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Track athletes go all the way to Masters; Winch heads to State Meet

Jacob Winch sails over the hurdles in the expert form that has taken him through CIF competition and on to the State Championships. Photo by Eden Marshall

Atascadero High School’s track athletes have an amazing season, with several athletes competing in post-season CIF competition. At press time senior Jacob Winch, who has participated in track for all four years for AHS, advanced to the CIF State Meet set for May 24 and 25 at Buchanan High in Clovis. Winch placed second in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 39.06 at the Masters Meet to qualify for the State Championship.

Seven Atascadero track and field athletes qualified for the CIF Central Section Valley Championship Masters Meet on May 18. In addition to Winch placing second in the 300 meter hurdles , the remaining five who made the competition performed as follows: Deandra Tyler placed fifth in the shot put-4kg with a distance of 40-08.25 ft, and Tyler also placed 18th in the discus 1kg with a distance of 97-04 ft., creating another personal record; Mackenzie Wright placed tenth in the long jump with a distance of 16-01.75 ft.; Xavier Gonzales placed 13th in the 3200 meters with a time of 9:51.73 sec; Anneline Breytenbach placed 14th in the 400 meters with a time of 62.09 sec. and Anneline Breytenbach also completed in the long jump with a distance of 15-05.2 ft.; and Quin Witherspoon placed 16th in the triple jump with a distance of 34-03.00 ft.

The CIF West Area Meet was held on May 8 in Hanford. The following students qualified to compete there: Quinn Witherspoon, Kaya Oglesby, Shania Reeves, Anneline Breytenbach, Mackenzie Wright, Deandra Tyler, Mariah Boche, Makenzie Bryson, Kylie Degnan, Xavier Gonzales, Logan Jones, Jonathan Dolan, Wyatt Hasch, Garrett Stutz, Jacob Winch, Talia Johnson, and Katie Kershner. The students who placed in the top three at the Area Meet were Anneline, placing third in the 400-meter race with a time of 1:02.12 minutes and also competing in the long jump with a 16-05.00 ft. jump, Xavier placing second in the 3200-meter race with a time of 9:38.56 min, and Jacob Winch placing second with a time of 40.59 sec in the 300m Hurdles - 36". Deandra placed second in the shot put 4kg with a throw of 38-07.50 ft., setting her personal record. She also took third in the discus 1kg with a throw of with a distance of 119-08 ft., setting another personal record. Mackenzie placed third in the long jump with a distance of 16-02 feet, and Quinn placed second in the triple jump with a distance of 34-11 feet.

Even as league competition was winding down, it was clear that several athletes would move on to CIF at the County Meet on Wednesday, May 8 at Cuesta College as students from high schools all over San Luis Obispo County came to compete against each other, and the Hounds performed extremely well.

Winch has beaten his own personal records multiple times this season, even breaking the Cuesta College track record of 40-seconds. At the CCAA Mountain League Championships on May 2 at the Atascadero High School track, Winch dominated the course taking first in 3oo meter hurdles and third in the 110-meter hurdles. Keanna Lambert took first in the 100-meter hurdles and long jump. Megan Van Allen took first in the triple jump.

Mr. Tomasini, one of the track coaches and a Social Studies teacher at AHS said, “This was a fun year with fun personalities in the team.” He said that he believes in his athletes, and puts trust in them. Coach Tomasini and the other assistant coaches like Darvell Cullors, Dina Coppo, and Roger Warnes worked hard with the athletes all season long, putting their efforts into helping their athletes constantly improve. That work has paid off: Jacob Winch, an Atascadero High track record-setter in the 300-meter hurdles broke the 40-sec barriers at 40.6 seconds at Cuesta College. However, together as a team Breytenbach, Wright, Johnson, and Kershner in the 4 x 100-meter relay the girl's results were 5th qualifying them into the state at Buchanan HS. Breytenbach said, “The team gets to work with and encourage one another.” She added, “We have bonded a lot over the season and have become like a family.”

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