Trinity Classical Academy runner Solomon Strader has been cool as a post-race water in every competition this season. The CIF state track and field prelims at Buchanan High of Clovis, California was no exception. After finishing first in his heat and seventh overall in the boys 400-meter dash, Strader is headed for the state finals. “I wasn’t really expecting to make it to tomorrow, but it’s pretty cool to make it,” he said. “I had someone from (track and field website) DyeStat interview me. It’s interesting getting used to the attention.”
With a time of 48.08 seconds (a new personal record), Strader is the only freshman out of the nine qualifiers who will be running tomorrow in the finals. Despite the quick turnaround, Strader feels ready for his next race. “I practiced this week, Monday and Tuesday, so I’m used to running back to back and tomorrow as crazy as it seems, it’s a lot easier,” he said. “You only have one more race of the season and you don’t have to worry about time or making it.” Gabby Sanchez of Canyon High is also moving on to the finals in girls discus after throwing 139 feet, 9 inches for a new school record and 10th place. The top 12 throwers move on. It’s the second CIF state postseason appearance this year for Sanchez, who made it to the second round of the CIF state Division 2 playoffs with the girls basketball team earlier this year. “I was in complete shock because I’ve reached it for basketball,” Sanchez said. “But for track, it’s a huge accomplishment and words can’t describe how happy I am to be headed to finals.” Natalie Ramirez, a West Ranch sophomore, came in 11th place in girls shot put with a 41-07.25 throw. She’ll head to the finals in shot, but not in discus, where she placed 17th out of 28 competitors. Golden Valley’s Gabriel Coronado came in 13th place in boys discus, one spot away from making the cut for finals. His throw of 167-06 was nearly a foot from securing a spot in finals. In the boys 800, Stevenson Ranch resident and Bishop-Alemany High runner Kevin Wilkinson finished 21st, clocking 1:57.30.