Last weekend, Muppy Gragg, Keaziah Smith and Ryan Nall competed in the California State Track and Field Trials. This a two day event, trials on Friday and finals on Saturday (they are also expecting 100 degree weather for the finals.)
Before I go further, the event was held at Buchanan High School in Clovis. Buchanan has a grammar school, middle school and a high school on the same campus. The campus itself is big enough to put Acalanes, Las Lomas and possibly Campolindo on the same site. The stadium was built by the Clovis school district and is the host to all five high schools in the district for football. The stadium was also designed for track, with the specific purpose of hosting the State Track Championships. It can seat up to 10,000 or more; it has four long jump pits, so if the wind changes the direction of the runway changes; two pole vault pits that can also be changed due to wind; two shot put rings; and a nine lane “Mondo” track which is the fastest surface a runner can run on with exchange zones that vary in color and are used for relays.
To get to the meet an athlete must first qualify out of league to the sub section championships. In Acalanes’ case, you have to finish in the top six at League to move on to Tri-Valley or run a qualifying time. From Tri-Valley an athlete must qualify in the top seven to move on tho the section championship or in our case the Meet of Champions. At the Meet of Champions an athlete must qualify in the top three or run a qualifying time to move on to the State championships If I am correct, there are eight sections in the state, some larger than others and they follow the same procedure. Out of those eight sections a total of 27 athletes qualify for the State Meet (that number may be larger in some events because additional athletes qualify by meeting a qualifying time.)
In California, the most populated state in the Union, we have over 800,000 high school athletes competing in sports. California has some of the best athletes in the nation, and this meet will bear that out. After trials you will find out how you rank in your event in the state. Either you are in the top 9 in running events or the top 12 in field events, but if you finish in 10th or 27th that is how you rank out of all the athletes in the state that participated in track and in your particular event. There are no losers when it comes to this meet, because just to get to this meet, you have to be the best of the best (and this may mean the best in the nation.)
Muppy finished 10th in the 300 hurdles with a time of 43.77, which breaks the school record she broke last week and she finished 15 in the long jump with a jump of 17′ 11.75 (she was a scratch away from being in finals); Keaziah Smith finished 25th in a field of 32 with a jump of 21′ 8.50; Ryan finished with a throw of 53′ 8.5 to finish in a tie for 15. Keaziah is returning to Acalanes next year and now that he has been to this meet he will be focused to return. Muppy and Ryan are moving on to college where they will also compete in track, Muppy to Dartmouth and Ryan to MIT.
This meet also featured para ambulatory athletes that competed and represented their school as did every athlete in the meet.
Head Track & Field Coach
All-League honors were announced for softball. Representing Acalanes:
Morgan Salmon- freshman
Amy Schwing- freshman
Ellie Palma- freshman
Bailee Takano- Junior
Riley Nicosia- sophomore
Rosie Shackett- senior
Alexis Carlson- senior
The team was 3rd in academics for all of North Coast Sectionals!
Way to go, Lady Dons!