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Four Trojans advance to state meet

By: Matt Long
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Oak Ridge High’s track and field team will send four athletes to the state championship meet to be held at Buchanan High School in Clovis on Friday and Saturday. The Trojans didn’t have any champions at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Championships on Friday at Hughes Stadium, but did have a pair of silver medalists. Samantha Ralstin placed second in the 800-meter run in 2 minutes, 15.53 seconds and Will Findlay took second in the high jump by clearing the bar at 6-feet, 5-inches. For Ralstin it’s the fourth straight year she’s qualified for the state meet in the 800 meters. She’s improved her time by about two seconds each year, running a 2:18.52 as a freshman to place 21st, a 2:16.57 as a sophomore and 2:14.14 last year, placing 16th both years. If she improves by two more seconds this year and runs a 2:12, that time was good enough to qualify for the finals last year and place eighth. “This is Sam’s fourth year making it to the state meet and that’s quite an accomplishment,” Oak Ridge coach Rob Fairley said. “She’s been very consistent in the 800 and right now she’s been battling some tendonitis in her foot so we’ll see how she does.” Findlay was one of three high jumpers to qualify for the state meet. He took second at Masters, while his teammate, senior Matt Redden, took fourth at the same height. Jessica Emde, a junior, also qualified by placing third by clearing the bar at 5’3”. “It’s always nice to perform and advance to the state meet as seniors,” Fairley said of Findlay and Redden. “They will have to jump well in trials to make the finals. I think they will probably have to jump 6’5” or 6’6” to make finals and they’ve both done that. “Jessica had a great Masters meet,” Fairley continued. “That’s the best she’s jumped in awhile. She handled the crosswind well. I think she will have to jump 5’5” to make the finals and she’s done that this year.” At last year’s state meet, 6’5” qualified the boys for finals, while 5’6” qualified the girls. The winning jumps were 6’11” and 5’10”, respectively. For Ralstin, the winning time in last year’s 800 was 2:07.