Highland High School senior Moises Medrano figured that extending the distance would be to his benefit.
So far, so good.
Medrano kept up with the lead pack in a qualifying heat of the boys’ 1,600-meter run Friday night (June 1) at the 100th California State Track and Field Championships at Buchanan High School’s Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Then, he cruised home third in his heat with a time of 4:13.45 seconds.
Friday night was all about getting into Saturday’s championship race.
“Today, I just wanted to go tactical,” said Medrano, who placed third last year in the 800-meter race. “We executed like we planned.”
Medrano, whose time was a personal best, was not concerned about a fast time. He just wanted to safely qualify for the championship race.
The Cal-bound runner decided to focus on the longer race because he “felt more comfortable” at that distance.
“I love both and I know I can hold my own in both of them,” said Medrano, who added his training would benefit him better at the 1,600-meter distance.
Central’s Jiménez kept busy
Central High School senior Sophie Jiménez more than made up for two lost seasons due to a knee injury. She ran the 800-meter race and ran legs on Central’s 4x100- and 4x400-meter relays.
Although she failed to advance to Saturday’s championships, she was pleased.
“I was hoping to PR today (in the 800), but I was pretty far off that,” said Jiménez, who timed 2:16.51 in qualifying and had the 16th best time. The 12 top runners qualified for the finals.
“I’m happy with it. I went to the state meet,” said Jiménez. “I’m really happy.”
The two-week layoff between the Central Section qualifying meet and the state meet might have rusted the Central relay teams, she said.
The 4x100 team, which was hoping for a time in the 46-second range, settled for 48.36. The slowest-qualifying mark was 47.70.
“We had an off day. It happens,” said Jiménez.
The 4x400 squad was 19th in 3:56.09.
Dinuba hurdler just misses
Daniel Martínez jokes that when he is seen at track and field meets, folks assume he is a distance runner.
The Dinuba High School senior served notice that he is better-than-average hurdler.
He just missed a chance at the 110-meter hurdle championships with a time of 14.40 in his heat. The time was a personal best.
It took a 14:30 to reach the finals.
In the 300-meter hurdles, Martínez clocked 39.02 and just missed qualifying by four-hundredths of a second. (He has a personal best of 38.37).
Those times came a few days after Martínez woke up feeling sick.
“I woke up yesterday and my body was aching,” said Martínez. “I just wanted to show up today. I think I did better today.”
Martínez said making it to state has been his goal all season.
“I practiced every day just to get here,” said Martínez, whose eighth-grade track coach convinced him to try the hurdles.
Caruthers runner in fast company
Caruthers High School senior Ronaldo Delgado did not qualify for the 1,600-meter championship, but just getting to the state meet representing a rural community “means everything.”
Delgado timed a personal-best 4:17.36, which was less than two seconds from a spot in Saturday’s championship.
“Ever since my freshman year, I said I wanted to come to state,” said Delgado, who will continue his running (track and cross country) career at Fresno State. “And, now after three years of hard work and dedication, it’s nice to be here.”
Delgado took a different approach to training this year, looking to peak at the end of the season and giving up attempts to PR earlier in the year.
“It really benefitted me,” said Delgado. “The coaches had me train a little less, and asked me to stay patient. I PR’d when it mattered.”