Central Section Season in Review

Caleb Foster accounted for 28 points toward the winning team total at State. (DeAnna Turner photo) 


The 2019 track and field season was one for the ages in the Central Section. 

The CS produced 30 State Meet medalists (top 6 finishes), six event titles by four individuals, and State Meet team titles in boys and girls. 

Fowler senior Jocelynn Budwig won titles in both the shot put (49-02.75) and discus throw (171-10), repeating as the champion in the shot put. 

Bakersfield Liberty senior Daniel Viveros won the title in the shot put (68-10.50) for the second year in a row and set a section record when he uncorked the No. 4 throw in state history, 71-03, at the CIF-CS South Area Championships. 

While Clovis West senior Elizabeth Funk's highlight didn't come at the State Meet, it was nonetheless substantial when she cleared a section record 13-09 in the pole vault at the TRAC Championships. Funk's clearance was one of five times during the season where she exceeded 13 feet in a meet. That mark is CA No. 1 and U.S. No. 4 in 2019 and equal to CA No. 3 all-time.

At the State Meet, Clovis North junior Caleb Foster put up an epic performance in winning titles in the boys long long jump (25-00.00/2.3) and triple jump (49-09.50/2.8) and placing second in the 110 hurdles (13.71/3.3) for 28 points in leading Clovis North to the boys team title. He also ran on the runner-up 4x100 relay team (41.49) and, in the 110 hurdles prelims, ran a section record 13.67 (No. 17 in CA history). 

State Meet host Clovis Buchanan won the girls team title, led by two impressive distance performances by senior Meagen Lowe, whose runner-up time of 4:43.61 in a super fast 1600 final, ranks No. 28 in CA history. She also ran third in the 3200 (10:18.97) as her teammate and longtime training partner, junior Corie Smith, placed second (10:17.39). 

But unlike Foster's tour de force that carried Clovis North to the title, Coach Brian Weaver's Bears picked up points across six events -- sprints, distance, relays and jumps. Lowe and Smith accounted for 26 points in the distances, senior sprinter Shelby Daniele stunned the partisan crowd with an upset victory in the 200 (23.73/1.6) and added points with a seventh-place finish in the 100. Daniele ran a leg in the 4x100 relay team that placed second (46.75), for 20 points out of the sprints. Tack on eight more points from senior triple jumper Haley Abirached, who went 40-03.25 (2.0), her second PR jump in as many days, to place second.

(Above: Buchanan coach Brian Weaver hugs Shelby Daniele after she won the 200 meter dash at the State Meet. Photo by Kirby Lee/Image of Sport)

Reflecting on other CS standouts from the State Meet, the girls team at Bakersfield Liberty is loaded with standouts in the Class of 2021, led by thrower Faith Bender and hurdler Reese Renz. Bender placed second to Budwig in the discus throw (168-06) and placed fifth in the shot put (43-08.75). Renz, daughter of Liberty coach Ryan Renz, placed third in the 300 hurdles (42.24) and sixth in the 100 hurdles (14.15 (2.9). 

The CS had three boys throwers score in the discus, with Buchanan teammates Christian Johnson (179-11) and junior Kyler Van Grouw (177-09) going 2-3 and Viveros placing fifth. Johnson also picked up a medal for sixth in the shot put (59-03.75). 

Foster led a 1-2-3 finish for Central Section boys in the triple jump. Selma senior Deandra McDaniel was second (48-02.75/2.6) and Sanger junior Kosi Agina was third (47-11/2.3). 

Clovis West's Dante Chachere was fourth in the long jump (23-03/3.7). Also, Kings xxx Kalobe Jimenez was fourth in the 110 hurdles (14.03/3.3). 

At the Central Section Masters meet, quite a few athletes defended titles from 2018. They were: Foster (110 hurdles), Viveros (shot put), Daniele (200), Lowe (1600), Renz (300 hurdles), and Funk (pole vault). Additionally, Fresno Edison sophomore Kennedy Jennings won the 800 for the second year in row and Budwig won the discus throw for the fourth year in a row. Buchanan's Smith was second to Lowe in the 3200 after winning it the previous two years. Bender, the Liberty sophomore, won the shot put and placed second to Budwig in the discus for the second year in a row. 

(Above: Jocelynn Budwig in the shot put ring at the State Meet. Photo by Dan Tyree.)