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Bulldog Pata competes at a high level
Ceres Highs Julia Pata took first in the shot put and discus at the WAC finals on Saturday in Los Banos. - photo by Photo courtesy of Anthony Gerads

Ceres High multi-sport senior athlete Julia Pata competed at the Sac-Joaquin Section Swimming Trials and Western Athletic Conference Track & Field Championships in a three-day span this past week.

Pata swept the shot put (33-2) and discus (90-4) on Saturday at Pacheco High School.
Julia took second in the shot put and third in the discus during her first season with the Bulldogs in 2016.

"She's been at the top of the league the whole year," Ceres High track and field head coach Brett Johnson said. "She's pretty fearless when it comes to competition. There's a switch that definitely goes off. She'll create a rivalry to motivate herself."

Pata placed 20th in the 100 free (55.09) and 31st in the 50 free (25.62) at the section swim competition on Thursday in Lodi.

She set personal records in both events.

Julia was also a member of two relay teams, which posted season-best times.

Ceres High's 400 free relay team placed 20th (4:03.42).

The Bulldogs' 200 free relay team placed 24th (1:50.04).

"The competition at sections is very high," Pata said leading up to the meet. "A lot of the girls compete year-round. Some of the girls have nutritionists. Swimming is their life. Having an opportunity to swim against all of these great athletes is enough for me. In order for me to medal, I'd have to post some amazing times."

Julia earned 11 varsity letters in four years, including four in swimming and water polo, two in track and field and one in wrestling.

"That's insane," Johnson said. "She has a unique ability to be successful at whatever she does. It comes down to time management, priorities and sacrifice. She's a fun girl to coach. She's so competitive. She works hard. She's very open to coaching and there's direct application when you say something. She's very protective of and loyal to her team. She's one of the most talented athletes I've coached. She's a special person."