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Division Track Showdown Concludes Thursday
The road to a California Interscholastic Federation Track and Field Championship qualification in the 1600 meter race traverses through the Vista del Lago varsity roster.

The Folsom school is just five years old, but has already developed serious elite talent for postseason competition in the Sac-Joaquin Section, and the Eagles' best sport may be best on the all-weather track. Vista del Lago sports three standout distance runners and both of the top-two recorded times in the girls 1600 this season.

Since the SJS sends only three 1600 runners to state (unless they reach difficult at-large marks), there is virtually no room for error when VDL runners toe the starting line.

Riverbank's spectacular sophomore distance talent, Mikayla Florez, will get her second shot at Vista del Lago's top 1600-pair (Madeleine Ankhelyi and Clare Carroll) during the SJS Division IV-V finals on Thursday, May 17. Ankhelyi and Carroll edged Florez by 15 and five seconds respectively on April 20 as the three went 1, 2, 3 in the prestigious Woody Wilson invitational (a VDL runner was also eighth).

Florez kicked to a personal best in the race, and will need a similar feat to stay in competition with the VDL girls expected to run away with the Division title.

Florez can finish top-six or reach a manageable 5:20.13 time to guarantee her spot at Masters on May 25, where one race will decide entries to state.

Florez is currently eighth in the section with her 5:11.81 personal best, but sits just over six seconds away from No. 3 Faith Makau of Enochs, who Florez beat head-to-head this season. Florez represents Riverbank's best shot at state advancement. She was 10th a season ago, but has already bested three of the top-four returning runners (Makau, Hughson's Becky Hobby, Ponderosa's Christine Reedar).

Four runners who bested her last year at Masters also graduated. Florez will also compete in the 800 after winning the Trans-Valley League title in the event.

Riverbank's 1600 boys relay team of Raymond Burney, Gabe Manriquez, Christian Torres and Robert Martinez won league, and also has a shot at a top-six advancement to Masters. The team is ranked No. 7 among D-IV-V teams after a 3:34.42 effort this season. Sophomore Fabian Arana is also seventh in the discus with his 143 foot, 7 inch toss while Martinez sits seventh in the triple jump after a 42-9.75 leap. Tiffany Edgar has cleared 5-0 this season in the high jump, leaving her tied with three others for the fifth best mark from a Division competitor. Melissa Garcia is fourth in the shot put (36-.5) and should also see Masters advancement after winning the TVL.

Flores, Melissa Romero, Haley Richardson and Erica Orellana have a good shot at Masters in the 1600 relay after winning the TVL and sitting No. 6 in D-IV-V.

The D-IV-V competition began with Trials on Tuesday, though results were not available at press time. The action continues Thursday with 3 p.m. field events and 6 p.m. track events. Flores should begin her highly anticipated1600 race around 6:18 p.m.