Meeting the Warwick twins, Meagan and Nicole, can be a confusing experience.
Telling them apart is next to impossible at first glance. Meagan, for starters, is one minute older.
"But I'm more mature," Nicole counters.
Here's the basic breakdown on the Warwicks: They're 14, home-schooled and they run fast. Very fast.
In fact, they're ranked among the nation's best in their age group in the 400 and 800 meters. So precocious are the Warwicks, organizers of Saturday's seventh annual Modesto Junior College Invitational predominantly a high school meet set up an "open" 800 race featuring the girls.
For the record, Nicole edged her sister by a second with a winning time (2:19) 11 seconds faster than the day's high-school winner.
"I don't like it when she beats me," said Meagan, who's coming back from an ankle injury last year. "I just have to train harder."
The twins have competed in youth meets for seven years. They're expected to join older siblings James the 110 hurdles winner at MJC and Jaclyn this fall at Modesto Christian.
Predicting success for youngsters can be a tricky business. Major physical and emotional changes loom for the Warwicks, along with everyone their age, but track observers believe the twins will lead more than a few packs in the near future.
Their presence further brightened a warm afternoon at MJC, where athletes from 15 schools a field smaller than normal on this Easter weekend sought improvement to their times and marks.
Enochs High senior Faith Makau, the reigning Sac-Joaquin Section Masters champion in the 1,600 who placed 11th in the state last year, displayed her talent Saturday at the Stanford Invitational. She placed seventh in her heat and 11th overall in the girls mile (5:06.14).
Fellow miler Steven Grolle of Sonora finished 11th in his heat and 19th overall (4:26.73).
The MJC meet was accented by MVP performances by juniors Lovel Collins of Modesto and Lexi Tubbs of Modesto Christian, who both won the 100 Collins in 11.46 and Tubbs in 12.87.
Collins also contributed to the Panthers' 4x100 relay win and placed second in the 200. Tubbs, coming off basketball season, won the 100 hurdles (15.21) and sprinted with teammates to victories in both relays.
Another noteworthy performance was turned in by Oakdale senior Kelley Gratigny, who doubled in the high jump and long jump. She led the Mustang girls to a runaway team title while Modesto prevailed over Gregori in the boys standings.
Track's essence, however, remains the intense singular competition. Gregori junior Alec Villagomez, weary but determined at the end of the 3,200, lunged at the finish line to beat Ryan Torres of Ripon and Tristan Boblet of Bret Harte. Seconds later, Villagomez collapsed onto the track on hands and knees.
"It's the desire to give everything you have for something you love," Villagomez said.
Here are results from other Stanislaus District athletes at Stanford:
Oakdale's Kyle Peterson, seventh in the discus (151-5).
Central Catholic's Ivan Swalve, eighth in the discus (151-4).
Oakdale freshman Hannah Chappell, eighth in the discus (120-3).
Central Catholic's Spencer Stark, 14th in the shot put (48-9½).
Bee staff writer Ron Agostini can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2302.
MJC results Page C-5