By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Knapps a state hopeful with No. 3 seed in long jump
Sierra High junior Ulysses Knapps has high hopes going into the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Meet today and Friday. He is seeded third in the long jump with at 22 feet, 6 ½ inches. - photo by Bulletin file photo


• WHAT: Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Meet
• TRIALS: Today, 3 p.m. (field), 4 p.m. (track)
• FINALS: Friday, 3 p.m. (field), 6 p.m. (track)
• WHERE: Sacramento City College’s Hughes Stadium

Sierra High junior Ulysses Knapps walked away from the long jump pit at Modesto Junior College last Thursday with a Sac-Joaquin Section Division III title in the event but was not completely satisfied.

His mark of 22 feet, 6 ½ inches is a new personal record while seeding himself third going into this week’s SJS Master Meet, which begins today with the track trials and half of the field events.
“I’m happy that I did better this time after taking second last year, but I feel like I should have done better. I feel like I’m close to hitting 23 (feet),” Knapps said last Thursday.

The heat winners and next six best overall finishers in each track event move onto Friday’s finals.

The top three placers in each track and field event, along with at-large qualifiers, advance to the California Interscholastic Federation State Championships in Clovis June 4-5.

Knapps, whose first-place finish in the long jump helped the Timberwolves capture their fourth SJS Division III championship in six years with a slim lead over Placer (62-60), won’t compete in the long jump until Friday. Today, he and teammate Udoka Uwakwe are in the triple jump.

Knapps is setting his goals high, but among all local qualifiers his may be the most reachable. Only Ricco Jones of Rodriguez (Sacramento) and Chris Mamon of Benicia have better seeded marks at 22-9 ¾ and 23-6, respectively.

Weston Ranch senior Angell Mayfield was expected to make it at least this far and even advance in the state meet for the second straight year, but his season ended in heartbreaking and controversial fashion at MJC. He was disqualified from the 110-meter hurdles, an event that he placed sixth in state last season. Later, he won the 300 hurdles but forfeited the first-place medal to East Union runner-up Hector Solorio. Mayfield was again DQ’d, this time for partially leaping over a competitor’s hurdle.

Four other individuals plus Sierra’s 4x100 boys relay team earned decent seeds by winning events at divisionals, but advancing further will be tough.

The good news for most of them is that this week’s experience should prove valuable for future seasons, but for seniors like Vincent Herrera it’s their last chance to make it to state.

The Manteca High distance standout won the Division-III 1,600 race in 4:26.23, but four runners from larger schools posted sub-4:20 times last week. Herrera is seeded 15th out of 24.

Underclassmen looking to make a splash in their first Masters appearances are East Union’s Jerrica Hauck and Megan Jordan.

Hauck, a sophomore, won the D-III girls pole vault at a personal best 10 feet even, which has her seeded eighth. She aims to at least match the school record of 10-9 today.

Freshman Jordan also eclipsed her personal best mark while winning the 400 last week. Her time of 59.74 is good for the 14th seed. Four other freshmen are ranked ahead of her, including No. 2 Nia Dorner of Rosemont with a 56.02.

Sierra’s Division-III champion 400 relay team of Stephen Thayer, Udoka Uwakwe, Kolton Cody and Harold Wright is seeded 13th.