CLOVIS - For the first time in three years, Kingsburg High has a state placer in track.
Kalobe Jimenez placed fourth in the 110 meter high hurdles at the 101st annual CIF State Track & Field Championships at Buchanan High School on Saturday.
He brought home the program’s first state medal since 2016.
“Me and my coaches have been going since August,” Jimenez said. “Just to see all the hard work pay off, it means a lot.”
The previous Kingsburg athletes to place in state were twin brothers Emmett and Seth Brooks. Emmett Brooks placed second in long jump and Seth Brooks was fourth in the triple jump in 2016.
As for the the Vikings current state placer, Jimenez finished fourth in the finals with a time of 14.03 seconds, which is a personal record. The top three finishers in the event were among the fastest guys in the nation heading into the meet.
The top three finishers were Jamar Marshall of St. Mary’s-Stockton, Caleb Foster of Clovis North, and Warren Williams of Merrill West-Tracy. Marshall was first at 13.31 seconds, followed by Foster’s time of 13.71 and Williams at 13.92.
At the Central Section Masters meet a week prior, Jimenez finished third behind Justice Fair of Arroyo Grande and Foster, who won the Valley title. Jimenez’s time at the Valley meet was at 14.71 seconds.
“I was a little mad of how last week turned out,” Jimenez said. “I was keeping up with the top guy [Foster] and clipped a couple of hurdles and ran one of my slowest times of the season, but I got here thankfully. I just had to make up for what I didn’t do last week”
Jimenez qualified for the finals after having the seventh best time in the preliminares during the first day of competition. The top nine in the track events advance to the finals.
During the qualifying races, Jimenez placed third in the second heat of the event at 14.17 seconds. That time was his previous best mark in the event until he set a new personal record in the finals.
It was Jimenez’s first time competing at the state meet and he was Kingsburg’s only athlete at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Other events Jimenez competed in as a senior were the 4x100 relay, 400 meter and the 300 meter hurdles. He came close to competing in the 300 hurdles at the state meet, but he missed qualifying after a fourth place finish at the Central Section Masters meet. Jimenez’s finish of 40.38 seconds was behind the time of Buchanan's Clark Donaghy at 39.76. The top three finishers in the Valley meet qualify for state.
As for the 110 meter hurdles, Jimenez placed in the top three in the event at least nine different times this season. Seven of those times were good for first place.
Jimenez is done running as a Viking, but he will continue his athletic career at UC San Diego next year. He will be competing in the 110 and 400 meter hurdles as a Triton.
Before he leaves to San Diego, Jimenez gave advice to his high school teammates that are returning to Kingsburg next season.
“You just have to put in work, the coaches are there,” Jimenez said. “They know what they’re doing, just trust them and do what they say and it’s going to happen.”