Yajaira Salinas finished the 2016 track season with a top 10 finish at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Meet on Friday at Elk Grove High School. Salinas qualified 12th in the 800m on Thursday night, then came back for the final on Friday. Her time of 2:20.34 was a season best and good enough for 10th place.
“Yajaira is such a fierce competitor,” said Coach Roger Beeman. “She runs her best race of the year, and she’s angry and disappointed that she didn’t do even better. The talent level at Masters is incredible, and the depth of competition is daunting.”
Basically, noted Beeman, the Masters is the State semi-final meet.
“Only the top three advance to State, and in California there is only one division – no small, medium, large, whatever – no ninth, 10th, 11th, 12th grades – it’s one of the premier meets in the world. Yajaira is getting close.” Beeman said. “She’ll get another shot next year, and there were a few college coaches waiting to talk with her after the race, so she has a lot more running ahead of her.”
Sophomore Sidney Lima also ran on Thursday. Her fourth place finish in her 300m hurdle heat was not quite good enough to advance to Friday’s final. However, her time of 48.95 was her second best time ever and good enough for 21st place overall.
“This was only her second year running the hurdles,” said Beeman. “She came out in great shape and worked hard all season. Her races at League, Divisional, and Masters all produced personal bests. She was definitely peaking at the right time. She has two more years to run for us, and now she’s only about a half second off the school record.”