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EU’s Solorio qualifies for 300-hurdle finals before graduation

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Sierra's Kolton Cody tries to reach the finish before Jumoke Robinson of Highlands in the 100-meter dash during the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Meet trials Thursday.


POSTED May 28, 2010 3:16 a.m.
SACRAMENTO — Hector Solorio ran and hurdled the race of his life.

Then he raced against the clock to make graduation.

The now-East Union High graduate is the area’s lone track athlete to qualify for today’s Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Meet finals.

At Hughes Stadium Thursday, Solorio clocked a career-best 39.59-second time in the 300-meter hurdles, earning a runner-up finish while placing sixth overall to keep his season alive.

The top nine finishers in each track event Thursday will compete again today for one of three berths to the California Interscholastic Federation State Championships.

Solorio had never previously eclipsed the 40-second barrier. By the turn, he threatened to win his heat by taking a lead over Fairfield’s Dante Thomas. But Thomas hit the throttle over the final 80 meters to surge ahead, finishing in 38.94 for the second best time of the day.

After his race, Solorio classmate Da’Mesha Henderson, who competed in the girls 100 and 4x100 relay, and East Union head coach Todd Dunaway rushed out of the Sacramento City College campus and made their way south.

“It’s crazy, man,” Solorio said. “I just wanted to make the finals and I did. I accomplished what I wanted to and now I get to graduate. I’m feeling pretty good.”

Solorio is one of five individual competitors to take first in an event during the SJS Division-III Meet last week. Sierra’s boys 4x100 team also entered Thursday’s Masters trials as a D-III champ.

No one else from the area fared as well as Solorio, but to some it was valuable experience.

East Union sophomore Jerrica Hauck was 7 inches short of last week’s top D-III pole vault mark of 10 feet, but to her it was still a successful end to the season.

Before the D-III meet she struggled to clear 9 feet with consistency, but on Thursday she easily cleared the opening mark of 9-3. She ended up in a two-way tie for 12th place.

“Just making it to Masters as a sophomore was amazing,” Hauck said. “Usually the opening height is at 7 (feet), but today we opened at 9-3. By making opening height I was happy. I have a whole year (to improve), and hopefully next year I can come back here and go to state.”

East Union freshman Megan Jordan, another Division-III champion, placed 14th in 1:00.09 in the 400. Sierra’s boys 400 relay team took 13th in 43.67.

Also competing Thursday were: Manteca’s Paul Lyons (110 hurdles, 14th place; 300 hurdles, 21st) and Briana Lucas (400, 22nd); East Union’s Makayla Valdez (100, 17th; 200, 14th), Henderson (100, 22nd) and girls 4x100 (20th), Ripon’s Victor Serrano (800, 19th); and Sierra’s Kolton Cody (100, 21st), Arielle Jones (triple jump, 22nd), Chantel Burton (discus, 16th), Udoka Uwakwe (triple jump, 15th) and Ulysses Knapps (triple jump, 19th).

Knapps will compete again today in the long jump, where he has a better chance to make the state meet. He comes in as the No. 3 seed after winning the event in the Division-III meet. Also eyeing a berth to state is Manteca senior Vincent Herrera, who won the Division-III mile race.
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