went 1,2,3 in the 400.  And are ranked 4,6,7 in the section.”

Pitman’s Cameron Fader won the 110 hurdles and is ranked No. 1 in the section. Pitman and Turlock 4x1 boys are ranked No. 2 and No. 3 in the section. They also hold the same rankings in the 4x4. Ty Thomson jumped 42 feet in the triple jump to win and is ranked No. 4 in the section.

Mavleen Mann of Pitman won the 800, 1600 and 3200. She is ranked No. 1 in section in the 3200.

Isabella Shallou-Enes debuted with a 9-foot vault and is now third in the section.

“Pitman girls have six of the top 10 discus throwers in the section — Khaiya Simpson, Madison King, Ashlan Lucero, McKinley King, Abby Perry, Caitlyn Bell... all over 100 feet,” said Moren.

Turlock had just as many, if not more, standouts.

“It’s hard to know where to start as far as outstanding performances goes. There were so many,” said Hernandez. “The boys have 10 athletes currently ranked in the top 10 in the section... plus take a peek at the vaulters in top 10 (the top seven are Turlock) …Girl vaulters hold six of the top 10 spots.”

Turlock’s girls were led by Katja Guerrero.

Guerrero was the top scorer for the day and led the way in three events for the Bulldogs.

“The most exciting being the 200,” said Hernandez. “She is so close to the school record. Also scoring well for our varsity girls were Kylee Redman, Cadence Roy-Williams, Cynthia Varela, Fatima Chavez and Sarah Romo.”

On the boys’ side, Hernandez saw numerous standouts that included seven first place results in the discus, shot-put, pole vault. high jump, 4x4 relay, 3200 and the 100-meter race.

“I moved Darian White from the 100 to 400 for this meet and he did not disappoint. Along with Rios Rogers, Jackson Allen, Uriel Alvarez and Cade Gilbert. It was such an awesome race,” said Hernandez. “And then Darian, Rios, Jackson and Uriel ran a huge PR in the 4 x 400. Then we have Jake Dirkse killing it in the throws.”

Dirkse finished in first in the shot-put and discus.

“We are still a very young team with a very small senior class so it’s just that much more exciting that most of them will be back next season,” said Hernandez.

“We've got a few weeks left and look forward to the beginning of the post-season,” Moren added.