Modesto JC's Sanders wins another state title

May 18, 2013 

EC Sanders01

ED CRISOSTOMO/ Modesto Junior College's Markus Sanders smiles for the camera at Modesto Junior College on Friday morning (04-05-13) in Modesto, CA.

ED CRISOSTOMO — The Modesto Bee

— Markus Sanders refused to let food poisoning get in the way of setting Modesto Junior College history.

Sanders threw the discus 184 feet, 1 inch, a personal-best by 9 feet, en route to his second title Saturday at the California Community College Track and Field Championships.

The win, coupled with his hammer throw title Friday, is believed to be the first double by an MJC athlete at the State Meet since Tammy Anderson in the 800 and 1,500 meters in 1983.

"I still feel bad," said Sanders, who got very little sleep Friday night. "I tried to stay hydrated and just put it aside. It was my last meet, and I wanted to do my best."

Sanders' pair of wins highlighted a successful meet by the Pirates. The women placed fifth overall (second in Northern California), their best finish since Mary Shea became coach in 2001. They were led by Kianna Weinzheimer's win Friday in the javelin and, a day later, seconds by Becky Hobby in the 1,500 and Tory Dickerson in the shot put.

The MJC men, who led the team standings after the first day, settled for seventh.

Sanders, a graduate of Pitman High and a bruising fullback for MJC in 2010 and 2011, placed fourth in the discus last year. All that was a prelude, however, to what he did at windy College of San Mateo.

On Friday, he beat teammate and hammer throw national leader Tyler Lamott (who placed third). A day later and shaken by illness, he took the lead in the fourth round over eventual runner-up Daniel Winter of West Valley.

"My dad was able to watch me today, which was good," Sanders said. "I just prayed. God did wonders for me today."

MJC coach Demetrius Snaer praised Sanders, one of the strongest athletes MJC has seen in many years.

"He is so strong and dedicated," Snaer said. "When someone is that strong and puts in the work, you may not expect state championships but you do expect success. Markus deserved this."

Shot put qualifier and Livingston grad Aldo Guzman, the only other MJC men's competitor on Saturday, recorded a personal-best 48-9 for fifth.

Dickerson, a freshman from Vacaville, warmed up for the shot put, her specialty, with a sixth in the hammer during the first day. She opened the shot with a 141-9 that led until Fatima Vegara of Riverside overtook her with a 150-0 in the fourth round.

Hobby, a freshman from Hughson, held off a pack of runners for her second in the 1,500 with a time of 4:43.56, more than seven seconds behind winner Grace Graham-Zamudio of Glendale. It was Zamudio's third win of the meet after she dominated the 5,000 and 10,000.

Mayfield, a Pitman grad, placed fourth in the 800 with a 2:18.13, slower than her Northern California title performance last week. The strategic race worked in the favor of winner Melissa Levya of Sequoias, who Mayfield defeated last week.

Jessica Betancourt, from Ripon, nursed a late-season ankle injury and placed 11th in the steeplechase (12:11.49).

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