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Jones, Mendez dominate at Western Athletic Conference meet
Central Valley High School varsity boys track and field star Tyree Jones didn't get to compete at the league finals his junior year because of a nagging hamstring injury.

Jones captured two individual titles and anchored the Hawks' winning 4x100 relay team at the Western Athletic Conference Championships on Saturday, May 7 in Patterson.

"I made a commitment to make sure track was my No. 1 priority and to stay healthy," Tyree said.

"He definitely has more focus and drive," Central Valley head coach Mike Reynolds said. "He's learned to let his racing do more of the talking. He has a quiet, confidence."

Tyree won the 100 (11.31) and 200 (23.05), and finished fourth in the long jump (23-0).

Jones teamed up with Ja'Quan Gardner, Terrence Sadler and Michael Luzinski in the 4x100 relay (44.27).

Junior Cristian Chavez placed first in the discus with a personal-record toss of 136 feet, 5 inches.

Chavez topped eight other competitors, including top-seeded Aldo Guzman of Livingston.

"You could tell he (Chavez) was stoked to win," Reynolds said. "He was the underdog."

Cristian also placed sixth in the shot put (37-10).

Edward Martinez placed second in the 300 hurdles (43.09) and fourth in the 110 hurdles (17.55).

Greg Tripp placed third in the 400 (54.82).

Sadler placed third in the 200 (23.78) and fourth in the 100 (11.51).

William Hunnel placed fourth in the pole vault (11-0).

Matt Menor placed fifth in the 110 hurdles (17.60) and 300 hurdles (44.77).

Patrick Villarico placed fifth in the pole vault (10-6).

Brandon Viado placed fifth in the high jump (5-4).

Marcus Thomas placed seventh in the pole vault (8-6).

Cruz Mendez placed seventh in the 3,200 (11:31.31) and 1,600 (4:59.52), and 11th in the 800 (2:34.98).

Gardner placed seventh in the 100 (11.87) and 12th in the 200 (25.84).

Adrian Armstrong placed seventh in the discus (107-8) and 12th in the shot put (30-01/2).

Ernesto Gonzalez placed seventh in the 800 (2:20.21) and 13th in the 1,600 (5:11.52).

Jamal Wessinger placed eighth in the triple jump (33-10).

Hector Ornales placed eighth in the discus (76-2) and 11th in the shot put (31-31/2).

Luzinski placed 10th in the 100 (11.96).

Nick Gonzalez placed 14th in the 1,600 (5:16.77).

Raul Castro placed 17th in the 1,600 (5:40.76).

Adriana Mendez, a fourth-year member of Central Valley's girls track and field program, was a double-winner.

She wasn't supposed to finish first in the 1,600 (5:36.99) and 3,200 (12:33.16).

Mendez upset Livingston junior Kelsey Gallegos.

"It was definitely exciting to watch," Reynolds said. "Adriana just had more left in the tank. It's her senior year. She wanted to win at least one championship."

"I never thought I'd beat her," Mendez said. "I'm proud of myself. I've been practicing really hard."

Adriana never lost confidence despite trailing during both races. Alejandro Garcia, Mendez's boyfriend and a Modesto Junior College freshman standout distance runner, provided support leading up to the competition. Garcia graduated from Ceres High in 2010.

"He really pushed me the week before," Adriana said. "He told me to stay positive. He motivated me."

Mendez was a gracious winner.

"She (Gallegos) was really sad," Adriana said. "She was crying. I told her she has next year."

Christina Morales placed second in the pole vault (7-6).

Alyssa Long placed third in the high jump (4-5), and fifth in the shot put (27-11) and discus (88-6).

Drucella Miranda placed third in the 100 hurdles (18.70) and fifth in the triple jump (29-81/2).

Maday Padilla placed fifth in the 300 hurdles (59.69).

Catrina Castillo placed fifth in the high jump (4-4).

Viviana Moreno placed seventh in the 1,600 (6:24.12) and 3,200 (14:59.41).

Elizabeth Rodriguez placed 10th in the 1,600 (7:24.48).

Brianna McNeil placed 11th in the shot put (23-7) and 16th in the discus (40-61/2).

Stephanie Duran placed 16th in the shot put (19-01/2) and 17th in the discus (32-1).

Jones, Gardner, Sadler, Luzinski, Chavez, Martinez, Tripp, Sadler, Mendez, Long and Miranda earned the right to participate in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV-V meet this week at Modesto Junior College.