The track and field season has now come to an end, but not before athletes from Calaveras and Bret Harte high schools left their mark at the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Meet. Bret Harte and Calaveras each had five athletes compete at the meet, Friday and Saturday at Davis Senior High School in Davis.
Calaveras junior Jonathon Lozano competed on both days. On Friday, Lozano ran the 200-meter dash in 23.39. He then placed eighth in the 400-meter race, with his time of 50.07, which was good enough to send him to the finals. On Saturday, Lozano finished sixth in the 400, crossing the finish line in 51.17.
“Jonny ran well,” Calaveras head coach Doug Avrit said. “He went in with an outside shot of making finals and did, so that was nice. Jonny had a great junior season and making it to finals at Masters was a nice way to end it.”
Because of the rain that hit Northern California, Calaveras softball had its playoff game set for Friday postponed until Monday and then later moved to Wednesday. Because of that, freshman Madison Clark could run the 400 as well as participate in the long jump. In the 400, Clark finished in 59.02, which was 12th overall. In the long jump, Clark measured 16 feet, 5 inches, which placed her 13th. After her first year of high school track, Avrit feels the sky’s the limit for Clark, if she wants to put in the work.
“Madison will be at whatever level she chooses to be at,” Avrit said. “She is a tremendous talent and with what we were able to do training wise, she had just tremendous results this season. Saying she will be at the state level is hard to say, as it is really tough and there are a lot of very good girls out there wanting to be at that level also. Training and getting enough of it is key to success in track and field, so that will be determined at a later date.”
Junior distance runner Jacob Christopher had another strong showing, as he placed seventh out of 24 runners in the 3,200-meter race with his time of 9:34.71.
“Jacob was on fire coming into the Masters meet and just did not have his best race,” Avrit said. “That happens at this level when you bring all of the best from our section together. It is pretty tough competition (led by Matt Strangio, of Jesuit, who is one of the best distance runners in the country) and if you are not fully ready, it will be a rude awakening. Jacob’s season, nonetheless, was tremendous and sets up what should be an exciting senior campaign.”
Senior Saul Macias finished 16th overall in the 1,600-meter race with his time of 4:37.38. And in the shot put, junior Austin Brown placed 13th with his throw of 44 feet, 2 inches.
For Bret Harte, junior McKenzie Blair competed in three events, all of which took place on Friday. Blair ran the 100-meter dash in 13.11, which was 20th overall. In the 200-meter dash, Blair crossed the finish line in 26.81 and was 23rd overall. And finally, Blair, along with Burgen Melton, Alex Jarman and senior Kat Flood, ran the 4x100-meter relay. The Bullfrog quartet finished in 50.83, which was the fastest 4x100 time this year of any Bret Harte foursome.
“It’s certain that McKenzie is a special kind of athlete,” Bret Harte head coach Jon Byrnes said. “We all have been given gifts, and she has realized one of hers – running. Her enjoyment of using that gift, combined with internal motivation and focus has led to her success. She is the only athlete I have ever coached to have never missed a practice, which shows perseverance. McKenzie will surely find even more success wherever her life takes her, with whatever she chooses to do. The end of any season is tough physically and mentally on all the athletes, and it seems like they’re forced to burn the candle at both ends. McKenzie works hard in the classroom and keeps her body in condition; she understands that mind and body go hand in hand. She does a great job of balancing all aspects of her life.”
The only male competing for Bret Harte was senior Steven Poortinga. In his final high school track and field event, Poortinga set a personal record in the pole vault, clearing 13 feet, 9 inches.
“I love Steven and he’s such a great kid,” Byrnes said. “He found a love in pole vault, and I think he wishes he did it for more than two years. It’s been a positive influence in his life, to be a part of this track and field team. To see him get a personal best in his last high school meet was special, especially because I knew it meant a lot to him.”