Clovis News: Sports

Run For The Dream track meet Saturday

Thirteen feet is a special figure and one rarely attained in high school girls pole vaulting.

But Clovis West High's Anginae Monteverde can feel it now, especially after clearing 12-6 with little training three weeks ago in Kingsburg.

"Making 13 has been my goal since the summer," the senior said. "And this is a good start for me, so I'm right on track."

She made 12-6 in a qualifying meet for Saturday's high school competition in the Run For The Dream Indoor Track and Field Invitational at the Save Mart Center.

"It was the type of thing where I decided to go [to Kingsburg] at the last minute and it just kind of happened," she said. "It definitely surprised me. I almost got out at 11-6."

The 12-6, tied for fourth all-time in Central Section history, is best among a 24-member field in the High School Division of Saturday's meet, which is being billed as the state's indoor championship.

Also carrying the section banner high as a top seed will be Lemoore's Kyle Fraley in the boys pole vault competition.

He qualified at 16-0, which is tied for sixth in section history.

Fraley is the grandson of David Fraley. And David Fraley is the brother of Bob Fraley, the former Fresno State track and field coach and architect of the Run For the Dream meet, which will be held for the fifth time.

Monteverde, who next fall will go with twin sister Alyssa to national power Oregon, said there's a slight chance she'll miss the indoor competition Saturday after expecting to run the 100 hurdles and on a 400 relay a bit earlier in a meet at Clovis High.

Those events are scheduled for 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The girls pole vault at the Save Mart Center is set for 2 p.m.

Monteverde went to Kingsburg with a personal best of 12-2. But she made 12-4 on her first attempt and 12-6 on her second.

"I was pretty tired," she said, "but I said, 'OK, let's see how it goes.' I was competing against no one, so I was definitely surprised it happened."

Clearing 13 feet this spring promises to be a challenge.

Only Memorial's Kira Costa (13-8 1/2, 2003) and Kingsburg's Melissa Price (13-1 3/4) have exceeded the barrier in section history. And both were state champions.

Further, in the 16-year history of girls competition in the state meet, only eight of the champions made 13 or better.

Puerto Rican Olympians to be featured Sunday

Carol Rodriguez (600) and Brandon Estrada (pole vault), former USC stars and Puerto Rican Olympians, will headline the Elite Division competition Sunday. Estrada is the son of actor Erik Estrada.

Nearly 2,000 athletes will compete during the weekend, including a community college competition Saturday morning and a Youth Division on Sunday morning.

Bob Fraley said the youth meet, attracting 500 students between fourth and eighth grades, is five times larger than last year.

"That's what we're after," said Fraley, a longtime advocate for the sport nationally. "Track and field is one of the best sports to help youth development."