Two local sprinters favored at SJS Masters meet
by Bob Brownne
May 29, 2014 | 2430 views | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend | print

It’s not clear yet who Tracy’s fastest sprinter is, but this week’s Sac-Joaquin Section Masters meet could help answer that question.

The two fastest local qualifiers for the section meet in the 100-meter dash were two-hundredths of a second apart in their gold-medal runs at their separate division meets. They entered the SJS Masters meet — Thursday and today at Elk Grove High — as the leading competitors in the event.

Kimball High senior Damon Jackson won the SJS Division IV-V event with a sprint of 10.72 seconds May 22 at California State University, Stanislaus, in Turlock.

The time was Jackson’s best yet and a school record for Kimball High. It also made him the No. 1 seed going into the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters meet.

Friday, Tracy High junior Nate Jones won the SJS Division I race at Elk Grove High in 10.74 seconds, making him the No. 2 seed for the Masters meet.

His finish was more than a tenth of a second off his best time — 10.62 seconds, a Tracy High school record, which Jones ran at the San Joaquin Athletic Association championship meet May 16 at Chavez High in Stockton.

This week, the two sprinters, who have raced and played football against each other as crosstown rivals for the past two years, were looking forward to their next matchup at the Masters meet. Trials began Thursday, and the championship heat is today.

“It will be good to race next to him instead of just our times being together,” Jackson said. “Over the past couple of years we’ve been racing together, and it’s always been switching off, he wins and I win.”

They raced in separate heats in Thursday’s trials — Jones in the second of three heats and Jackson in the final heat — and could race side by side in today’s championship heat.

Jones noted that the SJS Masters meet was the third time this year that he and Jackson would race against each other. Jones beat Jackson by one-hundredth of a second at the Jaguar Relays on March 22 at Kimball High, winning in 10.94 seconds, and Jackson won the 100 at the All-City Meet on March 12 at Tracy High with a time of 11.04 seconds, five-hundredths of a second ahead of Jones.

“He’s a good competitor and he keeps pushing me, and I do the same for him. It’s good competition,” Jones said.

A first-and-second finish today would give them another chance to race each other at the California Interscholastic Federation state championship June 6 and 7 in Clovis. The state meet takes the Sac-Joaquin Section’s top three athletes in each event.

Update: Both sprinters placed first in their heats on Thursday, Jackson with a time of 10.89 and Jones with a time of 10.91, and will compete in Friday's final. Top qualifier was David Mewborn of Vacaville (10.80).

Contact Bob Brownne at or 830-4227.

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