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Boys team loaded with talent
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Members of the Ceres High varsity boys track and field team believe they have enough talent and depth to contend for the Modesto Metro Conference championship. The Bulldogs compiled a 5-4 record in 2004.

"We have a number of kids returning from last year," said Ceres coach Drew Brown. "We expect to be at the top of the league."

"We'll be better this year because we have more talented guys on our team for all of the events," said junior Dingko Luangchai. "We'll be top-three for sure."

"We should have an awesome year as long as everybody keeps working hard," said sophomore Ross Tate.

"We're going to be successful," said senior Ryan Leazer.

Six teams will vie for the league crown. Ceres and Modesto High are the frontrunners. The Bulldogs want to end the Panthers' reign.

"It's going to be us and Modesto," Brown said. "They've been at the top of the league for the last two years."

The top three placers in individual events earn points during dual meets. Five for first, three for second and one for first. Relay winners receive five points.

"We're able to score points in all of the events," Brown said. "We have jumpers, runners and throwers."


Tate, Luanghcai, Charlie Cunha and Kevin Dupree should dominate the high-jump competition.

"We have four guys that can high jump over six foot," Brown said. "For high school, that's very unusual."

Luangchai advanced to the sub-section championships during his freshman year. Last season, he placed seventh in a field of 26 at the section championships.

Will Luangchai qualify for the CIF State Meet this year?

"I could see myself doing it if I relax and work hard," he said. "Right now, I want to focus on 6-4."

Luangchai cleared a personal-best 6 feet, 2 inches last season. He's going to have to surpass that height and make history several more times to advance to state.

Tate set a personal record en route to placing first in the high jump at the Stanislaus County Meet at Modesto Junior College on March 18. He cleared 6-2 on his third attempt.

Cunha and Dupree are Ceres' top long jumpers. Luangchai and Tate are also expected to do well.

Cunha finished 18th in a field of 25 at the sub-section trials last season. He finished second in the long jump at the County Meet. Luangchai took third.

Cunha and Dupree are Ceres' top triple jumpers. Luangchai and Tate will also contribute.


Leazer and Daniel Munoz will compete in the 100 and 200 for the Bulldogs. The duo helped lead the varsity football team to a share of the MMC title this past season.

Leazer, a senior, placed 11th in the 200 and 19th in the 100 at the sub-section meet last season.

Munoz, a junior, is a first-year competitor.

The 4x100-relay team of Munoz, Leazer, Luangchai and Cunha placed fourth at the County Meet.


Chris Gregg won the Most Improved Award as a junior. He shaved more than three seconds off his 110-meter hurdles time and six seconds off his 300-hurdles time.

"He has a chance to be one of the top hurdlers in the league," Brown said.


James Gmachowski will be expected to consistently score in the shot put and discus events. The senior placed second in the shot and fourth in the discus at the County Meet.

"If he continues to excel, he will probably compete at the college level," Brown said. "He's strong enough. It's just a matter of technique."


Bennie Perez will run the 1,600 and 3,200 meters for Ceres. The junior starred on the cross country team this past season.

Long Sprints

Brandon Hale will run the 400 and 800 for the Bulldogs. The junior is a first-year competitor. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff reporter of the Ceres (Calif.) Courier