“This is the first real, solid competition they’ve seen, and look what they’ve accomplished,” said Patterson coach Shellie Freres of her four athletes. “They put in the hard work this year and really came through.”
The group posted a 42.29-second runner-up finish to reach the 2012 CIF State Track and Field Championship, which will be Friday, June 1, and Saturday, June 2, at Buchanan High in Clovis.
In doing so, Delane, Carrie, Lawson and East set a personal-best record as a team. Their old mark of 42.77 was set eight days earlier, at the Division IV-V championship May 17 at Modesto Junior College.
“For this group to (record a personal-best mark) in a week’s time really shows their potential,” Freres said.
Twelve Tigers competed in 10 events in Elk Grove, facing some of the section’s best athletes. Only the four seniors of the boys 4x100 relay team, however, qualified for a trip to the state meet.
The top three finishers from the Sac-Joaquin Section move on to the state meet, as do those who qualify as at-large entries.
The relay squad’s top-notch performance wasn’t the only bright spot for the boys’ team Friday. Delane also earned a place in the boys 100-meter dash at the state championship.
Delane, a first alternate in the 100, finished ninth in his preliminary heat with a time of 11.22 and did not qualify to advance to the finals.
But his teammate Carrie — who ran the 100 with an eighth-place time of 11.18 — scratched, deferring the finals berth to Delane.
“I think (Carrie) saw something in his teammate and wanted to give him one more chance (to qualify for the state meet),” Freres said. “He knew how much that would mean to (Delane).”
Delane made the most of the opportunity, placing second in the finals of the 100 with a sprint of 11.20. He will compete in both the 100 and the relay this weekend.
“This group will be dealing with other guys who are on their level (at the state meet),” Freres said. “Can they handle that level of competition and rise to the occasion? Yes, I expect them to peak.”