MODESTO — The southern portion of the Sac-Joaquin Section earned its respect at the Masters Track and Field Championships.
The rare double in the 800 and 1,600 meters by Enochs High senior Faith Makau accented a solid showing Thursday and Friday at Elk Grove High.
Discus victories by Oakdale tandem Kyle Peterson and freshman Hannah Chappell and a win by Atwater senior Dallas Hoofard in the 300 hurdles also caught the attention of about 2,000 Friday night as the section's most important meet came to an end.
Though the nine Stanislaus District qualifiers for the CIF State Championships is down from the 16 in 2012 and the 12 in 2011, the five titles matches the 2012 performance.
The top three finishers in each event at the Masters earned the ultimate reward a trip to Buchanan High in Clovis for the State Meet on Friday and Saturday.
Makau, the back-to-back Masters champion in the 1,600, will make her third trip to Clovis.
She became the first girl in nine years, since Lauren Mulkey of Woodcreek, to accomplish the 800-1,600 double. Makau's winning times, 4 minutes, 54.48 seconds, in the 1,600 and 2:13.78 in the 800, topped Mulkey's in 2004.
More telling, Makau relied on her experience and endurance to rally from off the pace in both races. The events were staged only an hour apart. Makau reached the 1,600 final last year at state and placed 11th.
Another standout was Atwater's Hoofard, who held off Stagg's Andre Lindsey to win the 300 hurdles. Hoofard, the district's only athlete to qualify for three Masters finals, is tied for seventh in the state with his season-best of 37.89.
Golden Valley junior pole vaulter Ryan Pust, the brother of last year's Masters champion Steven Pust (he's a decathlete at UC Davis), is ranked seventh in the state at 15-10.
Afolabi Olabode, another Golden Valley junior, is eighth in the shot put (59-8).
Bee staff writer Ron Agostini can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2302. Follow Ron via Twitter @modbeesports.
BOUND FOR STATE
Area athletes who will be competing at next week's CIF Championships at Clovis' Buchanan High:
Faith Makau, Sr., Enochs, 800* and 1,600*
Kyle Peterson, Jr., Oakdale, discus*
Hannah Chappell, Fr., Oakdale, discus*
Dallas Hoofard, Sr., Atwater, 300-meter hurdles*
Harman Purewal, Sr., Golden Valley, 2nd in high jump
Ryan Pust, Jr., Golden Valley, 2nd in pole vault
Brandy Coward, Soph., Golden Valley, 3rd in 400
Afolabi Olabode, Jr., Golden Valley, 3rd in shot put
John McDonald, Soph., Weston Ranch, 3rd in 100 and 200
* Section Masters champions