By Joe Naiman
Although Ramona High School’s varsity boys track and field team lost its April 25 dual meet at Del Norte by a 96-39 score, some of the younger Bulldog athletes brought home medals for a top six finish when they returned to that school for the Dick Wilkins Frosh-Soph Invite meet April 27.
“I was pleased,” said head coach Sherri Edwards. “It was a long day, but I was real happy.”
The Bulldogs were without two of their top distance runners April 25; Forrest Riley missed that meet and the April 26 Escondido Invitational for medical reasons while Tristan Stidham was rested for the Escondido Invitational. The Bulldogs earned first-place points in only three of the 16 events.
“We were out-matched,” Edwards said.
Two of Ramona’s wins were from Javier Dominguez, who set personal records of 11.18 seconds in the 100-meter dash and 22.58 seconds in the 200-meter dash.
The Bulldogs obtained first-place and second-place points in the discus, courtesy of Daniel Van Tol recording a throw of 133’1” and Paul Mehaffie achieving a distance of 130’7”. Mehaffie also placed second in the shot put at 45’9” while Michael Hastings was third with a throw of 42’8”.
Ramona also took second and third place in both hurdles races. In the 110-meter hurdles event Wyatt Scott had a time of 17.06 seconds while Dustin Hager completed the race in 17.12 seconds. Scott’s time in the 300-meter hurdles race was 43.22 seconds while Hager set a personal record of 43.53 seconds.
The Bulldogs also had the second-place and third-place long jumpers; Colton Wood’s distance was 18’11-3/4” and Garrett Dart jumped 18’9- 3/4”. Dart added a 37’3” triple jump for third place. Darrell Millen cleared 10’ for second place in the pole vault.
“We had some highlights,” Edwards said.
The Bulldogs were swept in the 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter races. The Nighthawks had the first two finishers in the 800-meter run; Cesar Corona placed third at 2:02.88.
“We obviously missed Forrest and Tristan,” Edwards said.
Stidham’s time of 9:28.26 at the Escondido Invitational placed seventh and was also a personal record by three seconds and a season best by 17 seconds.
“That was very exciting,” Edwards said.
The Dick Wilkins Frosh-Soph Invite included sophomore invitational hurdles races, and Scott was seeded high enough to run in both. His time of 42.67 seconds in the 300-meter hurdles race placed second while his 16.85-second performance in the 110-meter hurdles event was worth fourth place.
Sean Stemm ran in the freshman open hurdles races. He posted a fourth-place time of 18.03 seconds in the 110-meter competition and took fifth place at 44.60 seconds in the 300-meter race.
Freshman Connor Anderson had been throwing the shot put on Ramona’s varsity and had to make the adjustment from the 12-pound shot put used for varsity meets to the 10-pound sphere used at the Dick Wilkins Frosh-Soph Invite. His distance of 41’9” placed fifth.
The sophomore 4x100 relay team of Scott, Brandon Gansch, Jeffrey Guthrie, and Christian Dominguez placed fifth at 46.81 seconds. The distance medley relay team combined freshmen and sophomores; Ramona’s fourth-place result of 11:32.72 was comprised of James Meskell running 1,200 meters, Dominguez holding the baton for 400 meters, Matt Meskell covering 800 meters, and Gabe Plendcio anchoring the race with the 1,600-meter segment.
Sophomore Max Edwards earned a lane in the invitational 1,600-meter race but was nursing a knee injury and finished 11th, although his time of 4:49.72 set a personal record. Freshman Brandon Hankins cleared 9’ for ninth place in the pole vault.
The Bulldogs’ final home meet of the season Thursday against Orange Glen closes out dual meet competition for Ramona. The Valley League meet preliminaries will take place Tuesday, May 7, at Valley Center High School.