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Track and field ladies will be competitive
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Ceres High varsity girls track and field coach Drew Brown is trying to remain optimistic.

"I think we'll do okay," he said.

"We have a lot of girls that can compete in our league. We just don't have a lot of dominant athletes."

Added junior long-distance runner Karrah Brown: "Last year, we had a little bit of everything. This year, we don't."

Expect to see a lot of improvement from Ceres' throwers, jumpers, hurdlers and runners.


Seniors Melanie Vega and Juliana Trejo, and junior Danielle Dawson will compete in the shot put and discus events for the Bulldogs.

Vega's specialty is the shot.

She placed fourth with a toss of 30 feet, 91/4 inches at the Stanislaus County Meet at Modesto Junior College on March. 18. Trejo placed ninth in the discus with a toss of 73-91/2.

"Danielle threw as a freshman but did not compete last year," Brown said.


Ceres' top high jumper is Jessica Mazza. The junior cleared a personal-best 4 feet, 8 inches en route to a third-place finish at the 2004 league championships. She placed 15th with a leap of 4-6 at the sub-section trials.

Junior Crystal Perez and sophomore LaJuana Guillory will also contribute.

Four sophomores, including Melanie Casey, Jan Lu, Carmen Kong and Beverly Hernandez, will participate in the long and triple jump events.

Casey has the most experience. She set a personal record in the triple jump with a leap of 31 feet, 61/2 inches at the sub-section trials last season. She placed 17th in a field of 27. Casey finished sixth at the league meet.

"We expect her to be one of the top triple jumpers in league," Brown said.

Lu finished first in the long jump at the JV league championships last season.


In 2004, Heather Jones missed the final three weeks of the regular season with a hip-flexor injury. The sophomore eventually returned to the lineup and placed 11th in a field of 26 in the 100 hurdles at the sub-section trials.

Jones finished third in the 100 hurdles in 17.18 seconds at the league championships.

"I think she can be in the top three in the 100 hurdles," Brown said. "She's stronger this year."

Marissa Cabusas is a first-year hurdler. She starred on the Ceres High freshman basketball team.


The Morales sisters, Laura and Vicki, are back. They showed a tremendous amount of improvement in the 100 and 200 during the course of the 2004 season. Laura is a junior. Vicki is a sophomore.

"They show up and work hard everyday," Brown said. "They're good kids."

Cabusas will also provide help.

Long sprints/distance

Karrah Brown's favorite race is the 3,200 meters. But she also runs the 1,600 and 800.

Brown finished 10th in the 3,200 in a season-best 11 minutes, 57 seconds at the 2004 sub-section championships. The top eight placers advanced to the section trials.

"I missed qualifying by two places," she said.

At the league championships, Brown placed fifth in the 1,600 in a personal-best time of 5:37.

Senior Vanessa Graham and sophomores Katie Lutes and Beverly Hernandez run the 800 and 400. Sophomore Nicole Laranjo will compete in the 800 and 1,600.

Graham finished the 400 in 1:08.86 at the County Meet.

Not bad for a first-year competitor.

Last year, Lutes and Laranjo helped lead the JV cross country team to a second-place finish at the Division II section finals.

Postseason hopes

Coach Brown has high expectations for Vega, Mazza, Casey, Jones and Karrah. They must finish in the top four at the Modesto Metro Conference meet to secure a berth in the Sac-Joaquin Section trials.

"If they improve over the last six weeks of the season, they'll have a chance to go on to the section finals," Drew said. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff reporter of the Ceres (Calif.) Courier