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RUNAWAY PRIDE - OHS Track Standouts Move On To Divisional Trials
5-8 OAK Track1
Oakdales Meche Brown (second from left) keeps pace with East Unions Jordan McNeal (center) in the second heat of the Varsity Girls 100 Meter Dash during the VOL Championship Meet held at Sierra High School in Manteca. - photo by Hime Romero/The Leader

The raw athleticism of Oakdale High athletes was on emphatic display during Saturday’s Valley Oak League track and field championships at Sierra High School in Manteca, as 12 varsity competitors earned tickets to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV-V Championships and 11 frosh-soph competitors won their events.

“Saturday was a good day for the track team,” Oakdale coach Dave Bacigalupi said. “We had some kids fight off the pressure and have great performances.”

Competitors who placed top-three at league nabbed coveted positions in the division trials on May 14 for a shot to reach the finals two days later.

The best league mark was recorded by Oakdale junior Kyle Peterson, who heaved the discus 170 feet, five inches to beat his personal best, land the best record-mark by any SJS thrower and easily win the event by an astounding 35-foot margin. He was also second with his personal best in the shot put.

Dezirae Pennington blossomed at the league finals with her best marks of the season in three individual events and a championship title alongside Kellie Gratigny, Jennifer Guzman and Me’che Brown in the 400 relay. The foursome sped to a school record of 50.15-seconds.

Pennington also stunned favored 300 hurdles runner Chloe Jenkins of Kimball (listed eighth in the section by, with a 46.9-second time to win the event. Pennington was second to Jenkins in the 100 hurdles, and soared to a brilliant 37-1 personal best in the triple jump (listed No. 7 in the section) to win that event.

Hannah Chappell easily won the discus with a 133-9, while Grace Perreira was third in the event. Perreira was also second in the pole vault, an event won by Mustang teammate Brooke Wong (9 feet). Gratigny was second in the triple jump and second in the long jump.

Anna Perrone shined with a second place finish in the 800 and was also third in the 1600. Brown ended second in the 100 to lead OHS sprinters.

Chris Davis sped to third in the 400 while Brock Whiting touched down for a spectacular personal best of 20-8 to land third in the long jump. Whiting tied with two others for the fifth seed (19-07 mark), entering competition, and just missed qualifying for the triple jump by one placement. Brynden McAndrews was also third in the pole vault.

For the frosh-soph squad, C.J. Domingo won the high jump, 200 and joined Caleb Clavin, Kevin Corral and Tyler Flores on the winning 1600 relay team. Clavin won the 110 hurdles while Bryce Hobbs landed first in the pole vault and Nik Ruiz first in the shot put.

Melody Johnson, Sarah Ward, Alexis Tidball and Madyson Falconi captured top honor in the 400 relay while Falconi was tops in the triple jump, Johnson best in the 100 hurdles and Tidball first in the long jump. Sarah Courtney also ended first in the pole vault while Kyannah Hernandez shined with top finishes in both the 1600 and 3200.

The Division IV-V Trials are at Sierra on May 14. The action begins with 3 p.m. field events. The top five finalists in each event qualify for the Masters Championships at Elk Grove High on May 23 and 24.