Clovis News: Sports

Section track meet raises questions

Today's Central Section Grand Masters Track and Field Championships at Buchanan's Veterans Memorial Stadium offers not only compelling questions, but ones tied into history.

* What to expect from three-time state champion Jordan Hasay of Mission Prep in the girls' 3,200 meters?

She'll arrive from the coast with a season-best time of 11 minutes, 32.65 seconds -- No. 8 in the section. This for the section's record-holder (9:52.13). But the 2008 national track and field athlete of the year has been slowed by the flu.

* Can Shafter senior Anna Jelmini -- No. 1 nationally all-time in the discus (190 feet, 3 inches) and No. 2 all-time in the shot put (54-43/4) -- actually throw any farther?

* Can Clovis sophomore Jenna Prandini win four events (100, 200, long jump, triple jump), score 40 points by herself and power the Cougars to the girls' team title?

* And, finally, will Buchanan's boys -- for all their success in a 15-year program -- win their first boys championship?

The Bears' question is probably the easiest to answer.

It's likely.

"If our boys do what they're capable of doing, we have a great chance," Buchanan coach Brian Weaver said. "We've had a lot of great teams, and we've been second four or five times. These guys are motivated."

The Bears' strength is balanced and deep with Jonathan Sanchez in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200; Sean Johnson in the hurdles; Corvaughn Archie in the hurdles and triple jump; Travis Smith in the high jump; and the 400 and 1,600 relays.

The 4 p.m. meet offers a bit more incentive than normal for all involved because the state championships will be staged on this same fast, Olympic-class track in two weeks.

Clovis' girls won't rely solely on Prandini, but she helps. She leads the section in all four events -- 100 (11.81), 200 (24.48), long jump (19-13/4) and triple jump (39-31/2). In state rankings, she's No. 3 in the 100, No. 5 in the long jump and No. 7 in the triple jump.

Long-distance standouts Saylah Barsarian and Meghan Marvin should also score big in Clovis' mission to capture the girls' title one year after Clovis West did so in runaway style.

A wild card for the Cougars is sophomore Alyssa Mejia.

She won the section 800 last year in 2:17.47 as a freshman at Reedley. Now, having transferred back into the Clovis district, where she attended previously, she's still trying to re-establish her stride. Her season best is 2:21.98.

Last year, Clovis West won behind a triple-gold performance from then-freshman Alyssa Monteverde in both hurdles and the high jump. And she's back.

Buchanan, behind the state's No. 4 pole vaulter in Holly Waseloff (12-6); sophomore standout Macy Bricks (800, 1,600, 3,200); Chelsea Janzen (1,600, 3,200); and Carrington Mahr (high jump, triple jump), is also expected to be involved in the girls' title hunt.

"It's very, very close," Clovis coach Greg Friesen said. "We feel ourselves, Buchanan and Clovis West are all within 10 points of each other. And Edison and Bullard could also be there with fantastic meets."