FAIRFIELD — Standout performances receive standout recognition.
Rodriguez High’s Megan Dulaney was a standout this season for the Mustangs track and field team and has been named the Daily Republic’s Girls Athlete of the Year.
After a disappointing end to her season in 2013, Dulaney came back with a vengeance in 2014.
It all started at the Monticello Empire League championships, where the Rodriguez junior won both the discus (131 feet, 11 inches) and the shot put (44-6 3/4).
That was just beginning of a long postseason run for Dulaney, who next shined in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I Championships at Elk Grove High.
The section championships started on Day 1 of the meet where Dulaney took home a second-place medal with a throw of 132-7. She came back on Day 2 and threw a season best 45-10 1/2 in the shot put to win the section championship.
That advanced Dulaney in both events to the SJS Masters Championships.
“That’s what my goal was,” Dulaney said of moving on another week. “I was feeling good. I was really trying to find the back of the ring, making sure my throws were long and far.”
At the Masters meet, Dulaney wasn’t at her best as she came down with a little bout of the flu. But that didn’t stop her. After failing to make the state championships in the discus, she came back on the second day in the shot put and placed third – the Top 3 advance to state – with a toss of 42-9 1/2.
“It wasn’t my best but I hit it and that’s all that matters,” Dulaney said of the state at-large mark.
Then came the state meet, with Dulaney looking for her first-ever state medal.
In the trials, she threw 45-1 to make the finals, where she wasn’t about to be disappointed again.
Dulaney’s best finals throw was an effort of 44-6 ¾, good enough for a fifth-place medal against California’s best shot tossers.
“I’m very happy with myself,” Dulaney said after the meet. “I did throw (almost) a foot shorter than I did last night, but that’s OK.”
Now comes Dulaney’s senior season in the spring of 2015, and she already has a goal.
“Next year I would like to be Top 3,” she said. “If I win that would be great, but Top 3, that’s my goal next year.”
Reach Brian Arnold at 427-6969 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/barnolddr.