The Sac-Joaquin Section really brought it this past Track and Field season. Aside from athletes that were well known before the start of the season, this section introduced us to one athlete that really wowed the crowds during the majority of his many outstanding performances.
At the California State Track and Field meet, the SJS won the girls' 800 and 1600 as well as the boys' pole vault. They also swept the 3200 as Elena Denner and Matt Strangio scored two upset victories to end the individual racing for the evening.
Individuals of note included:
Senior Cathilyn McIntosh (Del Oro) had finished in second place the past two state finals in the 800. After a slow start during the season due to an injury, McIntosh started her charge toward the state title. She absolutely rolled at the end of the season and recorded a 2:05.22 personal best to win the state final. She followed that victory with another win the following week at Brooks PR.
Senior Olivia O'Keeffe (Davis) had her best season to date. At the SJS Masters meet, O'Keeffe won the 1600m with scorching 4:42.71. She finished in second place the following week as she switched positions with Maddy Denner of Oak Ridge. O'Keeffe scored another personal best in the 3200 as she finished in 3rd place at 10:12.56.
Imani Dupree (Sheldon) was the top sprinter in the section. She had bests of 11.71 (100m) and 24.26 (200m) as she led Sheldon to two podium finishes in the relays at the California state meet. Sheldon finished in 3rd place in the 400m relay with a season-best of 46.12. They finished in 5th place in the 1600m relay with another season best, 3:45.92.
Jamar Marshall (St. Mary's, Stockton) was the best combo hurdler in the section as he recorded section bests of 13.68 and 38.31. He scored a section victory in the 300m hurdles when he recorded his season best. He got valuable state meet experience and will be a hurdler to watch in the next two years.
Juan Zarate-Sanchez (Davis) had a best of 2:02.08 as a sophomore and definitely was not on any state meet contenders lists. That quickly changed during the season as he broke 2 minutes in his first effort of the season. He won the SJS Masters meet with a best of 1:53.33 but he was not done improving his best time. At the state meet, Zarate-Sanchez finished in 5th place with a best of 1:52.02. Wow!
Karl Winter (St. Mary's Stockton) had quite a season as the lanky senior rolled to personal bests in multiple meets. He won the SJS Masters meet 1600m with a section-best 4:14.80 as he secured his first state track meet. He also qualified in the 3200m and his best time was recorded during one of the "slower" heats at the Arcadia Invitational at 9:12.09.
Matt Strangio (Jesuit) was only a sophomore this past season but he already has quite a resume considering his NXN performance during cross country and his scintillating 3200m at the state meet. Strangio was not one of the favorites due to the fact that injuries and sickness derailed some of his training. Despite all that, Strangio was involved in one of the best races at the state meet as he rolled to a 8:56.18 state victory.
Jake Grimsman (Vista del Lago) - Grimsman tied for the state lead in the high jump at the Stanford Invitational with a spectacular 7-3 leap. Unfortunately, his next jump turned out to be a season ender as he injured himself. He attempted to come back in the post season but was unable to advance.