By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Several area athletes earn VOL championships at league finale
The first heat of the varsity boys 100M is shown during Saturday’s Valley Oak League track finals at Sierra High on Saturday. - photo by HIME ROMERO
It was more than just a gathering for all of the athletes in the Valley Oak Leagues’ nine track and field programs. The VOL championships at Sierra High Saturday were the final opportunity for participants to win a league title and to continue their 2010 season for another few weeks.

Seasons were extended for several area athletes, including Weston Ranch standout Angell Mayfield. Mayfield was exceptional in the league championships, winning four events, including the 110 and 300-hurdles as well as the 400 and 200-meters. Mayfield raced to the 400-meter title with an impressive final 100-meter sprint.

“With the 400 I was pretty happy with the way I ran,” Mayfield said after the win. “The guy from Sierra was right there, he’s a tough competitor, so I really just had to get out there and run my race.”

Mayfield’s exploits were impressive to say the least, setting up the chance to compete in four events in the Sac-Joaquin Sections. Mayfield will likely forfeit that opportunity; dropping the 400-meters to concentrate on the three events he has realistic possibilities of making it to the CIF State Meet with, where he advanced last year for a top-6 finish.

“For the rest of this season, the goal I have set is for me to actually win State in the 300s,” Mayfield said. “I feel I can do that.  My target time is between a 35.5 and a 36-flat; I should be able to accomplish that.”

The Manteca Buffaloes got a strong showing from Vince Herrera, who outkicked Sierra High standout John Bowers in the mile, winning the race with a time of 4:24.81. Herrera outdid himself in the 800-meters, closing the race with ridiculous speed to pull out double league titles.
“In the last 800 of the mile he (Bowers) really picked it up,” Herrera said. “I was getting kind of tired, so I thought if I could keep up with him until the 200-meters I knew I was going to win.

“I just finally passed him and kept going.”

Herrera was far from done, making his lasting impression with a blistering close in the 800. At the half-way point he was in the thick of things, yet it didn’t seem like his race. By the final 10 strides, Herrera displayed the kick that nobody in the area seems to be able to match.

“I had confidence that I was going to be able to win the 1600,” Herrera said. “But with the 800, I was kind of shaky.

“I was able to get a kick at the end, and it felt really good.”

The East Union Lancers got a quality meet from the varsity girls sprinters, winning the 100, 200 and 400-meters with a trio of impressive showings. Da’mesha Henderson raced to the 100-meter victory, teammate Makayla Valdez won the 200 and Lancer Megan Jordan recorded the fastest time in the 400-meters, winning in 1:00.6. Valdez was able to fend of Sierra’s Shanedra Pitts for a close first-place finish.

“It was a tough race,” Valdez said. “My number was falling off, but I didn’t want to focus on it because I wanted that race.

“She (Pitts) beat me last time, so I came back for her.”

Sierra standout Kolton Cody had a meet for the ages, sprinting to victory in the 100-meters with a time of 11:36, and teaming up with Stephan Thayer, Ulysses Knapps and Udoka Uwake for the 4x100-relay championship. The Sierra girls were able to win the 4x100-relay as well, getting a time of 51.12 from Jenna Anderson, Tayler Wilson, Lorie Hoffman and Pitts in the victory.
Lady Lancers Jerrica Hauk outlasted the field in the pole vault, winning the league championship with a leap of 8-feet-8-inches as a sophomore. The top-3 finishers in each event land a berth into the section’s Division III meet at Modesto Junior College beginning May 18. The trials will begin the first day, with the meet concluding with the finals May 20.

The first six placers in divisonals will qualify to compete in the Masters Meet at Hughes Stadium in Sacramento May 27 and 28.