Five Tigers were scheduled to compete in a total of two events, facing some of the section’s best athletes. No one, however, qualified for a trip to this week’s state meet at Clovis’ Buchanan High.
Only the top three finishers in each event advanced to the California Interscholastic Federation State Track and Field Championship at Buchanan High’s Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Facing some of the state’s stiffest competition, and in somewhat windy conditions, senior pole vaulter Megan McWilliams placed 11th among a field of 27 with a mark of 9 feet, 9 inches.
“Pole vaulting at Patterson High has been a blast. There’s a certain group of kids that are drawn to it,” McWilliams said. “They’re usually the ones who are more outgoing, the daredevils. I’m really sad that I’m done with it, but I consider my fellow pole vaulters a family.”
McWilliams, who returned to the Masters meet after qualifying last year, placed first in the girls pole vault during the two-day Division IV-V championship May 16, at Sierra High School with her mark of 9-5.
She went into the Masters meet Friday, hoping to improve on her personal-best height in the event of 10 feet. While McWilliams cleared the bar at 9-3, and again at 9-9, she failed to clear the bar in each of her three attempts at 10-3.
“My main goal was to get into the competition and clear a bar because last year I (did not record a height in three attempts),” McWilliams said. “I’m just happy that I cleared some bars.”
For the Patterson boys 4x100-meter relay team, composed of junior Lourienzo Mixon, and sophomores Ivan Barbontin, Hunter Powers and Mylek McDowell, it was a tough road to Masters.
With senior teammate Chase Guenther missing the Masters meet because of another commitment, McDowell had to replace the anchor leg of the relay team that took fourth-place May 16 at the divisional championship, with a personal-best showing of 42.94 seconds.
But the four Patterson speedsters were eliminated before the competition began when one member of the team forgot to pack his uniform for the trip.
According to National Federation Rule 4-3 and the Sac-Joaquin Constitution, all athletes competing must wear their school uniform at all times. No other uniform or clothing may be worn during warm-ups or competition. Violators were disqualified.
“It was a tough way for these kids to end their season, but almost all of them will be back again next year,” Patterson coach Shellie Freres said. “They’ve made it here, so clearly they’re doing some things right.”
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or firstname.lastname@example.org.