The Yosemite High track program put in maximum effort in the pre-season in preparation for the North Sequoia League season.
It paid off.
YHS got off to a great start in NSL competition with the girls and JV boys victorious in the first league meet held at YHS on April 13. There are three league meets held every Wednesday, with the NSL finals scheduled for May 4 at Washington Union.
Freshman Sayda Taylor set the all-time 100 meter dash record with a time of 12.30. Taylor broke the 2010 time of 12.65 set by Riley Cooks. Taylor also broke the 200 meter record with a time of 26.0 eclipsing the time of Kim Eames (26.17) set in 1999. Taylor also won the long jump at 17-1, for third all-time.
Elyse Espe won three events, including the 400m, and was part of the winning 4x400 relay team. Overall the Yosemite girls won eight of 16 events and dominated with a score of 138 points. Sierra was a distant second with 88 points.
Head coach Walker Vaughn was pleased.
“We knew our girls would be strong and we had a great meet,” Vaughn said. “Still, we had events where we can improve. Our girls work hard and it has really paid off. We competed against the best competition in the section. We want to get better and we will.”
The frosh/soph boys were also winners despite three key performers moving up to varsity. YHS took the meet with 61 points, just ahead of Union with 58 points. Peter Cresci scored in three events.
“I was really proud of our frosh/soph boys team,” Vaughn said. “We moved up key guys to varsity (Jesse DeLaCruz, Peter Martinez, and Russell Zelazo). The team responded with a win. It was a great performance really.”
The varsity boys may have been the biggest surprise by finishing second overall to Union. YHS scored 61 points. Union crushed the competition with 115 points. Kevin Bulawski was a double winner for YHS, finishing first in the 110m and 300m hurdles.
Peter Martinez won the discus in his first varsity meet with a throw of 124-4, good for ninth all-time at YHS.
“Having Jesse, Peter, and Russell really helped the varsity boys,” Vaughn said. “Kevin did a great job in the hurdles and scored in four events. This team is getting better and this was a good start in league.”
YHS dominated in the sprints (100, 200, 400 & 4x400 relay) scoring 50 points. In the field, YHS scored 51 points in the jumps (long jump, triple jump, high jump, and pole vault).
“We have depth in all these events,” Vaughn said. “Our team is young. We are winning with a lot of freshman and sophomores who continue to improve as they are still in the process of learning their events.”
Taylor has encore performance at Exeter
There was little time to rest as the Badgers traveled to the 31-team Exeter Monarch Invitational Friday April 15. Taylor won the 200m in 26.01 and was second in the 100m (12.88) and high jump (5-0). Taylor, along with Peyton Garner, Chloe Duke, and Lauren Peterson won the 4x100m relay with a time of 51.97.
“With little rest our girls really went out and had a great meet,” Vaughn said. “Like our previous meets, there were a lot of good programs in Exeter. We are running and competing with large schools. We are closing in on the 4x100 record (50.48). I think it will happen this year with the right combination.”
Yosemite was eighth overall with 71 points. Mt. Whitney edged El Diamante 137 to 130 to win the meet.
Elyse Espe was second in the small school division in the 300m hurdles (50.07). Katrina Conklin and Amy Young were fifth in the small school pole vault at 6-06. Peyton Garner was sixth in the triple jump at 30-06. Linnea Lineau was seventh in the long jump with a mark of 14-02.
For the boys, Kevin Bulawski continued his strong performance in the hurdles by placing sixth in the 110m hurdles with a time of 16.72. Bulawski’s time is now seventh all-time in YHS history. Bulawski was ninth in the 300m hurdles at 45.5. Peter Martinez took sixth in the discus throwing 122-0. Jesse DeLaCruz was fifth in the small school division in the pole vault with a height of 9-0.