Foothill League sweeps at State Meet prelims, nine advance to track and field finals

Recent West Ranch graduate Natalie Ramirez won the gold medal in women's discus at the Junior Olympics. She will be attending UCLA in the fall. Eddy Martinez/The Signal.

The Foothill League sent nine athletes to the 2019 CIF State Track and Field Championships at Buchanan High School in Clovis today, and all nine delivered qualifying marks in the prelims including two distance runners who already made the finals, to advance to the championship round tomorrow.

The throwers started things off in the afternoon, with Canyon’s Jacob Lopez and Golden Valley’s Kienan Donovan both advancing in the boys discus.

Lopez finished in eighth place with a throw of 167-8 and Donovan finished right behind him with a mark of 164-2.

Both throwers also advanced in the boys shot put, with the Canyon senior finishing sixth (58-4 3/4) and the Golden Valley sophomore finishing seventh (58-2 1/2).

The boys discus finals will be the first event on Saturday, starting at 4:30 p.m. The boys shot put finals is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

Natalie Ramirez of West Ranch finished in fifth place in girls discus with a mark of 151-3. She also advanced in the girls shot put after putting up a 46-1 1/2 in her final throw, good for second place.

Her counterpart, Shyann Franklin of Golden Valley, also advanced in the girls shot put with an opening throw of 45-6, a fourth-place finish.

Both are chasing Jocelynn Budwig of Fowler High School, who opened with a 49-1/4.

The girls discus final is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. and shot put at 8:30 p.m.

Canyon’s Tyler Cash rounded out the field athletes to advance to the finals, hitting a mark of 6-4, then winning a jump off to finish No. 12 in the boys high jump. The finals for boys high jump will begin at 5 p.m.

Solomon Strader of West Ranch finished in third place overall and first in his heat in the boys 400-meter prelims with a time 47.68.

His top competition is Zachary Larrier of Monterey Trail High School in Elk Grove, who finished first at 46.76 and Brayden Borquez of Harvard-Westlake, who came in second at 47.29.

Larrier has the best 400-meter run in California this year with a time of 46.49 set at the Arcadia Invitational in April. Borquez is second in the state at 46.67. Strader is fourth in the state with the 47.04 PR he set a week ago at the Masters Meet.

Strader will compete in tomorrow’s finals at 7:15 p.m.

Kai Wingo of Valencia, who took home the top spot in the boys 800-meter at the CIF-SS Masters Meet last week, finished in tenth at the state prelims with a time of 1:54.21. The 800-meter finals will start at 8:15 p.m.

Canyon’s Ethan Danforth and West Ranch’s Evan Bates will both be in contention for the boys 3,200-meter state title along with 25 other runners, which is the third-to-last event of the evening starting at 9:55 p.m.

All start times are approximate.

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