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Sophomore places 7th in Sac-Joaquin Sections
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Dingko Luangchai's season came to an end at the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section track and field trials at Hughes Stadium in Sacramento on Thursday.

The sophomore finished seventh in a field of 26 in the boys high jump. He tied a personal record when he cleared 6 feet, 2 inches.

"I knew he was going to have a great day," said Ceres coach Drew Brown. "He made his first attempt at 6 feet and cleared 6-2 on his second attempt. I thought he'd jump 6-4."

Luangchai failed to clear 6-4 three times.

"Only eight of the 26 competitors made it to 6-4," Brown said. "He had three good attempts."

The top three finishers claimed medals and advanced to the 2004 California State Championships, to be held June 4-5 at Hughes Stadium.

Certificates were awarded to fourth, fifth and sixth-place finishers.

"The guy who was an alternate jumped 6-4," Brown said. "That's how close it was."

Mesa Verde's Aiona Key placed first. He cleared 6-8.

Vintage's Fletcher Carlyle, Beyer's Ricky Vargas, Summerville's Ryan Johnson and Napa's Jake Maus took second (6-6), third (6-6), fourth (6-4) and fifth (6-4), respectively.

Barring injury, Luangchai should be one of the top high jumpers in the area as a junior.

"If he continues to improve and work hard, he'll have a chance to go to state next year," Brown said.

"He's got a good work ethic. I don't remember him missing a practice." - By DALE BUTLER/ Sports Editor