Friday’s CCS finals are slated to begin a 4 p.m. with the field
events with the track events starting at 6 p.m. at Garcia Elder
Sarina Sandoval executed a shot put throw she and her coach Brian Lopez had been looking for all season.
The waiting was worth it as Sandoval delivered at the right time. The junior landed a throw of 39-feet, 4.25 inches, breaking the Gilroy High record and advancing her as the No. 1-seed to next Friday’s Central Coast Section Track and Field Championships.
“When Sarina hit that record throw, we were all jumping up and down,” Lopez said.
Sandoval is one of seven Mustangs in addition to the boys 4×100 and 4×400-yard relay teams to move through the section semifinals, which were held at Garcia Elder Sports Complex on Saturday, and into the finals.
The 4×100 team – Julius Travis, Romeo Travis, David Guenther and Jourdan Soares – recorded a school record for the third time this season in their quest to repeat as section champs, clocking a 42.07 to qualify first into the finals. The four sprinters came back at the end of the day and recorded a personal-best in the 4×400 relay, finishing second in their heat with a 3:22.52 – one second behind the section’s top-seed San Benito – and qualified with the fifth fasted time into the finals.
Soares and Julius Travis qualified first and third, respectively, in the 100 dash with Soares posting his best race of the season, 10.85, despite a “bad start.” Soares will be in four events in the finals, adding the long jump to his list of disciplines.
“I didn’t jump well today, but I should be fine for the finals,” said Soares, who holds the section’s second longest leap (23-00.5) this season.
Julius Travis, who will run a trio of races Friday, has repeat on the mind in the 200. The defending section champ in the event qualified second overall (22.47) behind Gunderson’s J’Tier Favors.
Battling leg discomfort, beginning with a hamstring injury at the onset of the track season, Travis said his quadriceps on both legs were tight throughout Saturday’s meet.
“The last two-and-a-half weeks my legs have been dead,” he said. “It’s super frustrating, but mentally I’m trying to work through it. “I’m willing to accept whatever happens at finals, but I hope to come through.”
Eric Martinez secured the eighth and final spot in the pole vault, clearing 13 feet, his personal best – on his second attempt to get into the final group.
“I finally PR’d,” Martinez exclaimed. “I’m really happy to be going to CCS finals.”
Chima Ikeme continued a strong postseason, landing a throw of 151-04 in the discus, which puts him at No. 2 going into the finals. Angeline Kimbo will pull a double shift, making the finals in the shot put and discus. Samantha Una Dia’s 15.90 second race in the 100 hurdles made the cut for Friday.
Marty Ettema’s season has steadily progressed to this point. It has been a consistent assention through the Monterey Bay League dual portion, weekend meets and league finals for the Christopher High junior. And now, it’s on to the CCS finals.
Ettema, who two weeks ago won the league championship in the 110-meter hurdles, posted the fastest time of the non-heat winners with a 15.30 at Saturday’s CCS semifinals, qualifying fifth to earn a spot at the section’s ultimate meet.
“Marty ran an extremely clean, fast race,” CHS head coach Jeff Myers said. “We were focused all week on getting a perfect first hurdle. He was able to get into a rhythm and ran a really aggressive race. His goal is still to break 15 (seconds).”
Ettema was the only CHS athlete of four to move through the semifinals, though, the other three participants had record-setting performances. Haylee Peterson ran a 17.27 in the 100 hurdles, capping her first year in the event with a personal best.
“It was a thrill to see her race that well,” Myers said.
Lina Craighill ended one slot shy of advancing in the girls’ high jump, placing ninth (only the top eight advance), though the disappointment didn’t last long for the freshman, who cleared 5-00 to eclipse her own record set at the MBL finals. Craighill missed out on the finals because two competitors cleared 5-00 on their first attempts. Craighill had a clean jump on her second try.
“I feel completed,” Craighill said. “My goal was to reach 5 feet. Originally, I didn’t expect to be in CCS, but I’m really happy. I was less nervous today because I felt that I had already accomplished so much, so I was able to relax.”
Myers credited Craighill’s ability to adjust her approach to the bar during the competition.
“We had her move back a couple steps on her start after she missed on her first attempt,” he said. “Her second attempt was a beautiful jump.”
Claudia Ferreira ran a 50.61 in the 300 hurdles, just missing her personal record.
“Three school records, that’s a pretty solid day for the Cougars,” Myers said. “They represented really well.”
Friday’s CCS finals are slated to begin a 4 p.m. with the field events. The track events start at 6 p.m. at Garcia-Elder Sports Complex.