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Ceres High grads excel at UC Davis
A year ago at this time, Ray Green and Ross Tate were in the midst of writing the final chapters of their prep track and field careers at Ceres High School.

Green had a banner year for the Bulldogs. He brought home a medal from the CIF State Championships after taking fourth in the triple jump (46-10). Ray shattered his own school record when he soared 49 feet, one-half inch on his way to a first-place finish at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Meet. He placed first at the Division III and Valley Oak League competitions as well.

Tate also accomplished a lot. A standout high jumper, Ross won Division III and VOL titles. He qualified for state (10th place) and claimed the Modesto Metro Conference crown as a junior.

Their efforts helped them earn partial scholarships to UC Davis. Green and Tate just completed their freshman campaigns with the Aggies.

"I'm happy," Ray said. "I'm not disappointed with my season. I did pretty good with the transition from high-school to Division-I track and field. I had a lot of fun traveling and getting to see different places and new competition. I improved from last year. I increased my scholarship."

Added Ross: "It's been a good experience all the way around."

Green placed 12th in the triple jump at the NCAA Division I West Region competition on May 31 at Cal State Northridge. The top five finishers advanced to the NCAA championships.

"I didn't do as well as I would have liked to do," said Green, who soared 47 feet, 51/4 inches. "But I'm happy I made it that far. I was the only freshman on the team to make it to regionals."

Green qualified for regionals after posting a mark, which was then a career-best 49-41/4, at the Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational on April 12 at UCLA. He finished in sixth place.

Ray bettered his personal-record with a first-place showing (49-41/2) at the Aggie Twilight Track and Field Open on May 10. He moved into 10th place on UC Davis' all-time outdoor list.

Green also placed first at four other meets.

"I was consistent," he said.

During the indoor season, Ray set a personal record in the triple jump (49-111/4) at the Husky Classic on Feb. 16 at the University of Washington. He ranks No. 3 on UC Davis' all-time indoor list.

Tate managed to have a respectable year despite being hampered by shin splints.

His most memorable moment came at Sacramento State's Hornet Invitational on March 22.

Competing unattached, Tate cleared a personal-best 6-6 on his third attempt on his way to a fourth-place finish in a field of 17 in the high jump.

"It was my second meet and I got my PR," he said. "I cleared it by quite a bit. It felt pretty good."

Ross took fifth (6-43/4) at the Big West Conference Track and Field Championships.

He finished third at the UC Davis Quad Meet (6-4), Causeway Classic (6-23/4) and Aggie Twilight (6-03/4).

Tate and Green both led busy lives as student-athletes.

They practiced on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Each session lasted three hours (1-4 p.m.)

They competed on the weekends.

They carried a full load of classes each quarter.

Ross and Ray are majoring in exercise biology.

"There's so much stuff going on," Tate said. "It was hard to find time to wash clothes."

"Our schedules were pretty much set for us every day," Green said. "It's an academic school so you have to keep up your grades. You really have to balance everything out. It took me a while to get used to it. It's kind of business-like."

Green and Tate will strive for improvement as sophomores.

"We're going to make Ceres proud of us," Ray said.

Added Ross: "We want to let people know we're supposed to be here."