Lodi High seniors Samuel Wright and Emily DuBois have qualified to the finals at the California Interscholastic Federation State Track and Field Championships at Veterans Memorial Stadium on the Buchanan High campus in Clovis on Friday.
Wright, competing in the boys pole vault, when he cleared his first two heights at 15 feet 3 inches and 15-9 on his first tries. He passed on trying 14-9. Jacob Rice of Rancho Bernado High of the San Diego Section made first try on all three. The top 12 advance to today’s finals.
Greg Wright, Lodi head coach and Samuel’s father, said that the goal on Friday was to have two jumps in the trials.
“Tonight was just to get through,” said Greg Wright about Samuel’s injury entering the state meet. “His tricep has been strained. But his tricep felt pretty good. We’re pretty hopeful for (today). We feel he’s in a pretty good position.”
In the girls high jump, DuBois cleared the bar at 5-4 and 5-2 on her first attempt at each mark. She tied for ninth with Katie Hurst of Fortuna High and Victoria Plummer of Moorepark, both of whom also cleared the bar at 5-4. The top 12 advance today.
Paige Sefried, meanwhile, missed out on qualifying for the finals in the 400-meter race with a 57.02-second run, which placed her 19th overall. The final nine move on to the finals, and that belonged to Takiyah Cenci of Clovis North at 55.31. The top time in the prelims came from Katriina Wright of University City at 51.17.
Sefried was part of the 4-by-400 relay team that qualified for state, with teammates Brooke Aberle, Jackie Westerterp and Amelia Ellison. The Flames placed 20th in the prelims on Friday, with a 4-minute, 0.58-second time. The top time in the prelims belonged to a team from Roosevelt High out of the Southern Section, at 3:46.60.
Greg Wright feels that it’s hard for any competitor in the field and running events trying to get a personal record at the state meet.
“This is the most competitve high school meet in the world,” said Greg Wright of the state meet. “This is more competitive than the Junior Olympics. It’s really hard to PR here. We’re just so proud of the kids that have made it this far.”
According to the CIF state’s website — cifstate.org — the starting time for the boys pole vault is 6 p.m. and the girls high jump at 7 p.m.