High School Sports

Masters Track Meet: Despite tough conditions, local athletes qualify for State

Julian A. Lopez

Gregori sophomore Madison Kackley said she embraced it.

Pitman senior Denzel Steckwren said he had never raced in the rain before.

The CIF Sac-Joaquin Section moved up the start of the Masters Track Meet on Saturday at Davis Sr. High School in anticipation of heavy rain.

The rain arrived early and virtually every event was held under wet and windy conditions.

For some Stanislaus District athletes, they beat the weather and their competitors to qualify for next weekend’s CIF State Meet at Buchanan High School in Clovis.

The Boys 4X100 race was second event of the day and the Pitman group of seniors Colby Vierra, Quincey Williams, Steckwren and junior Michael Moore finished in third in 42.90 seconds to qualify.

Steckwren, who ran the anchor leg, took the baton in fifth place but rallied down the final stretch.

“Once I got the stick, I was thinking I need to run the hardest I have ever ran in my life,” Steckwren said.

Kackley led for most of the 1,600 meters race but finished in second in 5 minutes, 3 seconds.

“I ran the first lap a little quick but I was able to settle into a pace afterward and I knew I had to push the last 200 meters to stay in the top three,” she said.

Kackley, who finished in 12th at the CIF State Cross Country Championships in November, said the weather helped her run faster.

“They moved the race earlier (about three hours) to avoid the rain but we definitely didn’t,” Kackley said. “I used it (the weather) as fuel to get me off the track as fast as I could to get warm.”

She also qualified in the 3,200 with a third-place finish (10:56).

Oakdale sophomore Emma Harper won the girls discus on her fifth throw (135 feet, 10 inches).

The boys high jump event was postponed until Monday due to the wet field.

Gregori senior Briseida Garcia-Meza scratched in the 1,600 to focus all of her energy in the 800.

Garcia-Meza went out quickly and had a decent lead after a 65-second 400 but struggled in the second lap before holding on for third place by less than a tenth of second over Vacaville senior Jaxin Woodward. Garcia-Meza finished in 2:16:15 while Woodward finished in 2:16:21.

“I was just telling myself you have gone this far, you just have to push it like you want it,” Garcia-Meza said. “It took four years to get to state but it paid off.”

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Julian A. Lopez has been covering local sports for The Modesto Bee since August 2018. He graduated from Arizona State in 2016 with a BA in Journalism.