Clovis News: Sports

2 grueling runs awaits Redwood High's Vilhauer

Justin Vilhauer has a grueling evening lined up for the finals of the CIF State Track and Field Championships.

The Redwood High junior will not only compete in the longest run, but the second longest as well.

The 3,200/1,600-meter double is only being attempted by four others in the meet at Buchanan's Veterans Memorial Stadium.

"It's a lot of intense running. You have to be prepared," Rangers coach Randy Ziraldo said. "The No. 1 thing is, he is prepared. He's in shape. That's comforting."

Vilhauer made his double possible by doing just enough Friday to qualify in the 1,600. He finished third in the second heat in 4:15.97 to gain an automatic spot. The top three in each heat advanced, as well as the next six best times.

Vilhauer was fifth heading into the turn off the back straightaway on the final lap before making his move into third.

"I could have won it, but I was just looking to qualify," he said. "So once I got into third, I shut it down."

The 1,600 will be Vilhauer's focus tonight. He enters with the state's third-fastest time this year at 4:11.20. Only Novato's Eric Olson (4:08.54) and Rancho Buena's Chris Brewer (4:11.12) have run faster.

He's a long shot, however, in the 3,200. His best time of the season -- 9:13.95 -- is well behind state leader Sam Pons of South Pasadena (8:55.76), who won't be attempting the double that Vilhauer, Olson, Loyola's Elias Gedyon, Santee's Omar Cortes and Granada Hills' Javert Solozano are trying.

Luckily for the five attempting the double, there was no 3,200 prelim Friday. All 31 who qualified out of the section meets are in the final, which is scheduled for 9:03. The 1,600 is set to start at 6:32.

Rangers up, down

It was a mixed bag of results for Redwood after Vilhauer's 1,600 qualifier.

Sophomore discus thrower Lissette Menivil came in just under her career best at 144-9, but it was good enough for fifth in qualifying and a spot in the finals. She qualified on her third attempt.

"She did wonderful," Ziraldo said. "She's gifted. If she sticks with it, she should do really well" in the future.

Redwood qualified a third finalist when Dillon Root jumped a 23-1 1/2 on his final attempt in the long jump. He placed fifth.

"I'm pretty excited," said Root, a junior who made the finals as a freshman but did not qualify last season. "There was a lot of emotion on that last jump because I had scratched the first two."

Root also competed in the 100, but failed to reach the finals after a 10.73.

Cal-bound senior Idarre Coles failed to reach the finals in the triple and high jumps after doing so in both last season.

Coles was 14th in the triple in 47-0 1/4 and tied for eighth in the high jump at 6-5. Coles would have automatically qualified for the finals if he had cleared 6-5 on his first attempt, but didn't make that mark until his second attempt.

Also ...

-- A year after Clovis East and Frontier finished among a four-way tie for the boys' state team title, scoring has been expanded from six places to eight in each event to reduce the chances of further ties. But medals remain six deep.

-- An unusually large number of at-large entrants -- 75, up from last year's 38 -- led to more first-day heats, extending the program by about 30 minutes.

-- Former Bee reporter Lisa Burnett was presented a plaque to commemorate her 13 years covering area high school sports.