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Sierras Santiago is areas lone divisional champ
TF--SJS Division 2-3 Finals pic 1
Sierras Anthony Santiago won the shot put at 53 feet, 1/2 inch Friday in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II-III Track and Field championships at Bella Vista High in Fair Oaks. - photo by DAVE CAMPBELL/The Bulletin

FAIR OAKS — Anthony Santiago scratched on his final attempt in Friday’s Sac-Joaquin Section Division II-III shot put final at Bella Vista High.

Didn’t matter. The Sierra senior already had the title in hand.

Santiago was the lone Manteca-area athlete to win an event, flinging a 53-foot, ½-inch mark. It was an improvement from his third-place finish at divisionals a year ago, but he expected more out of himself.

“I did better in practice than I did in the actual meet, but I took first so I’m happy about that,” Santiago said.

He is one of several local competitors to step foot on the medal stand for top-four finishers. The top seven placers along with anyone who meet or surpass at-large marks qualify for next week’s SJS Masters meet at Elk Grove High.

Meet host Bella Vista claimed the Division II boys team championship, while Kimball is the Division III winner. Manteca was ninth overall and fourth in Division III. Cosumnes Oaks and Vista del Lago are the Division II and III girls titlists, respectively.

Manteca’s Kenny Wooten and Carl Chandler both set personal records that were good for third and fourth place in the triple jump. It was a competitive field led by Oakmont’s Isaiah Holmes, who took first in all three jumping events this week.

Wooten topped out at 47-01, while Chandler beat his old record by more than a foot with a leap of 45-10. Holmes’ winning mark stood at 47-10 ½.

“There were some good dudes and it seemed like everyone was jumping their best today,” Chandler said. “There was one PR after the other so everybody had to be at their ‘A’ game.”

Wooten, an impressive athlete who stands at 6-8, will make his first Masters appearance as a junior. Last year, while attending Stagg High of Stockton, he qualified for the Division I meet but did not compete.

“I wasn’t taking it seriously back then, so I have a lot of things to work on,” Wooten said. “The competition is only getting better and I have to catch up to it.”

Both Chandler (long jump, fifth, 21-08) and Wooten (high jump, second, 6-04) had already punched tickets to Masters on Wednesday in other events. Chandler is part of the 4x400 relay with Brandon Craighead, Mahir Pepic and Juan Gomez. The quartet finished fifth in 3 minutes, 26.33 seconds. Gomez took sixth in the individual 400 (50.19) earlier in the day

The surprise performer of the meet was East Union’s Darian Joseph in the 100-meter dash. Seeded eighth for the final race, he got off to a quick start in lane 9 and ended up placing third in 11.31 seconds with a 2.1 meter-per-second headwind. His PR is 10.98. Fellow Lancer Taariq Davis took ninth after earning the No. 3 seed in Wednesday’s trials.

“I looked up for a bit during the race and saw that I was in first — I thought I might have won,” Joseph said. “I can only get better from here.”

Joseph also ran a strong second leg in the 4x100, helping his team — which included Joe Borba, Cody Keener and Davis — qualify fifth in 43.06.

“I was ready for this,” Joseph said. “Took an ice bath yesterday and came in today feeling much better than I did on Wednesday.”

East Union’s girls 400 relay qualified third with a new school record of 49.13, beating its previous best (49.17) established in the trials. Fourth-time Masters qualifier Jordan McNeal anchored the team and was preceded by Katelyn Allen, Alyssa Drew and Sophie Williams. McNeal, who also qualified in the 100 (sixth, 12.86), made up a lot of ground for East Union’s finish.

“We did pretty good,” McNeal said. “I was just thinking ‘catch up and don’t lose.’

Allen also took seventh in qualifying for the 300 hurdles (46.94).

Manteca sophomore Loretta Kakala is another multi-event qualifier after she PR’d in the discus (117-01) for fourth place. On Wednesday she was the shot put (36-08) runner-up.

Sierra will have just two representatives at Masters. Joining Santiago is Jojo Macias, who finished tied for fourth in the pole vault (13-08).

Others advancing are:

Mantca’s Jade Griffin (200, sixth, 26.11), Emma Holbrook (1,600, seventh, 5:33.71) and Marcus Montano (high jump, sixth, 5-10).

East Union’s Patricia Tajii (100 hurdles, seventh, 16.70) and Maliah Watson (shot put, fifth, 34-09).

Lathrop’s Isaias Hunter (high jump, third, 6-0) and Horatio Venable (long jump, sixth, 20-05).

Weston Ranch’s Iris Carillo (1,600, fifth, 5:22.79) and Thomas Huerta (1,600, sixth, 4:34.24).