Whitney’s Franco third at state in 200

Section well represented
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Four Whitney High track and field athletes made the trip to Buchanan High School in Clovis for the CIF State Meet last week.

The Wildcats’ Andrew Franco closed out a brilliant season, taking third place in the 200-meter event. The senior churned out a time of 21.38 seconds, just 3/10ths of a second off the winning pace.

Although Franco was a top performer in the 400m event all season, he failed to make the state meet for a lane-change violation at Masters. His personal record time of 47.69 in the 400m would have qualified him for finals at state.

‘Cats’ pole vault standard bearer Adam O’Brien finished out of the running for finals, vaulting 14-feet-9-inches. Davis’ Sondre Guttormsen cleared 17-10 to win the event by two feet.

Whitney freshman Sydney Johnson came up well short of her personal best to finish 25th in girls long jump trials. Her personal record of 18-3 ½ would have qualified her for the state finals.

Junior Rachel Payan will also have to wait until next year for a return trip to state in the pole vault. Payan failed to qualify for finals at state.

All but seven national records in girls events are held by California athletes. The boys hold 7-of-16 records.

German Fernandez of Riverbank is the only Sac-Joaquin Section athlete to hold a state or national record. He holds the state and national record in the 3200m with a time of 8:34.23 in 2008. Fernandez also holds the state 1600m record, clocking 4:00.29, also in 2008.

Out of the Sierra Foothill League, Oak Ridge’s Elena Denner was first at state in the 1600m and 3200m this year. Del Oro’s Cathilyn McIntosh ran to gold in the 800m and Granite Bay’s Eric Werner was second in boys discus, missing first by just five inches.

Woodcreek’s girls 4x400 relay team made the finals and finished ninth.

Besides Whitney’s efforts, other Capital Valley Conference state accomplishments were Mackenzie Fletcher’s (Ponderosa) fifth-place effort in the girls 300m hurdles and Cosumnes Oaks’ Pierre Scott was eighth in the boys 300m hurdles.

Other section firsts were by Vista del Lago’s Ceonna Pipion (girls 200m and 400m) and the Eagles’ Jaden Ellis in the 100m hurdles.

Matt Strangio of Jesuit took gold in boys 3200m and Wheatland’s Erica Grotegeer out of the Northern Section was first in girls discus.