This is the second time Roberto Rosas has qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Track and Field Championships.
But when the Davis High sophomore runs the 3,200 meters today at Hughes Stadium in Sacramento, it will be the first time he actually runs. A leg injury kept him from competing last year.
Rosas was a surprise winner at the Division I section championships last week. He actually qualified for Masters in two events -- the 1,600 and 3,200 -- but he'll only run in the 3,200.
Several Stanislaus District athletes are the top seeds in today's trials. Field events are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. and running at 4.
Rosas isn't a top seed; he's a No. 3. And that's key, because the top three advance to next weekend's CIF State Meet at Cerritos College in Norwalk. Riverbank phenom German Fernandez is the top seed, more than 30 seconds ahead of No. 2. Rosas said he's looking forward to running with Fernandez, who also is the top seed in the 1,600.
"I'm hoping he helps me (get a personal-best time) like crazy," Rosas said. "He's just a great runner. I'll use him like a checkpoint, to see where I match up."
Last week, Rosas won the 3,200 in 9:43.91, just ahead of Sheldon's Mitchell Millegan and Napa's Kurt Ruegg.
"I went in just hoping to qualify for Masters," Rosas said. "But after the first mile, I was in third place and feeling pretty good. With two laps to go, I took off."
He made his pass on the final lap and held off both runners to win.
"It surprised a lot of people; I think it surprised me, too," Rosas said. "After last year, I'm just happy to make Masters again, and to finally be running. We work very hard. And all that work is starting to pay off."
As far as a state meet berth goes?
"German's as good as they get. He's a big favorite," Rosas said. "But I think I'm right there for the next places. I just have to do my best."
Fernandez ran a national-best 4:05.57 in the 1,600 last week. His time is 12 seconds faster than the next runner.
Ceres senior Latrisha Jordan is the top seed in the 300 hurdles, her specialty. Jordan's time is almost a full second better than the next-fastest time.
The other three top seeds are in the weight events:
Beyer's Kendall Morris won the girls discus last week with a throw of 147-5. The second seed is Buhach Colony senior Rachel Hammar at 135-8.
Sierra's Derek Sinclair won the Division III shot put championship with a section-record throw of 55-½. Morris' final is at 3 p.m. today and Sinclair's at 5.
East Union's Cassandra Woodall is the top seed in the girls shot put after she won the Division III title last week with a put of 39-6½. Hammar is the No. 2 seed at 39 feet.To comment, click on the link with this story at www.modbee.com.