It was another cold and rainy day for the 13th annual Yosemite Mountain Invitational Track Meet last Friday. Many thought it would be canceled due to the weather, and five of 21 teams didn’t show.
“It wasn’t an option to cancel,” said Yosemite Head Coach Walker Vaughn. “We only would have done so if there was lightning. The meet went well. Surprisingly in a number of events, there were personal bests. Our athletes did great.”
With junior sprinter Peyton Garner winning three individual events, and leading the 4x100 meter relay team to victory, the Yosemite girls took second with 107 points, just five points behind Valley track power Sanger (112). Overall, the YHS girls won six events. Garner pulled off another feat with four individuals wins in an April 4 league meet against Washington Union, including her first attempt in the long jump.
“It was a strong performance by our girls and varsity boys,” Vaughn said. “Sanger is a great program and one of the best in the Valley. We are not a big school, but our athletes can compete with top programs in the section.”
Garner was victorious in the 100 meter dash (13.50), the 200m (27.32), and the triple jump (31-06). Garner, along with Daytona Tuso, Chloe Duke, and Linnea Leinau took first in the 4x100m relay with a time of 52.56, No. 3 all-time in Yosemite history.
Yosemite junior Alli Ruiz took the 100 hurdles in 17.63, a personal best. Sophomore Sayda Taylor was the other winner for YHS in the high jump at 5-2.
Other top performances for the girls included Elyse Espe third in the 300 hurdles (51.14) and the triple jump (30-0), Ruiz third in the 400 (1:04.09), Duke third in the 100 hurdles (18.27), Lauren Peterson fourth in the 100 hurdles (19.19) where YHS finished 1, 3, and 4. Sarah Meeks threw a personal best 82-8 in the discus, tying for third place.
Yosemite girls win first NSL meet
The Yosemite track team was successful in its first of three North Sequoia League meets, the April 4 meet at Washington Union. The Yosemite girls prevailed in their first meet.
Coming into the season, the Yosemite girls were poised for another NSL title run. Depth in the sprints and field events have been key to a successful early season start. Yosemite has competed against the top Valley track programs in major track meets. “Competing against the best early on usually pays dividends in league,” Vaughn said.
Garner, the soccer team’s leading scorer this past season, won four individual events to lead the Yosemite girls. Garner was victorious in the 100 and 200m along with the long and triple jumps. Garner won in the long jump despite it being the first time she has competed in the event.
“Peyton has really put the team on her shoulders, especially after Sayda’s (Taylor) injury,” Vaughn said. “Peyton has been really impressive the last two weeks. She is improving every week in the jumps. It shows how athletic she is winning the long jump in her very first meet. I can’t say enough about her performance and what she means to this team. ”
Taylor, who ran in the state meet last year as a freshman, won the high jump and was second in the 100 and 200 sprints. Taylor has been working her way back from a quad injury sustained a month ago. Vaughn and the coaching staff are easing Taylor back.
“Sayda is taking time to fully heal, but she will ready to make an impact in league,” Vaughn said. “Winning league is always our focus. Our depth in the sprints is outstanding and other runners have really stepped up.”
Boys team also places second at Mt. Invitational
The YHS boys also took second in the Yosemite Mountain Invitational with 101 points behind Sanger (178).
Yosemite’s ‘gentle giant,’ senior Kevin Bulawsky (6-foot-4, 220 pounds), was a double-winner in the 110 high hurdles (17.39) and the shot put (46-09). Bulawsky was second in the discus with a throw of 121-6. Junior Peter Martinez took the discus throwing 122 and was second in the shot at 44-2. “Our varsity boys throwers have really been dominating the last few weeks,” Vaughn said. “They are improving every week. Kevin and Peter are both hardworking and very dedicated.”
There were other notable performances for the YHS boys. Senior Noah West had personal bests in the 100 and 200m. He was second in the 100 (11.86) and was third in the 200 (24.25). Cass Moreno was second in the 110 high hurdles (18.10).
Yosemite will host the second NSL meet on Wednesday April 19, at Badger Stadium. Field events will start at 2 p.m. and running events at 3 p.m.