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Sierra closes VOL season with three league titles

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Ruben Lopez leaves Oakdale runners behind and scores first-place points for Sierra in the 400-meter dash during a big Valley Oak League meet for the championship at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadiu...


POSTED April 29, 2010 2:34 a.m.
Usually when the Valley Oak League season ends and Sierra and Oakdale high’s track and field programs prepare to do battle there is something worthwhile at stake. Nothing changed with this year’s regular season finale, as Sierra was able to outshine Oakdale on three of the four levels of competition taking a trio of VOL championships Wednesday.

Sierra’s boys wrapped up its league title with a convincing 85-55 win over the visiting Mustangs. Ruben Lopez, Grant Widmer, John Bowers and Ulysses Knapps all made off with multiple wins, pushing Sierra to yet another VOL crown.

“This is really what the sport is all about,” Sierra head coach Anthony Chapman said. “It gives us a chance to run for championships. I told the kids yesterday, this is what Sierra track is all about, putting yourself in position to run for a VOL championship.

“Unfortunately, someone has to win and someone has to lose and I’ve been on both ends.”

Lopez’ effort was one that assured Chapman of what end he’d be on this season, winning the 400, 800 and 4x400-relay in his junior season. Widmer won the 300-hurdles, the high jup, and took second in the 110-hurdles and third in the pole vault.

Teammate Bowers won the mile, the 3200 and took second in the 800, while Knapps raced off with the long jump win with a leap of 22’5”.

Kyle Furtado (2nd, mile), Steven Thayer (2nd long jump, 3rd 100), Ricky Morris (2nd 3200, 3rd mile) and Wesley Henschel (3rd 400) all made significant contributions to the championship effort.

Sierra’s varsity girls team came up on the short end of the race for the championship, getting outscored 80.5 -55.5 in their league finale. Even with one of the most impressive seasons throughout the area, watching the Lady Mustangs celebrate their fifth consecutive league crown was painful to say the least for Sierra.

“They were disappointed of course,” Chapman said. “But I don’t want to take anything away from Oakdale’s girls team, they are a very talented team. I told them that if they know that they gave it everything and left it all on the track, no matter what the outcome is you have to find a way to be ok with that.

“I do think our girls gave it their all.”

Taylor Wilson was her customary dominant self, winning the 400 and 4x100-relay, and taking a second in the long jump and third in the 100-meters. Jenna Anderson earned a second in the triple jump and a third in the 100-meters, while Shanedra Pitts won the 200-meters.

Sierra alos saw Lorie Hoffman, second in the 100-meters, third in pole vault, put together an impressive championship meet. Francis Scherry (2nd, 800 and mile) and Analisa Honour (1st, 800) also made beneficial contributions.

The frosh-soph level was all Sierra’s as both the boys and girls finished as VOL champions. The boys cruised to an easy 89-43 win, while the girls held on for a 74-55 win.

Valerie Westover won the shot and the discus, while teammate Genevieve Millin won the 400,800 and assisted the 4x400-relay team’s win. Trevor Nunes (mile, 3200), Emmanuel Elijah (100, 4x100), Kayson Matela (triple jump, 4x100), Zach Penirian (long jump, 4x100) and Will Ward (shot put) all posted wins in the Timberwolves’ championship meet.

The Timberwolves will now set their sights on making a lengthy team postseason run, possibly closing with another Sac-Joaquin Section championship.

“We are always about pushing the limits and going as far as we can possibly go,” Chapman said. “We do have a very high standard. We told them today, we’ll enjoy this one tonight and we know it’s some icing on our cake for this season, but it’s definitely not the cherry.

“We have some work yet to do, so now it goes back to business as usual.”
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