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Youth-laden CHS girls track and field squad finishes second
Ceres High boys sixth in standings
Tristan Dray and nine of his Bulldog track and field teammates advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV-IV Championships by virtue of their standout performances at the WAC finals. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High varsity track and field standouts Gykisha Smith, Azia Brewster, Lisette Carretero, Sydney Elness, Nichole Parker, Tomas Rocha, Austin Stiles Judas Chavarin, Tristan Dray and Kevin Moita will compete at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV-V Championships this week in Turlock.

"There's going to be some stiff competition," Bulldogs head coach Brett Johnson said. "Hopefully, we got them peaking at the right time."

Smith and Co. earned berths to Divisionals by virtue of their top-three finishes at the Western Athletic Conference finals on May 10 at Patterson Community Stadium.

Gykisha, Brewster, Lisette, Sydney and Nichole, Mallynda Benjamin, Claudia Jimenez and Kyla Bassard all scored points while guiding Ceres High's youth-laden girls squad to a second-place showing at the WAC meet.

Livingston took first in the team standings (74).

The Bulldogs (50) finished ahead of Central Valley (39), Patterson (39), Los Banos (38), Pacheco (11) and Central Catholic (5).

"I anticipated us being in the top two," Johnson said. "We were shooting for the league title. We had some impressive performances. We have a great nucleus of kids. We're very young. We only have three seniors that will be leaving us."

Smith placed first in the 100 hurdles (16.84), and second in the 300 hurdles (50.58) and 100 (13.19).

Brewster, a freshman, placed first in the high jump (4-8) and fifth in the 100 hurdles (18.21).

"Azia's got the ability to get over the five-foot barrier," Johnson said. "She could surprise some people. Nobody has a scouting report on her."

Carretero placed second in the 1,600 (6:00.54) and third in the 800 (2:45.33).

Elness, a sophomore, placed second in the high jump (4-6) and triple jump (31-101/4), and eighth in the long jump (12-9).

Parker placed third in the shot put (27-7).

Benjamin, a freshman, placed fourth in the 200 (28.92).

Jimenez placed fourth in the 400 (1:09.04) and fifth in the 200 (28.98).

Ceres High's 4x400 relay team of Benjamin, Bassard, Jimenez and Carretero placed fourth (4:34.40).

Ceres High's 4x100 relay team of Jimenez, Bassard, Benjamin and Brewster placed fourth (57.04).
Ceres High's boys team (25 points) placed sixth at the WAC Championships.

Patterson (60), Central Valley (51), Livingston (42), Central Catholic (36), Pacheco (34) and Los Banos (8) took first, second, third, fourth, fifth and seventh, respectively.

Rocha, Stiles, Chavarin, Dray, Moita and Jacob Edwards led the way.
Tomas won the 800 (2:05.59).

"I knew he was capable of running fast times," Johnson said. "I didn't anticipate him getting close to two flat. He hasn't really been challenged."

Stiles, a sophomore, finished first in the high jump (5-10).

Austin cleared 6-4 at the County Clash earlier this season in Merced.

"He's got crazy athleticism," Johnson said.

Chavarin finished second in the 1,600 (4:45.15).

Dray finished second in the 110 hurdles (16.13).

Ceres High's 4x400 relay team of Chavarin, Moita, Stiles and Rocha finished third (3:37.96).

Edwards finished fourth in the triple jump (39-8) and sixth in the long jump (16-63/4).

"Individual-wise, we had some quality performances," Johnson said. "We just don't have depth."