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Cougars Close Out Track Season At Section Meet

Brandon Cavanaugh is headed to the Masters Meet in Sacramento, the lone Cougar qualifier to advance in track and field.

He did it with a personal best - and meet record - throw in the discus at Modesto Junior College during the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III meet.

Trials of many events, along with the finals of a few, were hosted on Tuesday and the rest of the finals on Thursday.

"We had some solid performances but Brandon had the big day," said coach Roger Beeman. "With that many kids from that many schools, there were a lot of great individual stories out there and Brandon was ours."

Cavanaugh, a junior, had a first round throw of 150-0 in the discus and set himself a new personal record (PR) with that throw.

"I was pretty excited, I just went there and tried pretty hard," Cavanaugh said.

He watched as his mark was surpassed, but had a chance in the later rounds to add on to his distance and came away with the winner, a throw of 156-11.

"I put all I had in that last throw," he said.

In other action on Tuesday, Khrista Delucchi qualified for the finals of the 400 with a 62.6 and the boys 4-by-400 meter team qualified with a 3:38.

Jason Diniz set a personal best with a mark of 12-3 in the pole vault, good for ninth place; Casey Henke was 10th in the long jump at 19-9 and the boys 4-by-100 meter team was 12th in 46.1.

Shawn Focht was 10th in the 110 high hurdles in 16.3 and 13th in the 300 hurdles, 43.2; Philip Plott logged a 17.3 in the 110 hurdles, 44.5 in the 300. Matt Blakeley ran the 100 in 11.89, Clancy Casteel was just off his personal best, running the 800 in 2:08 and finishing 12th.

Delucchi was 12th in the 200 at 28.7 to round out the Tuesday competition.

There were more athletes taking part on Thursday, May 21.

"We got a lot of sevenths, eighths and ninths," Beeman said.

Doyle Niu hit the 5-8 mark in the high jump, just out of the top 10 and failing to advance to the Masters.

"He jumped well," Beeman said. "Philip Plott had an average jump for him in the triple, 36-9, out of the top 10 and Khrista ran a couple seconds below her best time in the 800, 64.2, she was seventh and is an alternate to the Masters.

Matt Barnum had a difficult time in the mile, the coach said.

"He got kind of squeezed out at times and at others boxed in, he was eighth in 4:38.2 and the top six advance," noted Beeman. "Stefany Anserlian threw (discus) real well in the league meet, she threw about 10 feet less than what she had been and was out of the top 10 but it was a real good season for her."

The boys 4-by-400 relay team finished eighth, 3:36.3, about a second slower than their normal pace.

But the Division III Meet ended with the Cougars having a Section champ in Cavanaugh.

"He's also now the record holder, he broke the meet record by about a foot and is only five or six feet off our school record," Beeman said.

Cavanaugh now prepares for the trip to the Masters, at Hughes Stadium in Sacramento, on Thursday, May 28. A top finish there would move him to the state level.