Five Tigers advance to Masters meet
by Marc Aceves | Patterson Irrigator
May 22, 2013 | 1067 views | 0 0 comments | 128 128 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MANTECA — The Patterson High track and field team will be well represented at this week’s Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Tournament.

Patterson displayed nine of its top athletes during the two-day Division IV-V championship May 14 and Thursday, May 16, at Sierra High School, and five qualified for the next level of competition.

Only the top five finishers in each event advanced to the Masters meet at Elk Grove High. Competition begins today, May 23, and ends Friday.

“Our team as a whole wasn’t as competitive as in the past, but we have done so well as individuals,” Patterson coach Shellie Freres said. “This event gives the kids a taste of what goes on outside of the Western Athletic Conference. It gives them an idea of what they need to do to get where they want to go.”

Patterson’s Megan McWilliams will return to the Masters meet after qualifying last year. McWilliams placed first in the girls pole vault Thursday with her mark of 9 feet, 5 inches.

The Patterson boys will send four athletes to Masters as their representatives.

Tigers Ivan Barbontin, Chase Guenther, Lourienzo Mixon and Hunter Powers took fourth-place in the boys 4x100-meter relay Thursday with a personal-best showing of 42.94 seconds.

“Our main goal is to (record a personal-best finish), try our best and see how far we can go,” Barbontin said. “It’s a privilege to run with these guys. I’m honored to have them as my teammates.”

Patterson’s Nathan Stanton placed sixth and just missed qualifying for Masters in the boys 3,200 (9 minutes, 54.23 seconds). Mixon narrowly missed making the grade in the boys 200, placing sixth in 23.28.

“I tell the kids to run their race, do their jump, do their vault, just like you always have,” Freres said. “This is no different than any other track meet. They’ve made it here, so clearly they’re doing some things right.”

Patterson’s Austin Luckert and Tiana Barron recorded personal-best finishes in the boys pole vault (11-1) and girls long jump (15-2.5), respectively during the division championship. While neither of them fared well enough last week to advance to Masters, they both garnered praise from Freres.

“Our emphasis is never a first-place finish. It’s always to (record a personal-best mark),” Freres said. “If they (record a personal-best mark) they’ve done well. They’ve done the best they’ve ever done.”

Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or marc@pattersonirrigator.com.

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