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Rodriguez's Diamond Gilliam, back right, hands the baton off to teammate Alanna Epps in the girls 4x100 relay during the MEL track finals at Armijo High School in Fairfield, Thursday. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)


Vaca sweeps MEL track finals; Armijo girls 2nd, boys 3rd

By From page B7 | May 16, 2014

FAIRFIELD — It’s pretty hard to lose a track meet when you win nine out of 16 girls events and  seven out of the 16 boys competitions.

The Vacaville Bulldogs didn’t come close to losing, Thursday, rolling to the girls varsity Monticello Empire League championship with 203.67 points, outdistancing second-place Armijo’s 92.

The Bulldogs also cruised in the varsity boys division, outscoring second-place Vintage 170-92. Armijo was a close third with 82 points.

“It’s a big testament to the things that the kids do all year long,” Vacaville coach Mike Papadopoulos said. “Collectively, they do a great job. We have a great time with them and they are really committed to staying on a good plan.”

Now it’s on to the postseason and Coach Pop thinks his athletes are ready.

“The kids are pretty prepared for those things,” he said. “We try to put them in a lot of situations where they are used to being in a stressful environment. They really understand that part of it. We make more about the things that they can control and they each have individual goals on where their times realistically can be going into each round.”

With a second place finish in the girls meet and placing third in the boys, Armijo coach Dave Monk was more than pleased.

“I’m immensely proud of the Armijo Indians track and field program right now,” Monk said. “I can’t believe how hard they fought tonight. Up and down the line, kids just improved from their prelim performances and weren’t satisfied where they were seeded (heading into the finals). They competed at a huge level all night long.”

Rodriguez (77) was third in the girls standings and the Mustangs boys (49) were fifth.

Alanna Epps helped the Mustangs’ girls squad to their third-place finish, winning the 100 in 12.48 seconds and the 200 in 25.27. Lauren Reed was second to Epps in the 20 (26.51) and won the girls 400 in 58.51.

“It feels really good,” Epps said of her two wins. “I’ve been struggling, going up and down. I had to work through some technical stuff. . . . I finally executed and my times are starting to drop.

“I’m trying to get into the 11s (in the 100) and trying to get into the 24s (in the 200) by Masters. I need to execute more and work on my start. I need to run like a big girl, not a little girl anymore.”

Also helping Rodriguez’s cause was Megan Dulaney, who won the shot put with a toss of 44 feet, 6 3/4 inches on Tuesday and took the discus with a toss of 131-11, Thursday.

Rodriguez coach Barton Williams thinks his athletes are just getting going heading into the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I Championships at Elk Grove High next Wednesday and Friday.

“Lauren was hurt for two or three weeks,” the coach said. “She had tendonitis in her foot, so she hasn’t run her best time yet. Allana is doing great. She’s come around just great. And then Megan, she won the shot and the discus. Now we’re trying to get them to the Masters after the subsections. It’s looking pretty good.”

Another winner for Rodriguez Thursday was Armando Day, who took the boys 400 in 50.62.

Thursday’s winners for Armijo included Gabriella Nathan-Funk (800, 2:24.04) and Isaiah Valentine, who won Tuesday’s triple jump with a leap of 42-11 1/2.

Vacaville’s boys winners were the 4×100 relay, Mykal Walker (110 HH, 300 IH), David Mewborn (100, 200), Zack Fenter (pole vault) and the 4×400 relay.

Winners for the Bulldogs’ girls squad were the 4×100 relay, Breanna Sewell (1,600, 3,200), Pattriana Perry (100 HH), Jurnee Woodward (300 LH), the 4×400 relay, Jessica Papadopoulos (pole vault) and Nia Vance (long jump, triple jump).

Will C. Wood’s lone winner was Gabe Moya, who took the boys discus with a toss of 137-5.

Reach Brian Arnold at 427-6969 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/barnolddr.

Brian Arnold

Brian Arnold

1992 graduate of San Francisco State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism.

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