Badger girls repeat as NSL track champs

The Yosemite High School girls won their second straight North Sequoia League track title last week at Washington Union.

Despite winning three regular season meets, the girls still had something to prove. Sierra kept things close, and some felt the Chieftains were closing the gap. The last NSL meet had YHS winning by just nine points (130 to 121).

For the last decade Sierra and YHS girls have set the standard in the NSL.

Yosemite High Coach Walker Vaughn, a YHS alum, threw out a challenge to the girls, “Go out and be your best and win this outright.” The girls did just that, defeating Sierra 270-192 May 4.

Liberty finished third with 176 points, followed by Washington Union, 18, and Chowchilla eight.

Since winning his first title in 2002, Vaughn has now compiled 16 league titles - 10 boys and six girls.

Overall, YHS won nine of 16 events but also had key placements in most events. Scoring was doubled vs. the regular season. No less than 10 all-time times or marks were set by the girls squad. YHS scored well in sprints, hurdles, and relays.

Freshman Sayda Taylor won four events - the 100 meter dash with a time of 12.67, the 200 in 25.91, high jump at 5-4, and the long jump with a leap of 16-11.

Taylor’s mark in the high jump is a personal best and now second all-time at YHS.

Junior Elyse Espe won two events - the 400 dash, and 300 hurdles with times of 1:03.7 and 48.7, respectively. She also placed second in the triple jump at 31-11. She had the same distance as teammate Linnea Leinau, but Leinau was awarded first for having fewer misses.

Chloe Duke had another win for Yosemite in the 100 hurdles in 17.68. Duke was placed second in the long jump at 15-5, and fifth in the 300 hurdles.

Sophomore Peyton Garner, running track for the first time this year, placed second in 100 dash (seven tenths of a second behind Taylor), and the 200 (1.8 seconds behind Taylor).

Ashlee Harrell placed second in the 1600 (6:01.53) and placed in two other events.

Junior Riley Ashton was second in the 800 (2:37.5), fourth in the 400 (1:08), and fourth in the pole vault (7-9).

Lauren Peterson was second in the 100 meter hurdles.

Another underclassman, sophomore Alli Ruiz, was third in the 400, fourth in both hurdle races, and was on the winning 4x400m relay team of Espe (anchor), Ashton, and Peterson. The team’s time of 4:25.4 was No. 8 all-time in school history.

“It was a great win,” Vaughn said. “Our girls gave it their all, and I’m really proud of them. Almost all the team competes in multiple events. There were a lot of close races, but we knew it wasn’t going to be easy.”

Boys team finishes fourth

Washington Union won the varsity boys division with 254 points, 96 points ahead of second place Sierra (158). Chowchilla was third with 130, and Yosemite, with just eight team members, placed fourth with 90 points. Liberty was fifth with 28 points. YHS overall ended-up third in the NSL for the season.

“I am really pleased with what our varsity boys did with just eight athletes,” Vaughn said. “Virtually all of them participated in in four events each.”

Kevin Bulawsky had another outstanding performance. The YHS junior was a double winner in both hurdle races, and was fifth in the discus.

Sophomore Peter Martinez won the discus with a throw of 131-10. Trevor Peter was third in the high jump, and Larry Wood was third in the 200 and placed in three events overall.

Russell Zelazo placed in both hurdle events. He was running second in the 110 hurdles but hit the final hurdle and rolled on the ground, but got up and crossed the finish line in fifth place.

The Sierra/Sequoia (small schools D-III -D-VI) meet was held in Kingsburg on Wednesday. See results in the May 19 edition of the Sierra Star.

Chowchilla wins frosh/soph division

The Chowchilla boys frosh/soph squad won the meet with 129 points, with Yosemite coming in second at 70 points. Sierra had 37, Union 31, and Liberty 13.

The Badgers had success in the middle distance races. Caleb Bachelor was second in the 400 and 800, third in the long jump and was part of the second place 4x400m relay team. Noah Williams had high placements in the middle distance and placed in four events overall.

Peter Cresci was second in the pole vault and placed in three other events. Dustin Leroy won the discus with a personal best 102-9, was third in the shot, fifth in the 100 and was also part of the 4x400m relay team.

The track banquet will be held at 5 p.m., May 16, at the Falls Beach at Bass Lake.