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OFF AND RUNNING - Riverbank Track And Field Stars Qualify For Divisionals
The second leg of the 4-by-100 relay is run with enthusiasm by Riverbank High sprinter Sabrina Garcia at the Trans-Valley League championships on May 9. - photo by Marg Jackson/The News

Eight events at the Trans-Valley League Track and Field Championships were won by Riverbank High competitors on Thursday, May 9, as 21 Bruins excelled to qualify for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV-V Championships.

Mikayla Florez qualified in four events, including the 3200 and 1600, which she won. She was also second in the 800 and joined the second-place 1600 relay team with Haley Richardson, Melissa Romero and Kelyn Murillo.

Bruin throwers soared to the front of the pack as well. Melissa Garcia heaved the shot put and discus to championship marks, coming just an inch shy of breaking the school shot-put record at 37 feet, 7.25 inches.

Fabian Arana also won the discus and was second in the shot put. Gabe Manriquez was second in the 100 and captured gold in the 200 while Sabrina Garcia did the same for the Bruin girls. Kenny Veliz was tops in the triple jump and second in the long jump.

Christian Torres (second in the 400) and Jonathen Beliera (third in the 3200) also qualified for D-IV-V in individual events. Manriquez joined Cecil Arias, Sam Certuche and Simon White on the second-place 400 relay team and partnered with Certuche, Adrian Salazar and Ylii Lopez on the second-place1600 relay team.

Garcia, Vanessa Vargas, Kim Ruvalcaba and Kenia Medina made up the third-place 400 relay team. Richardson finished second in the 300 hurdles and third in the pole vault. Karina Cajero was also third in the discus.

“Our kids battled hard at the TVL meet,” Riverbank coach Monte Wood said. “Most of our kids set personal records during the meet, so I cannot be disappointed in the way they performed.

“All four relay teams advanced to divisionals which is always one of our goals.”

The D-IV-V action began with Trials at Sierra High on Tuesday, though results were not available at press time. Athletes who qualified for the D-IV-V Finals will return to Sierra on Thursday, May 16 for a shot at nabbing one of five entries to the Masters Championships.

“Divisionals always presents us with a formidable challenge,” Coach Wood said. “We aren’t just competing against schools our size, we are competing against schools more than twice our size, and it is stiff competition.

“Our girls have a really good chance of finishing in the top two in D-V if the girls are focused and perform.”