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Freshman Runner Places At Top of All-Time Records
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Riverbank freshman runner Omar Fernandez chose to run in the varsity 1,600 meters at the prestigious Meet of Champions, where he came close to winning the race.

Fernandez not only placed second, but also clocked 4:24.2, which is only half a second off the winner's time and the Riverbank High School record.

"That's got to be among the top two or three times for the freshman mile in the state,' said Bruin coach Monte Wood. "To place second in a varsity race is extraordinary and running 4:24.2 is very, very good.

Conducted in Sacramento on Saturday, the Meet of Champions drew competitors from more than 100 schools in Northern California ranging from Redding to San Francisco and San Jose, and which even attracted some contestants from Los Angeles schools.

Riverbank High qualified only five athletes to compete.

The best performances came from the girls. Maritza Garcia placed fifth in the 1,600 meters, but was 10 seconds off her personal record after being out of competition for three weeks with an injury.

Bianca Melchor won a ninth place in the two-mile. Her time was only a couple of seconds over the school record.

The Bruins easily won in a league meet against Livingston on Thursday, the boys scoring a 77-59 victory and the girls winning by 91-40.

Ben DeYoung won the 110 high hurdles in 16.82 and the 300-meter hurdles in 43.72. Riverbank won the 400-meter relay, while Omar Fernandez led the 1,600 meters in 4:58 and his cousin, German Fernandez, won the 800 meters in 2:07.5. Isaac Montoya led the 3,200 meters in 11:11.

Ralphie Stevens won the long jump with a leap of 20-3.5, and the triple jump with a distance of 43 feet. Tony Winstead won the pole vault with a height of 11 feet.

Stevens is undefeated in league at the long jump and triple jump, coach Wood said. DeYoung and Winstead tied in the pole vault at 11 feet.

In the high jump, where Riverbank does not shine, John Colon did not win but boosted his personal record by six inches to 5 feet 8 inches.

In the shot and discus events, where Riverbank also is not strong, Wood noted that Jose Ramos has been throwing the discus 39 feet, and Jon Blount 38-3. Livingston, he added, is especially strong in throwing events.

In the girls' events, Kasey Wool won the 100 low hurdles in a time of 18.13, the 100 meter dash in 13.49, the long jump with a distance of 15-7 and the pole vault with a height of 10-0.

Kelley Clancey won the 300 meter high hurdles in 55.22 and the triple jump with a distance of 32-6.

Other Bruin winners were Gina Arnold, with 5:54 for the 1.600 meters and 13.02 for the 3,200 meters; and Maritza Garcia, with 1.07 for the 400 meters and 2:43 for the 800 meters. Riverbank won both the 400 relay, in 1.02, and the 1,600 relay, in 5:14.

Wood noted that Wool was competing in the long jump for the first time this season after experimenting in practice last season.

Next meet for the Bruins is at home on Thursday against both Patterson and Hughson. That will be followed by the Frosh-Soph Invitational on Friday, and the League Meet at Modesto Junior College on Wednesday, May 11.