The pursuit for another league championship is underway by the Yosemite High track team and the boys varsity dominated the first of three North Sequoia League practice meets on April 10 at Badger Stadium.
The Yosemite boys scored 139 points with Liberty High a distant second with 69 points.
Sierra narrowly won the girls division with 103 points, 10 points better than Yosemite's 93.
The practice meet format allow teams to build points prior the May 1 NSL league championship meet at Chowchilla.
"Our boys had a strong first meet," said coach Walker Vaughn. "We won eight of 16 events. It is still early but we had a great start."
Alek Simpson took first in the 800, 1600 and 3200 meter races. Simpson is the reigning league champ in all distance events. He finished 32nd in last year's state cross country meet.
Yosemite dominated the hurdles. Jayson Lee won the 110 hurdles and placed second in the 300 hurdles. Teammate Christian Cambrelen was first in the 300 hurdles and second in the 110. Cambrelen also won the high jump.
Other YHS boys winners were: Nick Adelizi 200 and Ryan Young in the long jump.
Badger girls get seven wins
Normally seven first place finishes in a meet is enough to win, but the lack of team depth is an issue for the Badgers.
"We had great performances," said Vaughn. "Our girl's squad is a little thin. While winning an event is important, you absolutely need the second through fifth places to win as well. We don't have the numbers to do that. Still, we were right there and that is encouraging."
Brittney Hughey and Taylor Burrall had a huge day winning three events each. Hughey, like Simpson, took the brutal trio of the 800, 1600 and 3200 events. Burrall won the 100 and 300 hurdles as well as the high jump.
"Brittney and Taylor had a great day," said Vaughn. "They have been working hard and it has paid off."
Jessica Rudd was the winner in the triple jump.
Christen Cogdell won the pole vault at 9-0, setting a new Yosemite High record.
"Christen is improving every week," said Vaughn.
The league meets are held every Wednesday at Yosemite.
Badgers fare well at the West Coast Relays
There was little rest for three Yosemite High teammates who participated in the prestigious West Coast Relays April 12 at Buchanan High in Clovis. Only athletes with top times or marks can participate. For Yosemite, it was Simpson, Burrall and Hughey.
"We had good performances at a strong meet," said Vaughn. "It was great that all three of our athletes medaled. It is a tough meet that prepares you for league and beyond."
Simpson took home two third place finishes in the 1600 (4:31.47) and the 3200 (10:08.03). Both times are a seasonal best for Simpson.
Burrall took second in the high jump (5-1), a jump that is second all-time at YHS.
Hughey took third in the 1600 (5:30), a personal best for her.