As the Trans-Valley League and Southern Athletic League concluded their respective track and field Championship tournaments, the next round was the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV and Division-V finals for Delhi, Denair, Hilmar and Turlock Christian.
Although neither of the schools saw first place finishes, each team saw this as an opportunity to grow, especially since there were surprising performances from individuals.
Coming off the TVL finals less than two weeks ago, the Hilmar Yellowjackets were looking to get some deep postseason experience from the younger athletes, especially since the league finale provided head coach Clement Lebrouche with a good look at some upcoming talent.
“We are so young, but it's okay because we return a lot of those kids for next year,” said Lebrouche.
Hilmar's best finish came in the 4x4 boys’ relay team that finished behind Ripon and just ahead of Hughson with a time of 3:42.17.
For the Hilmar girls, Jayden Pires placed third in the shot put and for the boys side, Bryan Walley finished in third. Walley also placed 16th in the Section finals with a throw of 40 feet.
Hilmar's Korey Pettigrew also placed third in the triple jump for the girls and qualified for Sections after clearing 30 feet and 8 ¾ inches.
As a freshman, Pettigrew placed 18th at last Thursday's finals that were hosted at the Cal State Stanislaus stadium.
“Next year we should definitely be up there especially in league,” said Lebrouche.
Delhi's top placer in the Section finals was Andrew Vazquez, who placed sixth in the 1600 meter race after clocking in at 4:39.29.
Brendan Hagood placed 16th in the same race and Adrian Valladres finished at 24th. Valladres also placed 24th in the 3200 meter race.
Scorpio Castorena finished in 19th in the Section finals for shot put with a toss of 39 feet and 1 inch. Denair's David Sweeten took 21st after a best throw of 38 feet and 4 inches.
For the pole vault, Delhi's Samuel Cortez placed 12th with a clearance of 10 feet and 2 inches.
Chance Browning of Delhi placed 18th in the triple jump with a jump of 39-feet-11.
On the girls’ side, Delhi's Lyliana Godinez placed 19th with a 77-feet-5 inch clear. Bianca Escobedo placed 25th in the high jump and also placed 21st in the triple jump.
“I am really proud of all the kids we had compete at Sections,” said Delhi head coach Matt Cabral. “They all did the best they could and luckily we return a lot of the same competitors so we should be competitive next year again.”
Turlock Christian's lone competitor at the Section finals meet was Doris Zhao, who placed 25th in the 1600 race.