Make no mistake, Kendal Nielsen, Londeen Mccovery and Basil Okoroike are fierce competitors and nationally ranked track and field athletes.
So they weren't about to do cartwheels after finishing second in Thursday's Sac-Joaquin Section Masters championships at Elk Grove High School.
But the trio turned in strong marks in their respective events to earn trips to next weekend's CIF state championships in Clovis.
They offered only kudos to their rivals who earned the gold.
"It's a friendly sport," said Mccovery, a senior at Cosumnes Oaks who placed second in the boys high jump to Oakdale's Manuel Hernandez. Mccovery cleared six feet, seven inches and Hernandez 6-9.
"Naturally, you to want win," Mccovery said. "But there's a camaraderie and respect, too."
That's why Mccovery pulled for Hernandez when he tried unsuccessfully to clear 6-11, which would have moved him into a tie for second in the state.
Hernandez and Mccovery are fourth in the state and 49th nationally with personal bests of 6-9, both established at the Sacramento Meet of Champions on April 28 when Hernandez won on jumps.
"I still have one more meet to catch him," Mccovery said. "My goal is to clear 7 feet."
Bear River's Nielsen, a senior ranked No. 7 in California and No. 14 nationally in the girls triple jump, came close to equaling her season best of 39-5. She jumped 39-4 1/2.
But her respected rival, Tokay's Jannell Hadnot, turned in a PR of 39-8 1/4.
"Jannell has really improved," Nielsen said of the junior. "It's good having someone to push me, and the neat thing today is that everyone was real supportive of each other. There were girls PRing and hugging each other. It's nice having that friendly competition."
Okoroike, a senior at Rio Americano, could relate to Nielsen. He, too, barely missed equaling his personal best of 47-5 in the boys triple jump with a 47-4 1/2. Merrill West of Tracy's Deon Pinder jumped 47-11 1/4 to win.
"You always want to be first, but I've competed against (Deon) at a lot of meets, and whoever wins, you are going to be happy for him," said Okoroike, also a football and basketball standout at Rio Americano.
"That's what makes track a great sport. All these schools come together and click. It's like a family out here."
In other highlights from the six field event finals:
Foothill's Lawre'll Dobbins beat Rocklin's Leah Carter in jumps to win her third consecutive Masters high jump championship. Both competitors cleared 5-5.
Jesuit junior Austin White won the boys shot put with a toss of 55-6, while Cordova sophomore Monique Newton placed first in the girls discus with a heave of 131-1.