The Union Democrat Sports Department

The Sonora Wildcat boys' tracksters staged a close battle with Manteca on Wednesday but were narrowly defeated 67-64 at Dunlavy Field.

The Wildcats earned first place in eight events with senior Jeff Storey earning the top spot in two events.

Storey set his personal record for the season in the long jump, reaching a distance of 22-3. Storey also showed his versatility with a first-place finish in the 200m (23.7).

Wildcat sophomore Bryce Sanguinetti had a big day and almost set a new mark.

Sanguinetti set two personal records in two events, the long jump (19-1) and pole vault (13-1) and was just shy of breaking a 22-year-old record in the latter.

"He improved in the vault by seven inches and had great attempts at 13-7," said Sonora head coach Frank Garcia. "He was just short of breaking Tye Harvey's frosh/soph record (13-6) from 1991. In 1993, Harvey went on to break the National high school pole vault record at 17-1. Today, he (Bryce) qualified for the Woody Wilson Invitational at UC Davis and the Sacramento Meet of Champions at the varsity level. To do that as a sophomore is very impressive."

Also winning for the Wildcat boys were: Sean Adams in the 110 hurdles (17.06); Paul Mika in the 400m (54.3); Joe Maloney in the 100m (11.5); Steven Grolle in the 800m (2:05) andsophomore Zerek Saldivar in the discus (115-0), which was a new personal best.

"Today really marks the halfway point of the season," said Garcia. "We started Feb. 1 and hopefully we'll end at the State Meet with a few athletes."

The Wildcat girls lost to the Buffaloes 82-34 but had two athletes take home four first places.

Sophomore Angela Gardella reached a new personal best in the discus (102-5) and also tossed the shot put 29-2 to lead the pack.

Long-distance specialist Samantha Smith buried the field in both the 1600m and the 3200m. She finished in 6:09 and 12:37 respectively.

The Cats will next face East Union in Manteca on April 17.

JV-The Buffalo boys and girls beat the Wildcats 81-54 and 74-25.5, respectively.

Winning events for the boys were: Lucas Pallante in the 110h (18.9), the 300h (47.4) and triple jump (38-8); Jesus Rodriguez in the 100m (11.6), the 200m (24.7) and high jump (5-2); James Mitchell in the pole vault (9-0) and Wyatt Faughnan in the long jump (18-7 3/4).

For the girls were: Hannah Smith finished second place in the pole vault (7-0); Bailey Johnson won the 100m (14.6); Celia Cotrone won the 800m (3:12.84); Alexis Cognetti was second in the triple jump (23-11).