Patterson displayed 19 of its top athletes during the Division IV-V championship Thursday, May 17, at Modesto Junior College, and 12 qualified for the next level of competition.
Only the top six finishers in each event advanced to the Masters meet at Elk Grove High. Competition begins today, May 24, and ends Friday.
“This is definitely one of the top seasons for our program,” Patterson coach Shellie Freres said. “This is the largest group that we’ve ever taken to Masters.”
The Tiger boys — fresh off claiming the Western Athletic Conference championship — will send seven athletes to Masters as their representatives.
They found their niche in sprint events.
Seniors Rajaee Delane, Rajheem Carrie, Rodney Lawson and Matthew East took first-place in the boys 4x100-meter relay with a showing of 42.94 seconds as they powered the Tigers to a second-place team finish with 55 points at the Division IV-V meet. El Dorado High of Placerville claimed top honors with a score of 61.
“The relay team is about more than speed,” Freres said. “The team needs to also have a personal dynamic amongst them.”
Patterson’s quartet of speedsters again took center stage in the boys 100-meter dash, an event in which the Tigers garnered four of the top six qualifying spots — a first for any school in any event in the history of the divisional competition.
Delane was quickest with a time of 11.06. Carrie and Lawson took second and fifth with respective times of 11.13 and 11.43. East then rounded out the run with a sixth-place time of 11.44.
“We couldn’t be more proud of these boys,” Freres said. “We knew right away (this season) that we had what we were looking for with these four.
The Patterson boys’ 4x400 relay team also qualified for Masters. Austin Willis, Daniel Kelepi, Carrie and East placed fourth with a time of 3 minutes, 31.15 seconds.
Lawson and East qualified individually in the boys 200, too. Lawson, in second place, crossed the line at 22.82, while East clocked in at 23.08 for sixth place.
Kelepi placed fourth in the boys 110 hurdles with a mark of 16.25 to qualify for Masters, and teammate Nathan Stanton qualified in the boys 3,200 with a sixth-place time of 10:04.66 seconds.
The Patterson boys added one more qualifier as Willis placed second in the triple jump with a leap of 43 feet, 6½ inches.
Patterson’s Krissy Debler will return to the Masters meet after qualifying last year. The senior placed sixth in the girls 100 with her time of 13.02.
The Tiger girls 4x100 relay team also prolonged its season. With a time of 51.87, Dae’Nisha Lyles, Janel Ortega, Tianna Barron and Debler took fifth at the divisional tournament.
Also qualifying was Patterson’s Megan McWilliams, who placed fourth in the pole vault with a mark of 9-6.
“This is the most success a Patterson High team has had,” Freres said. “This team has the athletes and the speed, but it’s going to be an incredibly competitive field (at Elk Grove).”