The Yosemite High girls track team, led by senior Taylor Burrall, placed third with 107 points at the 31-team Exeter Monarch Invitational March 27. The competition consisted mostly of small schools in the Sierra/Sequoia Division, with Central Valley Christian taking first with 146 points.
Burrall, coming off All-League volleyball and basketball seasons, took first place in the 100 meter hurdles (18.44), high jump (5-0), and the triple jump (33-09).
After taking a break from track in 2014 and getting over a grueling volleyball and basketball schedule, Burrall is getting back to her 2013 form.
Sophomore Elyse Espe had her finest day as an YHS track athlete. Espe took the 300 hurdles with a time of 49.55. This was a personal best and good for No. 5 all-time at YHS. Espe took third in the 400 meters with a personal best 1:03.6. This is No. 9 all-time at YHS.
“This was a really strong performance against competition we will see later in the Sierra/Sequoia division,” Coach Walker Vaughn said. “We will need these types of performances to challenge in league. This is a great step in that direction.”
Other Badger girls’ highlights included the pole vault where Christy Halbert and Christen Cogdell placed second and third respectively with a height of 7-9 (second due to less ‘misses’). Katie Whitcomb was second in the long jump at 14-8 and fifth in the triple jump at 29-4.
Lauren Peterson took second in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 18:45. Cogdell was fifth at 19:13. YHS dominated this event with three runners in the top five.
For the boys, freshman Jesse De La Cruz sprinted to a fifth place finish in the 200 meters with a time of 25.0.
Rafer Johnson Invitational
The Yosemite girl’s track program made a strong showing at the 21-team Rafer Johnson Invitational in Kingsburg on March 21. The annual event is named for Kingsburg native and 1960 Tokyo Olympics decathlon champion. It is considered a highly competitive meet that included track powers from the South Valley.
Liberty of Bakersfield won the overall title with a dominating 142 point performance. Yosemite finished in ninth place with 25 points. North Sequoia League rival and league favorite Sierra was sixth with 34 points.
Burrall had another big day placing second in the triple jump (33-4), third in the high jump (4-11), and fifth in the 100 meter hurdles (18.09). Her performance accounted for 16 of Yosemite’s 25 points.
Burrall’s triple jump is No. 3 all-time at YHS, and her high jump and hurdles time approached her 2013 personal bests. Both were top 10 marks at the school.
Gabby Stegge placed fifth in the long jump (14-5). Teammate Katie Whitcomb took eighth with a jump of 14-2. Christy Halbert vaulted to fifth place in the pole vault at 7-9.
The YHS boys did not place high enough for scoring at Rafer Johnson.
The team will be home hosting the Yosemite Mountain Invitational at 3 p.m., Friday, April 10.