Track & Field

Sonora track and field coach Frank Garcia said he was thrilled by the individual achievements of his athletes this season.

“We’re almost at the end of the season and everyone is experienced and still developing skills. I’m looking forward to the championship coming up in a few weeks and the team is doing great,” he said.

Garcia said the varsity boys were 4-0 in league and the varsity girls were 1-2. Winners of meets are made by point accumulation from various running events, such as the 100 meter, 200 meter and 400 meter races, and field events such as shot put, high jump and triple jump.

Sonora High School and personal records were beaten Wednesday afternoon by sophomore Sydney Simmons in the 400 meter, who ran it in 1:01.08.

Senior Audrey Simmons earned a personal record in a 5’7” high jump and sophomore Clayton Franco won first place in the 800 meter, 1,600 meter and 3,200 meter races.

“We’ve had some outstanding marks,” Garcia said. “We will have a number going to division sections and possibly state.”

Garcia said Audrey Simmons, who is also a hurdler, was ranked second in the section. There are approximately 40 people on the Sonora track and field team.

Other notable scores on the season included the girls 4x400 meter relay, which has a school record time of 4:28.03 and junior Joziah Bradford still holds the top triple jump record with 45 ft. Up and coming freshman McKenna Alderman also holds the third best Sonora High School 100 meter score, 13.17 seconds, and second best in the 200 meter, 27.47 seconds.

“We have an amazing group of sprinters and coaches and we still have a month to go. We should do well,” Garcia said.

The track and field championships are scheduled for April 30 and May 2 at Bret Harte High School and are followed by Division Championships at Cesar Chavez High School in Stockton.

Though league champions are crowned at the end of the track season, many events are often driven by personal achievements.

John Byrnes, Bret Harte High School coach for the past four years after being an assistant coach since 1995, said his athletes were working hard and enjoying their time before the league meet at the end of the month.

“We’re in the hunt for league title,” Byrnes said. “We’re excited to see how it all plays out.”

At their most recent tournament, the O’Condon Invitational in Castroville, Byrnes said the girls varsity team took second place behind San Benito High School.

McKenzie Blair, a junior, was a standout performer for earning first place in the 100 meter, he said.

“It's been a very rushed season and we always feel like we’re behind with the training and feeling ready, but the kids have responded very well,” he said.

Claude Parcon, Summerville High School track coach, said Thursday he was at a track meet for the team. He did not return a call in time for comment.

The Calaveras High School athletic director could not be reached for comment.

Boys Golf

Bret Harte High School boys golf coach Bret Cathcart said his team and Sonora High School are tied for first in the Mother Lode League, but those standings are subject to change pending a league championship match with all schools on May 2 at Greenhorn Creek in Angels Camp.

“It’s good, the skill level is a little down this year in our league, but we are starting to improve,” Cathcart said.

Standings in the Mother Lode League are set by head-to-head matchups with the results of a mid-season tournament and league championship, where all Mother Lode League teams participate.

Sonora High School, 3-0 in league, is tied for first with Bret Harte High School, who is 2-1, but won the mid-season championship. They are followed by Summerville High School, who is in third place with a 2-2 record.

Zack Abernathy, the first year coach of Sonora High School, said his team was bolstered by young talent putting pressure on the older leaders.

“It's kind of cool to watch those five and six spots get better and better and they start pushing on the one, two, three and four,” he said.

Abernathy said his two standout players were Hunter Hanson, a senior, and Kade Bankston, a sophomore.

“They're just really consistent,” Abernathy said. “Kade puts up top scores all season and you just know what you're going to get from him. He’s going to be a steady guy.”

Cathcart, coach of Bret Harte for 34 years, said this year’s matches were marred by multiple rain cancelations. Some games are scheduled to be replayed, but others remain in limbo and must be played before the league championship.

“The challenges have been the weather. We had very little practice,” he said. “Three in a row were rained out in the beginning.”

On Tuesday, the match against Sonora and Summerville at Saddle Creek Golf Resort in Copperopolis, and a match between Bret Harte and Calaveras, were canceled due to inclement weather.

“The rain has been a killer, but it's kind of cool to watch the guys that are starting to come on now,” Abernathy said.

Despite the cancellations, Cathcart said his team of 12 players are gearing up to make a run for the title.

“I’m really happy with how we’re progressing right now,” he said.

Bret Harte High School has a young team, with one senior, one junior, two sophomores and two freshmen starters. Six players play in each matchup and the total strokes per team is compared, with one player’s scores dropped, he said.

Cathcart identified players R.J. Oatts and Anthony Salvi as top performers.

Calaveras High School athletic director could not be reached for comment.

Ben Watson, the five-year coach of Summerville High School, said the game against Sonora was rescheduled for Wednesday at Saddle Creek and would be played from the beginning.

“It’s been an interesting year,” he said.

Watson said one of the standouts this year was Jaden Brocchini, a sophomore.

“He’s been improving all year. He’s been our most consistent golfer,” Watson said.

Summerville has their eyes on maintaining a top position to ensure a playoff berth, Brocchini said.

“Right now we’re right in the middle of the pack, hopefully we finish near the top,” he said. “There’s a lot of matches left to play so we’ll see how it all turns out.”

On Thursday, Sonora faces Calaveras at La Contenta Golf Club in Valley Springs, Summerville faces Argonaut High School at Castle Oaks Golf Club in Ione, and Bret Harte is against Amador High School at Greenhorn Creek.

Contact Giuseppe Ricapito at (209) 588-4526 or gricapito@uniondemocrat.com . Follow him on Twitter @gsepinsonora.



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