The Kingsburg track and field team hosted 16 other programs at the 10th annual Rafer Johnson Invitational on March 16 at Kingsburg High School.
For Vikings head coach Amanda Hodges, it was a day that included several of her athletes reaching milestones in their respective events.
“We had really good weather, great marks on the board, lots of records being broken today for our school and the meet,” Hodges said. “It was a positive meet.”
One of the meet’s standout performers was Kingsburg runner Kalobe Jimenez, who had the fastest times in the 110 meter and 300 meter hurdle events.
“He’s been working really hard,” Hodges said about Jimenez. “We’ve been working all year of kind of building up and training. He’s got a really good head on his shoulders.”
In the 110 meter hurdle, Jimenez set a personal best time of 14.56 seconds. Jimenez set another personal record in the 300 meter hurdle with a time of 38.59 seconds. His time in the 300 meter hurdle was also a school record.
“These are good times, the best I’ve ever ran,” Jimenez said. “There’s still a lot of work to do, I know I could do a lot better.”
Jimenez - a senior - said he’s aiming to compete at the CIF State tournament in May after falling short at the masters tourney last year.
“That’s been my goal since I’ve started high school track,” Jimenez said. “I fell short last year, I got fourth in master’s, but I’m definitely looking to make a difference this year.”
Jimenez also competed in the 4x100 meter relay with Blake Spomer, Tyler Koons, and Alfred Carpenter, but the guys finished second overall in the event. The Vikings’ second place time of 44.16 seconds was five seconds slower than Sanger’s time of 44.11.
Other notable Kingsburg performances from were from Joshua Jackson, Peyton Woods and Olivia Doyle.
Jackson placed third in the triple jump with a mark of 45 feet, which was his personal best. Woods won her race in the 100 meter event, running a season best of 13.15 seconds. Doyle tied her personal best in the high jump of five feet, which was the best overall finish of the event.
As for Selma, notable performances from the Bears came from DeAndrea McDaniel and Mia Salinas.
McDaniel placed first in the long and triple jump events, while Salinas finished with the best time in the 300 meter hurdle.
For McDaniel, he fell short of his personal records in both events. In the long jump, McDaniel’s mark was 22 feet and 11 inches. In the triple jump, he finish at 46 feet and four inches.
His personal record in the long jump is 23 feet and ½ inch, which was set at the Clovis East Carnival meet on March 8. His best mark in the triple jump is 47 feet and 3.75 inches, which was set at the 2019 Redcat Relays at Fowler on March 2.
“Today’s main focus for him was his approach,” Selma head coach Alex Reyes said about McDaniel. “He was perfect on it. So we definitely have a lot of building blocks to start with and to be able to finish out the season really well.”
As for Salinas, she set a personal best time in the 300 meter hurdle and 400 meter events. In the 300 meter hurdle, Salinas finished first with a time of 47.02 seconds. The next fastest time was 50.08 seconds from Maegan Fiskin of El Diamante.
In the 400 meter race, Salinas finished with the second best time of one minute and 14 tenths of a second, which was her personal best. Her teammate Audrey Gonzalez finished third at 1:01.82, which was also her personal best in the event. Sanger’s Cu-Nisha Mitchell had the fastest time in the event with a result of 59.40 seconds.
“Today I felt confident,” Salinas said. “We came out, we’ve been working really hard this season already and we’re pretty much at the same times as we were last season. I just feel we’ll be running consistent this year and we could probably go to Valley.”
Salinas and Gonzalez competed together in the 4x200 relay with Monse Flores and Marissa Cerda. The girls finished with the overall fourth best time of the afternoon at 1:56.51, which slightly faster than Kingsburg’s time of 1:56.70.
With multiple athletes setting personal records in their respective events, Reyes said he’s looking forward to see how they progress as the Valley tournament approaches in May.
“Everything is clicking,” Reyes said. “It’s exciting right now.”