Cham­pi­onship Run For Bruin Boys Track And Field

Riverbank News - - SPORTS -

River­bank’s boys came away with top hon­ors in the Trans-Val­ley League in track and field this sea­son, while the girls – who were plagued by in­juries dur­ing the year – fin­ished in fifth.

“On Thurs­day night, May 12, the River­bank boys track and field team cap­tured their first TVL Cham­pi­onship since 2010,” Bruin coach Monte Wood said.

They were un­de­feated as they won the TVL Re­lays, were 6-0 in dual meets and won the TVL Meet on the RHS all-weather track. It was close and ex­cit­ing, noted Wood, as the final score ended up be­ing River­bank, 119, and Hugh­son, 115.

“We got off to a dom­i­nat­ing start in the field events as the throw­ers set the tone for the meet by scor­ing 19 in the shot put and then 21 points in the dis­cus. Omar Montoya, Martin Cornejo, Will Car­son, and Hec­tor Sanchez were dom­i­nant. Omar and Martin have been all year, but Car­son and Sanchez came up big with five to­tal points in the throws,” Wood said. “Daniel Martens did well in the triple jump, his best jump go­ing into the meet was 38-feet, 7-inches, but he popped a 41-foot jump to take sec­ond in the event. Wolf­gang Lopez took third in the high jump.”

The pole vaulters fin­ished the field events with Marty Sveen win­ning. He posted a per­sonal record of 12-feet, 6-inches and Eric Wise took third with a jump of 11-feet even.

A prob­lem de­vel­oped when Sveen had to go run the 110 hur­dles and be­gan to cramp up, the coach said.

“We fi­nally got him feel­ing well enough to run and he led the race af­ter the fourth hur­dle, but hit the next and fell, tak­ing him out of the race,” Wood ex­plained. “But sopho­more Zac Richi­son bolted into fifth place in the race, fin­ish­ing with a per­sonal record of 17.58, just out lean­ing a Hugh­son ath­lete.”

The coach said River­bank seemed to take con­trol of the meet af­ter Michael Ro­driguez and Ruben Pare­dez tied for first in the 1600.

Hugh­son came charg­ing back and made it close by win­ning the 300 hur­dles, 800, and go­ing 1-2 in the 3200.

“Go­ing into the last event, the 4x400 re­lay, we had a 6-point lead,” Wood said. “We had held Daniel Martens out of the 200 and Michael Ro­driguez out of the 3200 to have a strong re­lay team ready. It proved to be enough as we set an 8 sec­ond per­sonal record for the year and fin­ished right be­hind Hugh­son and fin­ished with a 4-point win.”

That capped the un­de­feated sea­son for the TVL cham­pi­ons.

“To say that I am proud of this team is an un­der­state­ment. I am not sure they are the most tal­ented team in the league, but I know they are one of the least tal­ented teams that I have been a part of at River­bank in 19 years of coach­ing. How­ever, this team was prob­a­bly the most fo­cused, re­li­able, and hard­est work­ing team I have coached. Many of th­ese kids ran for four years and kept get­ting bet­ter for all four years,” said Wood.

Ef­fort and ded­i­ca­tion, the coach added, made the dif­fer­ence.

“We have been us­ing the phrase ‘Bruin Built’ for about a year now. It de­scribes those kids that aren’t that tal­ented but work hard and make the most out of the tal­ent they do have,” he noted. “This boys team and their cham­pi­onship de­fined ‘Bruin Built.’ They just kept work­ing and com­pet­ing and get­ting bet­ter. It is also a tes­ti­mony to our coach­ing staff.”

Some team mem­bers that haven’t been in the spot­light but made a dif­fer­ence were also saluted by the coach.

“I don’t men­tion them very of­ten, but Paul Smith, Adam Cooper, Rob­bie Sear­way, Josh Buchanan, and Sam Gong did an amaz­ing job this year. I think their hard work and be­liev­ing in th­ese kids kept our ath­letes fo­cused and want­ing to win,” Wood said.

On the girls side, River­bank fin­ished fifth but only 8 points sep­a­rated sec­ond and fifth places at the TVL com­pe­ti­tion, as Hugh­son ran away with the meet.

“In­juries re­ally hurt our girls team all sea­son long,” Wood said. “Our top three dis­tance run­ners all bat­tled in­juries for most of the year and we had to limit Kim­berly Ru­val­caba and Stephanie Ber­nal to just the 3200. We couldn’t run Alon­dra Her­nan­dez at all.

“The other kids per­formed well but we just couldn’t over­come the in­juries. One thing I will say about them though, that re­ally im­pressed me; the girls were just as ex­cited as the guys that the guys won the TVL Cham­pi­onship. I love that all our kids pull for each other and un­der­stand that a cham­pi­onship for one team is a cham­pi­onship for all of us,” Wood con­cluded.

Fin­ish­ing first in their events and claim­ing in­di­vid­ual TVL cham­pi­onships were Michael Ro­driguez and Ruben Pare­dez in the 1600 me­ters in a dead heat. Omar Montoya took the boys shot put while Martin Cornejo fin­ished on top in the dis­cus.

Marty Sveen took the pole vault, with Kim­berly Ru­val­caba in the girls 3200 me­ter race, and Sierra Nabors top­ping the girls pole vault.

Sev­eral other Bruin ath­letes also qual­i­fied to the di­vi­sional meet by plac­ing in the top 3 at the league meet. Ly­dia Hodges in the pole vault and long jump. Michael Ro­driguez qual­i­fied in two events, the 800-me­ter and 1600-me­ter races. Mikala Ste­wart placed in dis­cus, with Daniel Martens in the triple jump. Wolf­gang Lopez qual­i­fied in the high jump, Eric Wise in the pole vault and Diego Ruiz in the 3200 me­ter.

Di­vi­sional Tri­als be­gan Tues­day, May 14 at Stanis­laus State in Tur­lock and con­tinue on Thurs­day this week. Those do­ing well in Tur­lock will com­pete in the Masters Tri­als in Elk Grove on Thurs­day and Fri­day, May 26 and 27.

Bruin Omar Montoya launches the shot on Thurs­day, May 12, at the Trans-Val­ley League cham­pi­onship meet on the RHS cam­pus. He placed first and was to com­pete on the Stanis­laus State cam­pus in Tur­lock.

NEWS PHO­TOS BY RIC MCGINNIS

River­bank’s long jumper Ly­dia Hodges qual­i­fies for her sec­ond event at last week’s Trans-Val­ley League wrap-up meet on the home track on Thurs­day, May 12. She also is rep­re­sent­ing the TVL in the Sec­tion tri­als in the pole vault this week.

Ruben Pa­radez (left) and Michael Ro­driguez fin­ish first in a dead head in the 1600 me­ter race in the Trans-Val­ley League meet on the RHS cam­pus on Thurs­day, May 12. The feat sends the pair to the Sec­tion tri­als at Stanis­laus State in Tur­lock this week. Ro­driguez will also com­pete in the 800 me­ter race.

River­bank se­nior Mikala Ste­wart qual­i­fies in the girls dis­cus at last week’s TVL meet on the RHS cam­pus. The Bru­ins boys and girls team are send­ing 13 ath­letes to the Sec­tion di­vi­sion­als com­pe­ti­tion at Stanis­laus State this week.

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