Michael Vernau consumed eight inspired and grueling laps late Friday night, the Davis High School senior distance star winning handily.
After taking the 3,200-meter run in the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Meet at Elk Grove, Vernau ambled toward his coaches, each bearing stop watches and appreciative grins, and announced, “I’m hungry! Haven’t eaten since 11 this morning.”
Vernau devoured the field, winning the most exhausting race on the menu for the third consecutive season. He now sizes up the next reward. The top three finishers in each Masters event advances to the CIF State Track and Field Championships in Fresno next weekend. The goal is to reach the medal stand in what is often regarded as the best state meet in the country.
Vernau finished the 3,200 in 9 minutes, 11.58 seconds, ahead of Luis Grijalva of Armijo (9:18.00). They also went 1-2 in the 1,600, with Grijalva (4:10.61) beating Vernau (4:13.16).
It was a good haul overall for Davis, a cross country and track powerhouse the last two decades.
Davis won the girls 400 relay in a school-record 47.39 seconds from Julia Curtis, Tessa Malone and sisters Paige and Brooke Rubinstein.
Maddy Denner of Oak Ridge won the girls 1,600 in 4:49.84, beating Olivia O’Keeffe of Davis (4:54.74), and was second in the 3,200 in 10:15.18 to sister Elana (10:14.99).
Tai McDonald of Sheldon won the 100 in 12.12, ran the second leg on the victorious 1,600 relay (3:47.05) and was second in the 200 in 24.55. Cathilyn McIntosh of Del Oro won the 800 in 2:09.73
For the boys, James Hampton of Pleasant Grove won the 100 in 10.88; David Phillips of Dixon the 200 in 21.99; Myles Ellis of Antelope the 400 in 47.22; Xavier Weaver of Franklin the 800 in 1:53.02, just ahead of Joe Cruz of McClatchy (1:53.82); and Cosumnes Oaks the 1,600 relay in 3:20.10 as anchor man Julian Johnson-Millan leaned in to edge Ellis of Antelope, which was second (3:20.11).
Jake Grimsman of Vista del Lago won the high jump at 6 feet, 9 inches and Parker Jenks of Marysville took down the shot put at 54-11.
For complete results, visit cifsjs.org.
Softball – Mary Jo Truesdale won her first section Division I championship at Sheldon in 2002. She won her eighth title – and third in a row – on Friday night in Stockton as the Huskies beat Tracy 6-0 to cap a dominating playoff run and 30-2 season. Sheldon will finish as the No. 1-ranked team in Northern California by Cal-Hi Sports.
Said the emotional Truesdale, winner of more than 700 career games, “Just incredible. This one fills my heart. It never gets tiring winning.”
Taliyah Miles tossed a three-hitter with eight strikeouts, and Maci Fines won her third title and collected a milestone. The infield star headed to UC Santa Barbara had her 200th career hit in the first inning on a bunt, and her final hit was a home run to make it 2-0.
In other title games including local teams on Friday: Napa beat Del Campo 9-8 in D-II and Argonaut beat Woodland Christian 3-1 in D-VI.
Baseball – Capital Christian will go for its fifth consecutive D-V championship on Monday when it faces top-seeded Escalon at Zupo Field in Lodi. The second-seeded Cougars (24-6) have been led offensively by freshman Vinnie Bachelier, who is batting .488 with 27 RBIs, and junior Brett Graber (.433, 25), as well as pitchers Tyler Pon (10-1) and Xavier Carter (7-2).
Elk Grove goes for a section D-I three-peat when it plays Tracy in a rematch of last season’s title game in a best-of-three series starting Friday at Sacramento City College.
The Thundering Herd have been paced by USC-bound ace Riley Lamb, who is 2-0 in the playoffs and has led the way at the plate while trying “to be that guy.”
Elk Grove beat Delta League rival Davis 9-6 to win its 10th D-I North title since 2002, despite two RBIs each by Griffin Duisenberg and John Lagattuta, the Delta League Player of the Year.