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Big Turnout Seen For Local AAU Event
Gabriel Williams, 9, from Tracy stands proudly with his gold medal that he won in the javelin throw.Leader Photos By Dennis D. Cruz

For four days The Corral on the Oakdale High School campus was the host of the Armature Athletic Union (AAU) Region 22 Qualifier, as over 450 youth competitors came out to take part in the track and field events. Athletes from the local area and as far away as Oregon packed The Corral where over 900 total medals where given out to the youngsters ranging in age from 4 to 18 years old.

“The most exciting thing to see is the smile on the kids’ faces when they win a medal, there is nothing better than that,” said AAU Hall of Famer and Oakdale boys cross country coach Guy Fowler following the event. “We are thankful for support of the Oakdale Joint Unified School District, Oakdale High Track and Field and Cross Country teams, Oakdale High Leadership Class, the grounds crew of Oakdale High and the Oakdale community for their support. We hope to continue this meet every year in Oakdale.”

Locals that took part in the event included Nina Linder, 11, of Oakdale who placed sixth in the girls long jump and tenth in the girls 100 meter dash; Oakdale varsity girls track stars Kayla Budine and Cassie England placed second and third in the long jump 15-16 year old division; Carson Middaugh, 10, of Oakdale placed ninth in the 800 meter dash. Also, 14 year old Benjamin Chappell took first place in both boys shot put and discus throw and was second in the boys javelin throw; Justin Cresenti took third in the 800 meter run for boys 15-16 years old, placed fourth in the 1500 meter run and third in the high jump. Rounding out the strong performances for Oakdale were Isaiah Aguilar and Joshua Gorman who took first and second in the 17-18 year old 800 meter run and 1500 meter run. Gorman also took first in the 3000 meter run while Christian Domingo claimed first in a trio of events, men’s high jump, long jump and triple jump for ages 17-18.

The highest placing boys and girls of Region 22 will head to the 2016 AAU West Coast National Track and Field Championships in Reno, Nevada set for June 30-July 3.