Tokay High has cleared another hurdle toward hosting another post-season events.
On Tuesday, the Sac-Joaquin Section confirmed that Tokay’s revamped on-campus stadium — Hubbard Field — will host the section’s Division I track and field trials and finals on Wednesday, May 8 and Friday, May 10. Tokay and cross-town rival Lodi will run the meet after their Tri-City Athletic League trials and finals is held the week prior. Oak Ridge High of El Dorado Hills in El Dorado County and Davis High of Davis High were the other two contenders.
The TCAL, along with the Delta and Sierra Foothill leagues will converge onto Tokay’s track and field facility for the divisional meet.
Lodi High track and field coach Greg Wright, along with Lodi High Athletic Director Robert Winterhalter and Tokay High Athletic Director Michael Holst had made their presentation to the section going back to 2018.
Lodi runner Paige Sefried, a senior who is going to Oregon State on a scholarship later this summer, is thrilled to have the D-I trials and finals within the Lodi city limits.
“I will chase the competition wherever the meet shall be held,” said Sefried in a text message. “I am excited to hear (and) that I would have the luxury of being able to to finish my last high school sectional meet in my hometown.”
Tokay’s on-campus stadium has an all-weather track, plus artificial turf, new home stands on the west side and visitor’s stands on the east side, new press box and four stadium lights; two on the west and east sides. There’s also short put and discus throwing area on the south end of the stadium, along with the long and triple jumps pit and pole vault on the north side.
On Saturday, Tokay and Lodi held a test run at Hubbard Field by hosting the Grape Games. According to Holst, there were 18 schools that competed at the track and field invitational.
“This was a soft opening,” Wright said. “What was nice about the Grape Games is we had a lot of parents helped. We worked through some of the problems, and it was also raining. We made a list to make things better. We gave ourselves a B, with room for improvement.”
Track and field tournament directors that have overseen divisional and Masters’ meets visited the campus in recent months, according to the section’s assistant commissioner, Will DeBoard.
“It’s a real nice facility,” said DeBoard of Tokay’s on-campus stadium. “They were totally impressed with the facility.”
Currently, the revamped stadium does not have a snack bar facility and bathroom facilities on/near the home side. The only bathrooms — both men and women — on the south end of the visitor’s bleachers.
A snack bar was provided inside the stadium and food truck were located outside of the stadium during the Grape Games, Wright and Holst said.
For almost 10 years, Elk Grove High had been the site for the D-I trials and finals, plus the Masters meet. But according to DeBoard, Elk Grove is planning to replace its current all-weather track, which was installed in the mid-late 2000s, at some point this year.
This school year, Tokay has hosted many section semifinal and championship games. On Feb. 21, Galt beat Livingston 2-0 to win the section’s D-IV boys soccer title game. The D-I game between Turlock and Jesuit of Carmichael was also held after the Galt-Livingston contest.
Last November, Tokay hosted the boys and girls water polo section championships for Divisions I, II and III. The Tokay girls squad played Rio Americano of Sacramento for the D-II title. Rio Americano produced a 9-5 win over the Tigers. The contests were originally going to be held at Woodcreek High of Roseville. But air quality from the Camp Fire in Butte County forced section officials to relocate the event.
Since the early 2000s, Tokay’s Olympic-size swimming pool has been the site for the section’s trials and finals in swimming, both boys and girls. Tokay will host this year’s event May 2-4.
The Jungle — the name for Tokay’s gym — has also hosted section basketball and volleyball semifinals and championship contests.
DeBoard said that the section has yet to decide where the Masters’ trials and finals will be held after all five divisional meets — Divisions I through V — are held.
American River College in Sacramento and Hughes Stadium on the Sacramento City College campus were being considered, DeBoard added. But the two colleges will be holding their graduation ceremonies the week of the Masters.
DeBoard said that Oak Ridge and Davis are being considered for the Masters. Modesto Junior College, which also hosted the section’s Masters and divisional meets dating back to the early 2000s, is being considered for this year’s Masters.
“We’re looking at places — both north and south,” DeBoard said. “There are only a handful across the section that can hold the championships.”
Contact Mike Bush at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter: @MBushLodiSports.