DO track team heads to state meet

By: Staff Report
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There will be a large contingent of Del Oro Black and Gold making its way down Highway 99 to this weekend?s CIF State Track and Field Championships set for Buchanan High in Clovis. Competing at last week?s CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Meet at Elk Grove High, the Golden Eagles qualified four individuals and a pair of relay teams to this weekend?s elite state event. Individually, Del Oro hurdlers Casey Wheeler and Brie Simmons will be joined in Clovis by freshman girls pole vault competitor Melissa Maneatis. Amy Heyn, a sophomore, meanwhile is an alternate in the girls 1600 meters. In addition, both Del Oro 4x400 relay teams, the gold medal winning boys squad and the second place running girls squad also qualified. Although Simmons did not win an event at the Masters meet, she earned four medals with a busy afternoon of competition. The Del Oro senior started with a second place finish in the 100-meter hurdles, clocking in with a time of 14.25 seconds. In the 100 meter run , Simmons raced to a time of 12.43 to place second. In the 300 hurdles Simmons stayed the distance with a third place finish in 42.90. the final race of the day, Simmons ran the anchor leg in the 4x400 and nearly pulled off a huge comeback. The Eagles settled for second place with a time of 3:57.81. Joining Simmons on the relay team were Amy Heyn, Dominique Tristant and Sydney Proiette. Wheeler was another one of the top competitors at the meet as he won the 300 hurdles in a personal best time of 38.21 seconds. He was also third in the 110 hurdles in 14.5. On the 4x400 relay team, Del Oro entered the finals with the bext qualifying time . Wheeler ran the second leg of the Golden Eagles winning and was joined by senior Blake Covey who ran the anchor leg and a pairt of sophomores Austin Smith and Jonathan Tuttle. Del Oro, which won the 4x400 at the Masters last year and finished 6th in the State, defended its title by winning in a season best 3:19.71. ?After last year we had a target on us,? Covey said after Del Oro notched the win. There are a lot of good teams here today and my teammates were great.? Covey took the baton and had an eight-meter cushion for the final lap. The Eagles won by nearly two seconds over runner-up Vacaville. ?I?ve only gotten the baton once or twice this year when we?ve been behind,? Covey said. Del Oro senior Sam Baker had a strong finish in the 1,600, placing fifth with a time of 4:23.90. Heyn is an alternate for the state as she placed fourth in the 1,600 in a time of 5:16.66. In the 800 meters, Heyn finished eighth with a time of 2:20.66. Maneatis continued her fine freshman season by clearing 11 feet five inches to place second in the pole vault and earn a trip to the state meet.