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CHS track and field athletes moving on
Cordell Dennis passes the baton to 4x100 relay teammate Ulises Diaz at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV-V Track & Field Championships last week at Stanislaus State. The Bulldogs placed fifth in the event. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High varsity girls track and field standout Azia Brewster soared a personal-best 5 feet, 2 inches on her way to a runner-up finish in the high jump at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV-V Championships on Thursday at Stanislaus State.

Azia, a junior, cleared 4-10 at the WAC finals on May 12.

"She didn't have her best outing of the season the week before," Bulldogs head coach Brett Johnson said. "She was a little bummed. It was nice to see her rebound. She had a different mindset. She was relaxed. She went out there and performed very well. She went up all the way to five feet without missing."

Brewster and Bulldog teammates Julia Pata, Seth Gibson, Conner Johnson, Johnni Smith-Willis, Cordell Dennis and Ulises Diaz all qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters competition, to be staged this Thursday and Friday in Elk Grove.

Seeded eighth, Pata placed fifth in the shot put with a toss of 33 feet, 111/4 inches.

Julia took 16th in the 100 free and 24th in the 200 free at the Sac-Joaquin Section Swimming Championships earlier this month.

"I'm really happy for her," coach Johnson said. "She's doing two sports at the same time and excelling at both. With that competitiveness and athleticism, I'm not surprised at all. She's able to pick things up really fast. She's coachable. She's humble and sweet. She wants to do awesome."

Gibson, a second-year standout on Ceres High's varsity boys track and field team, placed fourth in the 110 hurdles (15.26).

"This is what I expected him to do," Brett Johnson said. "Last year, he was in (2015 Ceres High grad) Tristan Dray's shadow. He was named our spring captain at the beginning of the year. He's been our most consistent performer. He puts a lot of pressure on himself to do well."

Johnson placed fourth in the shot put (47-41/2).

Conner set a personal record.

"He threw extremely well," coach Johnson said. "He's added another two-plus feet to his personal record since winning the County Clash. He's got a lot of confidence. He's bigger and stronger this year."

Seeded 13th, Ceres High's 4x100 relay team of Smith-Willis, Dennis, Diaz and Gibson placed fifth (44.79.)

"There was a lot of great competition," Brett Johnson said. "We didn't PR but ran well enough to qualify. The kids are very close. They work well together. They're coachable."

Brewster qualified for Masters for a third consecutive season.

"I definitely think it's a realistic goal for her," coach Johnson said when asked if Azia would advance to the CIF State Championships. "She's going to have to pull out another great day and set another personal record. I know what she's capable of. She knows the facility. She's experienced the competition and crowd. It's definitely an advantage."