Turlock High pole vaulter Silas Fredeen already had cleared 15 feet, 3 inches this season.
He'd just never done it with so much on the line.
Down to his last chance Friday to reach the finals at the CIF State Track and Field Meet in Clovis, Fredeen came through when it mattered most.
The junior cleared the height, and advanced to Saturday competition at Buchanan High, keeping his hopes alive of becoming the first Turlock High pole vaulter to win a state medal since Donald McDaniels in 1955. McDaniels finished tied for fifth with a vault of 12-8.
Fredeen became the only Modesto-area athlete to reach Saturday's finals. His event starts at 7:15 p.m.
The Turlock 400-meter relay team, Hilmar high jumper Mikela Labno and shot putters Whitney Barnes of Pitman and Jorge Barajas of Oakdale all fell short.
Members of the relay team came within a blink of the eye of reaching the finals, and didn't find out until they were on the road that they fell just short.
Immediately after competing in the first of three heats, three of the four sprinters — seniors Colton Cummings, Antonio Ruiz and anchor Bryce Souza — were focused on the 84-mile trip back to Turlock for graduation ceremonies. Their heat started at about 5 p.m. Graduation began at 7.
"They didn't have any time to process," Turlock coach Bergann Hernandez said. "They had to get to graduation."
The three seniors, along with junior Sammy Wilson, can be proud of what eventually became an 11th-place finish in the state.
The Bulldogs finished in 42.02 seconds. St. Mary's, which edged Turlock to win at last week's Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Meet, took the ninth and last qualifying spot with a time of 41.99 seconds.
On Friday, Turlock finished fourth in Heat 1, just behind St. Mary's once again. Hernandez said there was a slight "wobble" on a handoff, but other than that, "everything went as planned."
Clovis North ran the fastest time Friday, finishing in 41.16.
Meanwhile, Labno cleared 5 feet, 3 inches on her second attempt. However, she came up short in all three attempts at 5-5 to finish in a tie for 17th place.
Twelve girls cleared 5-5 to qualify for Saturday's finals.
In the girls shot put, Pitman's Whitney Barnes hit a mark of 37-8 on two of three throws, failing to qualify for Saturday's finals.
Oakdale shot putter Jorge Barajas appeared to be out after a toss of 50-8 1/2 left him in 22nd place late in the competition on Friday night.