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Mayfield takes his place on the podium
Weston Ranch hurdler makes history with sixth-place finish
Angell Mayfield became the first track athlete in Weston Ranch history to medal at the state finals, turning in a sixth-place finish Saturday. - photo by Bulletin file photo
CLOVIS – Angell Mayfield has put Weston Ranch on the map.

After turning the sixth fastest time in the 110-meter hurdle preliminaries Friday at the California Interscholastic Federation State Track and Field Championships, Mayfield woke up Saturday to a pleasant surprise: His photograph was featured in the Fresno Bee.

With 10,000 people in attendance at Buchanan High in Clovis Saturday, Mayfield went about the business of making history as he became the first Weston Ranch track athlete ever to medal at the state finals, turning in a sixth-place finish (14.32 seconds).

After a slow start at preliminaries, Mayfield exploded off the blocks Saturday and ran in third position for the entire race until the final hurdle.

“After he jumped the last hurdle, he looked to his left to see where he was at,” Weston Ranch head coach Rick Cuevas said. “That was his only mistake. It allowed (Vacaville’s Kyler Martin and Buchanan’s Corvaughn Archie) to out-lean him.”

According to Cuevas, Mayfield is just the third Manteca Unified School District student to claim state medalist honors, joining Manteca’s Josh Rodie (1998), who finished fifth in the 1600, and East Union’s Carl Crawford (2003), who took second in the 200 and fifth in the 100.

“He’s still in shock,” Cuevas said as Mayfield took his place on the podium alongside the top-five finishers. “He’s looking around at the other guys; I don’t think it’s settled in yet. After the race, he shook hands with the other guys and started to walk away. He didn’t know he placed, we had to call him back to the podium.”

Mayfield’s ascension to state medalist is a testament to the junior’s tireless work ethic, as well as the dedication of the Cougars’ coaching staff.

 During the cross country season, Cuevas happened to cross paths with an old friend, Alvin Pickettay.

Pickettay, who ran hurdles for Willie Weiss at Cal State Hayward during the late-80s, didn’t have a coaching job lined up for the 2009 track season, and Cuevas jumped at the opportunity to bring the coach on board.

Alongside speed coach Ed Miller, a Weston Ranch volunteer parent, Pickettay changed every aspect of Mayfield’s training regimen.

“We used my old workouts from college,” Pickettay said. “We started training with 120’s instead of 110’s. Ed and Angell did speed work with rubber bands as well. It took a while for him, because it was different than he was used to, but he adjusted really well.

“With each meet we would set a goal a goal for him and he met it every time. With this meet it was a 14.1 and he met that (Friday). Next year, he’ll start with a goal of 14-flat and then 13.9. He will get there.”

Mayfield’s season isn’t over yet.

The hurdler will join teammate Roberto Alvarez in Folsom next week for the Golden West Invitational Classic, a national event.

Mayfield and Alvarez both qualified for the invitational at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters meet last week at Sacramento City College.

“Angell put Weston Ranch on the map today,” Cuevas said. “To see his picture in the Fresno Bee with the Cougars logo was just incredible. People now realize that tiny Weston Ranch isn’t about foreclosures. Angell proved that we have great athletes.”

Said Pickettay: “It’s very satisfying. I’m elated. I can’t believe how fast he came along.

“We told Angell that if he did the workouts and stuck with it, he’d be on that podium.”
— Brandon Petersen