In the 400-meter relay, it's the little things that make a big difference.
The start. The handoffs. The speed.
The Turlock foursome of Colton Cummings, Sammy Wilson, Antonio Ruiz and Bryce Souza have all that — and more.
"These guys are so cool," Turlock coach Bergann Hernandez said. "All along, they've always kept their cool, did their jobs and remained confident.
"That's why they're hitting the times they are."
They'll need all that Friday afternoon when they run with California's best at the 100th CIF State Track and Field Meet at Buchanan High School in Clovis.
They are among eight Modesto-area athletes hoping to reach their respective finals on Saturday. Also competing:
- Turlock's Silas Fredeen, pole vault
- Oakdale's Jorge Barajas, shot put
- Pitman's Whitney Barnes, shot put
- Hilmar's MikelaLabno, high jump
The Turlock relay team qualified with a second-place finish at last week's Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Meet. Hernandez said the foursome came together during the season after mixing and matching from the start.
Cummings, Wilson and Ruiz had run together, and Souza, who missed last year's season due to a broken kneecap, fit in nicely as the anchor this season.
"Things have gone really smoothly," she said.
Their fastest mark this season — at the section Division I meet a few weeks ago in Elk Grove — was 41.78 seconds, which would have put them among the top teams in the state. At the Masters meet, they finished in 42.05.
"(This week) it's just cleaning up our handoffs," she said. "The speed is all there."
LACKY AWARD WINNERS — Eight athletes from Stanislaus District received A. Dale Lacky/CSEA scholarships for outstanding performance on the field, in the classroom and in the community. Lacky was the former Sac-Joaquin Section and State CIF president.
Among the $1,000 award winners
- Madison Kindberg, Escalon, golf, soccer, basketball — Kindberg played golf and soccer for four years, volunteered for Relay 4 Life and a local veterinary clinic, among other places, and carried a 4.21 grade-point average.
- Anthony Vazquez, Central Catholic, soccer, track and field, football and cross country — Vazquez volunteered at Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity, won a Sierra Club award and carried a 4.43 GPA.
Among the $500 award winners
- Sarah Bohrer, Oakdale, basketball — Bohrer was a three-time team most valuable player, volunteered at basketball clinics and church sports camps and carried at 4.04 GPA.
- Madeline Netto, Davis, soccer, track and field and tennis — Netto was soccer team captain twice, president of the French Club, volunteered with the Stanislaus County Office of Health and as a tutor and had a 4.58 GPA.
- Paul Rocha, Hilmar, football, basketball and swimming — Rocha won most-improved in swimming and football, was the ASB Commissioner of Athletics, senior class president and volunteered at sports camps. He carried a 4.42 GPA and was No. 1 in a class of 149.
- Gabriel Sanchez, Gregori, football, basketball and golf — Sanchez was the Modesto Metro Conference offensive player of the year, an Eagle Scout, volunteered at Love Modesto and various other community events and had a 4.41 GPA.
- Jarred Thompson, Big Valley Christian, football, basketball and baseball — Thompson was first-team all league twice each in football and baseball, was student body president, took first place at the Innovation Exposition, volunteered at the Modesto Gospel Mission and had a 4.20 GPA.
- Diego Virgen, Patterson, soccer, volleyball and cross country — Virgen was twice a Western Athletic Conference scholar athlete, was a member of the AP Calculus Club, the Hiking Club and Guitar club, among others. He carried a 3.95 GPA.
MODESTO SUNRISE ROTARY BASEBALL GAME — The 29th annual high school all-star game will be held Saturday, June 9 at the Stanislaus State baseball field. First pitch is 7:05 p.m.
The Blue Team is represented by players from Modesto High, Big Valley Christian, Riverbank, Modesto Christian, Central Valley, Enochs, Pitman, Orestimba, Downey and Central Catholic. Representing the Gold Team are players from Beyer, Hughson, Waterford, Turlock, Gregori, Oakdale, Turlock Christian, Patterson and Johansen.
Pregame ceremony is at 6:30 p.m.