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Taylor Snaer wins two 3C2A state track titles
EU alumna helps MJC women place third; men’s team takes sixth
MJC track
The Modesto Junior College women’s 4x100 team of Kyndell Johnston, from left, Alyson Schneider, Josalynn Ragland, Taylor Snaer placed second in the California Community College Athletic Association Championships last weekend in Mission Viejo. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

 Demitrius Snaer plucks talent from his own backyard to help fill out his Modesto Junior College track and field roster.

Quite literally, in some cases.

Taylor Snaer, the youngest of his two daughters, was among the local talent featured in the California Community College Athletic Association Championships last weekend at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo. The 2023 East Union graduate led the Pirates’ NorCal champion women’s team to a third-place team finish and was named women’s track athlete of the state meet.

Joining her were fellow Mantecans Camrenne Genilla and Alyson Schneider. On the men’s side, Kainoa Ontai was part of MJC’s fourth-place mile relay team. The MJC men finished sixth in the state.

Mt. San Antonio College three-peated as meet champion in both the men’s and women’s competitions. The Mounties women totaled 102 points and held off Cerritos (73) and MJC (61).

Coach Snaer, also an East Union alum (1993) and Fresno State Hall of Famer, is proud to go toe-to-toe with the Southern California heavyweights in the final meet of the 3C2A season.

“We went into it with the idea that it could happen,” he said of competing for a state title, “but things would have had to have gone really well. Honestly, I don’t think other schools do it with local kids like we do.

“We know we’re going up against these L.A. schools that have bigger recruiting areas and bounce-back kids from major Division I programs. I pride myself in coaching kids whose parents I’ve known for years, and some of them have brothers and sisters who came through my program.”

Both of his daughters have gone through his program. His eldest, Jadyn, has completed her successful career at Cal Poly, while Taylor is one-and-done at MJC with offers from top four-year universities.

Taylor won the 100- and 200-meter races with impressive times and was part of the runner-up 4x100. Her 100 time of 11.30 seconds is the fastest ran nationally in JUCO competitions, and her 200 mark of 22.96 is the second fastest all-time behind Ashton Purvis’ 22.86 (2012) in the state championships.

In the coming weeks, Taylor is expected to make her commitment to an NCAA school. She has narrowed her choices down to three storied programs — LSU, Oregon and UCLA.

She is going out as MJC’s record holder in the 100 (11.25), 200 (22.95) and 400 (54.96).

“Taylor is doing some special things that have not been done at this level before,” Demitrius said. “With the trajectory she is on, the possibilities are endless. Every day, my wife and I talk about it and we are just wowed. I don’t think you can find too many kids who work as hard as she has over the years, and she really put herself in this position.”

Although the 3C2A season has concluded, Taylor is still training for even bigger meets ahead. She will compete in the USA Track & Field U20 Championships on June 12-13 and has also qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials on June 21-30. Both meets are hosted at Oregon’s famed Hayward Field. If she makes the national team out of the U20 meet, Snaer will have the chance to race in the World Athletics U20 Championships in Peru on Aug. 27-31.

In the 4x100, Snaer linked up with Schneider, Josalynn Ragland (Pitman) and Kyndell Johnston (Hilmar), placing second in 47.06.

Schneider also took seventh in the long jump with a top leap of 17 feet, 8 ¼ seconds. The 2022 Manteca High grad plans on continuing her career at a Division I school with three years of eligibility remaining.

Coach Snaer said that whichever program lands her would be lucky.

“You can’t find a better teammate than Alyson,” Snaer said. “She hurt herself during her senior year of high school and sat out her freshman year, but she still came to every meet and helped any way she could.

“This year, they found a mistake that was made on her knee surgery, so that girl did not start competing until the second meet of the season in March. To go from that to making state in the long jump is incredible. And we didn’t (originally) have her on the 4x100. We needed someone to step in there because of injury, and she helped them run the second fastest time in school history.”

Genilla, also a 2022 MHS alumna, took second in the javelin throw (135-07) and sixth in the heptathlon (4,183 points). She has committed to San Francisco State. Older sister Rhiannon Genilla is also an MJC track product who now competes for Fresno State.

MJC track
Modesto Junior College track and field coach Demitrius Snaer, center, with his 4x100 relay team of Kainoa Ontai Blake Gross, Joey Stout and Rusty Jones at the California Community College Athletic Association Championships last weekend in Mission Viejo.

Ontai (East Union, 2023) earned medals in the relays. He’s a 4x400 All-American along with Rusty Jones (Downey), Ben Plaa (Pitman) and Joey Stout (Pitman). They took fourth in 3 minutes, 13.56 seconds.

Ontai was also on the sixth-place 4x100 (40.92) with Blake Gross (Beyer/Manteca), Jones and Stout.

Ontai, a football player in the fall, is one of seven multi-sport athletes on the track team.

“We share athletes really well,” Snaer said, adding that he has male and female athletes who also play basketball and soccer. “A lot of coaches at other schools have an issue with that, but I make it a point to reach out and let them know I’m not trying to steal their athletes. I’m just trying to help them better versions of themselves.”