Whether it’s between the boys teams or the girls, the annual Valley Oak League dual meet between Sierra and Kimball has been decided on the final event of the day in recent years.
That was again the case Thursday at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium, where the host Timberwolves boys squeaked out a 68-64 lead to gain sole possession of first place with two meets remaining.
Sierra’s girls are also undefeated at 4-0, beating Kimball 78-53 but with their big test coming next week at Oakdale. Both of Sierra’s varsity teams are defending league champions.
“It was back and forth all meet long today,” Sierra coach Ezequiel Ruiz said. “Our last four meets against Kimball have come down to the 4x400. We match up well against each other. It comes down to preparation, strategy and a little bit of luck. It makes for an exciting track meet.”
Sierra called up several of its top frosh-soph athletes to bolster the varsity boys and girls teams. Every point certainly counted on the boys side. The mile relay quartet of Jerardo Salcedo, Saul Contreras, David Correa and Nick Stanley took first to clinch the overall win.
Ruiz lauded senior standout Stanley for accepting a larger role Thursday. He also took first in the 300-meter hurdles, second in the 110 hurdles and third in the 200.
“We kind of put the pressure on Nick with him being a senior,” Ruiz said. “He ran four events today instead of his usual three.”
Holden Fishburn also keyed the win with top finishes in the shot put and discus throw.
Miranda Miller anchored the girls’ victory, taking first in the 100 hurdles, long jump, triple jump and pole vault. Megan Oblin claimed both distance-running events, while Dulce Cruz was a double winner in the throws.
Oakdale’s girls are also undefeated in league.
“Our girls lost some (senior) leadership last year,” Ruiz said. “We knew this was a meet that would define our season and the girls rose to the challenge today. We’ll have another tough meet next week but we’ll be ready for the challenge.”
Amelia Tapua was Sierra’s top performer at the lower levels with wins in the frosh-soph girls shot put and discus. Kimball’s girls won 72-39, while the Jaguars boys coasted, 98-24.