A combined four Lodi and Tokay track and field athletes were responsible for breaking some of Tri-City Athletic League records.
Lodi’s Paige Sefried and Sam Wright, along Tokay’s twin sisters of Kari and Kali Anema are responsible for those records shattered. Competing in the TCAL track and field finals at Tokay’s on-campus stadium on Friday, the quartet shined in the girls’ 400-meter, boys’ pole vault and the girls’ 1,600-meter race.
On top of that, the Lodi girls’ strong performance helped the Flames win the TCAL title with 150 points to finish the league season at 10-0; Lodi went 5-0 during the dual meet season and the wins doubled based on placing as a team at the league finals. Lincoln took second at 137 points and Tokay fourth at 58 points.
“It’s something we anticipated and really wanted,” said Lodi coach Greg Wright. “Lincoln put up a great fight. We told them the score was going to be real close.”
In the varsity boys’ standings, Lodi took fourth place with 63 points and Tokay sixth at 16 points. St. Mary’s won the crown with 173 points and Lincoln second at 116.
The top eight placers in each event advances to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I trials and finals next Wednesday and Friday that will also take place at Tokay’s on-campus stadium. The will compete against the top eight finishers from the Sierra Foothill and Delta leagues.
Sefried won the 400-meter race with a time of 56.36 seconds, which is the new TCAL and school record. The previous record was 57.22 set in 2015.
“I wasn’t surprised,” said Sefried, a senior who had a time of 56.21 at the section’s Masters Finals at Elk Grove High last spring that earned her a California Interscholastic Federation berth. “I’ve been working more on some technical stuff like making sure I’m not leaning forward in my race. Just the little things add up.”
Greg Wright added, “Paige was Wonder Woman. She was so relaxed.”
Tracy’s Danielle Bacon was second at 59.43 and Lodi’s Jackie Westerterp third at 59.87.
Sefried, who is going to Oregon State University on a scholarship, took fourth place in the 100-meter race at 13.02. St. Mary’s Cameron Fields, only a freshman, won at 12.53.
Sam Wright, battling through a right triceps injury, won the boys’ pole vault at an even 16 feet. He also broke the league mark, which was 14 feet. Tracy’s Caden Fry was second behind Wright at 14-6.
“He was a little fatigued,” said Greg Wright, who is also Sam’s father. “I’m happy with that and he’s hungry for more.”
Kari Anema won the girls’ 1,600-meters at 5 minutes, 19.66 seconds. Anema, who along with twin sister Kali are only sophomores, broke the old mark that was 5:22.71 set by a Lincoln runner in 2015. Kali Anema took second and also eclipsed the old mark, as she was clocked at 5:22.54.
“I thought we were slowing down a bit,” said Kari Anema of herself and Kali.
Lodi’s Ruth Hernandez led half of the race. Then the Anema twins raced past Hernandez and two other runners for their strong finish.
“Kali went up behind me, tapped me on my shoulder and just said ‘go for it,’” said Kari Anema of the time to race past Hernandez. “I’ve raced against her (in cross-country) the past year, and she really pushes me.”
Kali Anema added on Hernandez, who is senior, “It’s been great racing against her.”
Tokay coach Karey Harty was very happy for the twins’ top finishes.
“They were scared like anybody, but they just knuckled down and did the work,” Harty said.
Hernandez finished third in the race at 5:32.73. Lodi’s Paris Heiser took fifth at 5:40.68.
Harty added that Kali Anema did not get back in to running until the middle of February. That was because Kali Anema had a low iron count.
“She had been behind the 8 ball and finally PR’d today,” said Harty of Kali Anema’s personal record. “It makes me happy to see her happy.”
Kali Anema added, “My sister has helped me improve myself and give myself something to shoot for. I’m really glad she’s there.”
Kari Anema also won the girls’ 3,200-meter race at 11:52.15. Lincoln’s Skyler Tatum took second at 12:01.46.
Full results of Lodi and Tokay individuals on the boys and girls’ varsity teams can be viewed at finishedresults.com.
In the junior varsity boys’ portion of the league finals, Lodi won the league title with 155.5 points and Lincoln also second at 123.5 points. Tokay was fourth at 69 points.
For the JV girls, Lodi won the title with 137 points and Lincoln second at 125 points. Tokay was third at 122 points.
Contact Mike Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter: @MBushLodiSports.