Joe Davidson

Rain, rain, go away: McClatchy High ushers in new all-weather track, synthetic field

The new all-weather track and playing surface at McClatchy High School is seen in this aerial photo. It will be used for track and field events, soccer games and football practices.
The new all-weather track and playing surface at McClatchy High School is seen in this aerial photo. It will be used for track and field events, soccer games and football practices. McClatchy High School

There was a bit of irony on Saturday for this dedication.

McClatchy High School, one of the storied academic and athletic programs in Northern California, ushered in its new track and field complex on campus, an all-weather track and synthetic playing surface for soccer games and football practice.

Only one problem: It rained buckets Friday and was forecast to do so again the next day. So the naming of the Al Baeta and Jack Mauger training complex was held inside the gym Saturday.

"How about that? That was our biggest issue – the thought of rain," McClatchy athletic director Rob Feickert said. "We tried to set up on Friday and it rained like crazy, our biggest obstacle. But all the kids showed up early Saturday and got it set up. We did get out to look at the track, and it's nice. I'm so happy for the school."

In November, the Sacramento City Unified School District completed the installation of the eight-lane track which includes pits for field events. Mauger and Baeta are members of the McClatchy Athletic Hall of Fame. The late Mauger was the first track coach at McClatchy, from 1937 to 1952, when he won seven Sac-Joaquin Section team championships.

Baeta competed for Mauger in track as a distance runner, graduating in 1951. He later ran at Sacramento City College and Cal, and he had a legendary coaching career at American River College, winning 23 cross country conference championships and seven Northern California team titles while having his teams qualify for the state meet 22 times. His track teams also had great success.

Baeta was an assistant coach on the U.S. Olympic track teams in 1992 and '96, and along with Mauger helped bring several international meets to Sacramento.

Hiram Johnson High is also in the process of installing a new track.

Optimist basketball – The 41st boys Optimist All-Star Game was among the highest scoring in history and had no shortage of star power as the South large schools pulled away from the North 126-104 to cap a day of four games at Sacramento High's Dave Hotell Pavilion.

Mason Forbes of Folsom earned South MVP honors after scoring 22 points, and Elias King of Jesuit was the North MVP after going for 19.

Also for the South, Adam Orr of Ponderosa scored 15, Marcus Robinson of Monterey Trail and Zach Chappell of Capital Christian each had 14 points and Bee Player of the Year Dale Currie of Sheldon had 12. Jake Virga of Jesuit had 15 for the North.

In the girls large school game, the South won 79-70 as Richelle Turney of McClatchy earned MVP honors with 28 points. She started her prep career at Sacramento and knows the gym well. Kelsey Forrester of Davis had 10 for the South. Lauren Toler of Sacramento was the North MVP with 11 points.

In a new twist, the Optimist added a small-school girls and boys game, and those went to the wire. The South girls pulled away down the stretch to win 91-83 as Kiara Jefferson of West Campus was named MVP after scoring 19. West Campus teammate Nia Johnson had 11 of her 20 in the fourth quarter and Monet Brown of Christian Brothers had 16.

Makaila Sanders of Foothill was the North MVP after scoring 25. Caleigh McClenahan of Colfax had 21.

In the boys game, the North won 86-83 behind MVP Kai Huntsberry of Placer, who had 23 points. Griffin Trull of Sacramento Adventist had 17.

Chappell commits – Chappell has signed with San Jose State. The guard averaged 20.3 points for the Cougars this season, saying earlier this season that there is "peace in" playing ball. He was as well known campus for his community giving as his basketball prowess.

Larrier sizzles – Monterey Trail junior Zach Larrier won the 400 meters at the Arcadia Invitational in 47.12 seconds, one of the fastest times in the county.

Larrier, who was an All-Metro football player, also anchored the Mustangs' winning 4x400 relay team that finished in 3 minutes, 21.21 seconds.

Imani Dupree of Sheldon won the 100 meters girls seeded race in 11.94 and was second in the 200 open race in 24.62. She ran the second leg of the winning 4x400 relay that finished in 3:53.01.

Emily Costello of Vista del Lago was second in the seeded 400 in 55.66.

Oak Ridge twins Maddy and Elena Denner placed first and second in the 3,200. Maddy won in 10:28.32 and Elena clocked a 10:34.56. Oak Ridge won the specialized distance medley relay in 11:42.85 with the Denners running legs. That's the fastest time in the country this season. Elena opened with a 3:36 effort in the 1,200 meters, followed by Chloe Taylor's 60.1-second 400, Abby Fletcher's 2:21 in the 800 and polished off by Maddy's 4:44 in the 1600.

The Bee's Top 20 baseball rankings

With last week's ranking in parentheses.

1. Elk Grove (1) 4-2-2

2. Rocklin (2) 9-3

3. Franklin (3) 10-3

4. Oak Ridge (4) 8-4

5. Davis (5) 4-5

6. Jesuit (6) 3-5

7. Cosumnes Oaks (7) 10-2

8. Del Campo (8) 9-2-1

9. Capital Christian (9) 9-3

10. Woodcreek (10) 7-5

11. Winters (11) 16-1

12. Yuba City (12) 10-4

13. Granite Bay (13) 5-7

14. Oakmont (17) 10-4

15. Pleasant Grove (14) 4-7-1

16. Woodland (15) 9-3

17. McClatchy (16) 8-4

18. Christian Brothers (18) 8-3

19. Lincoln (19) 10-3

20. El Camino (20) 9-2

Dropped out: None

The Bee's Top 20 softball rankings

With last week's ranking in parentheses.

1. Sheldon (1) 7-1

2. Granite Bay (6) 7-0

3. Casa Roble (2) 11-3

4. Del Campo (3) 8-1

5. Elk Grove (4) 7-3

6. Lincoln (5) 6-4

7. Pleasant Grove (8) 8-3

8. Oak Ridge (7) 6-3-1

9. Bella Vista (10) 13-3

10. Rocklin (11) 5-4

11. Woodcreek (12) 6-3

12. Pioneer (13) 7-1-1

13. Whitney (14) 8-5

14. Christian Brothers (17) 6-2

15. Roseville (9) 8-5-1

16. Del Oro (16) 5-6

17. Oakmont (18) 5-6-1

18. Yuba City (19) 9-3

19. Franklin (-) 8-6-1

20. St. Francis (-) 7-5

Dropped out: Davis, Antelope