Tracy High junior Nate Jones is the 2014 Sac-Joaquin Section champion in the 100-meter dash after he edged out Taron Johnson of Sheldon High. Jones crossed the finish line in 10.786 seconds, 3/1000ths of a second ahead of Johnson.
“Mr. Johnson from Sheldon, he got a good jump on it, but I felt myself behind so I just had to work on my stride,” Jones said. “My stride really pushed me over the top to catch him and beat him. But he’s a good competitor.”
They both qualified for the California Interscholastic Federation state championships June 6 and 7 in Clovis, as did third-place David Mewborn of Vacaville High (10.90).
It will be Jones’ first trip to the state meet after he placed fifth at the section meet last year.
“The difference between last year and this year, I don’t think I was ready (last year) as an athlete,” Jones said, adding that this year he knew what to expect when he got to the final race.
“I had to prepare physically, but more mentally than anything to get myself ready for this, and actually notice how good these competitors are. That just pushed me over the top.”
Kimball High senior Damon Jackson finished fourth (10.97), and while not a state qualifier he could still go as an alternate if one of the other three doesn’t go.
“My start was pretty good but I could have done better the last 50 meters,” Jackson said. He also finished fourth in the 200-meter dash (22.24), again missing the cut for state, but still with a chance to advance as an alternate.
Another local state qualifier is Deion Lightfoot of Tracy, a freshman at St. Mary’s High in Stockton. He placed third in the boys 110 hurdles (14.54).
“I was a little bit nervous at first, being a freshman going into the 110 hurdles against juniors and seniors,” he said, adding that he felt his start was slow, but he leaned into the finish line at the end to take third by 3/100ths of a second.
Lightfoot competes in AAU and USA Track and Field events with the local Blazin’ Jaguars club, and now will compete against the top high school athletes at the CIF meet.
“It’s so exciting that it’s nerve-wracking too. I’m sure there aren’t many freshmen going to state,” he said.
Friday’s events were the final heats in all of the track events, with the top eight qualifiers from Thursday’s trials competing.
The West High girls 4x100 relay team, including senior Lia Burrell, sophomore Ivie Eboigbodin, sophomore Herbie Jo Dela Cruz and sophomore Alexis Lockard, placed fifth (48.76), the best time of the year for the Wolf Pack team.
“We might not have made it to state … but we’re still happy and grateful that we made it this far with all of the hard work and discipline our coach puts into us,” Burrell said.
“We always run that 4x100 as if it’s our last, and it’s amazing that I have those three girls to push like it’s our last race every single time.”
Contact Bob Brownne at email@example.com or 830-4227.
Sac-Joaquin Section Masters
May 29 and 30, Elk Grove High School
4x100 relay - 12, Kimball (Ryan Chaney, Jodaan Johnson Brown, Jacari Bearden, Damon Jackson), 43.37.
110 hurdles - 3, Deion Lightfoot, St. Mary's, 14.54. 7, Wesley Thompson, St. Mary's, 15.03. 13, Brandon Soeung, , Kimball, 15.38. 15, Jodaan Johnson Brown, , Kimball, 15.50.
100 - 1. Jones, Nate, Tracy, 10.786. 4, Jackson, Damon, Kimball, 10.97.
200 - 4, Damon Jackson, Kimball, 22.24.
Long jump - 15, Matthew Roe, West, 21-1.
Triple jump - 9, Matthew Roe, West, 43-2.75. 15, Christian Velasco, West, 42-2.5.
4x100 relay - 5, West (Lia Burrell, Ivie Eboigbodin, HerbieJo Dela Cruz, Alexis Lockard), 48.76.
100 hurdles - 8, Ivie Eboigbodin, West, 15.60.
100 - 12, Julia Price, Kimball, 12.51.
300 hurdles - 6, Ivie Eboigbodin, 45.00.
200 - 11, Julia Price, Kimball, 25.91.
Triple jump - 7, Lia Burrell, West, 35-2.5. 17, Elise Green, West, 33-10.5.
Girls high jump - 8, Elise Green, West, 4-11.