The Patterson High track and field team finished off their week by participating in the 18th annual Stanislaus County Meet held at Joe Debely Stadium at Turlock High School on March 8.

The top three places were awarded a medal, and the top seven finishes in each event will also qualify to compete at the County Clash meet to be held on March 22 at Oakdale High School. 2018 Masters Meet qualifiers are automatically qualified for the County Clash meet.

Junior Favour Nnaji was the only Patterson athlete to qualify for the County Clash due to his 2018 Masters Meet qualifications in the 100 meter and the high jump events, but that did not stop the Patterson standout from capturing two first-place finishes at the Stanislaus County Meet last Friday.

Favour (11.04) took gold in the 100-meter event ahead of sophomore Zeke Steffer (11.29) of Oakdale and senior Trey Longstreth (11.35) of Gregori.

Nnaji (22.97) captured his second gold medal of the day when he finished on top of the 200-meter race. Longstreth (22.97) improved to a silver medal finish. Teammate junior Obadiah Godbolt (23.05) took third. Both Nnaji and Godbolt set personal records in the 200-meter race. Despite setting a season-best time in the 100-meter dash (11.50), Godbolt just missed a top-three spot to finish in fourth.

Junior Michelle Ekwueme set personal records in the 100-meter hurdles 33” and the 300 meter hurdles 30” event, to take gold in both.

Her time of 17.23 was the top time in the 100-meter hurdles event, finishing ahead of senior Jocelyn Harris (17.25) of Turlock and sophomore Madelyn Coelho (17.50) of Hughson.

Michelle’s personal record of 51.99 in the 300-meter race outpaced junior Kendra Branch (52.29) of Oakdale and Coelho (52.39) of Hughson.

The boys relay team consisting of senior Francisco Duran, junior Favour Nnaji, junior Obadiah Godbolt, and freshman Precious Nnaji garnered a pair of top-three finishes in the 4X100 relay and the 4X400 relay.

The Patterson relay team were the top finishers in the 4X100 relay race, putting up a top time of 44.24. Turlock’s Rios Rogers, Darian White, Sammy Wilson and Ty Montgomery (44.38), and Oakdale’s A.J. Martinez, Zeke Saffar, John Foreman and Cameron Burke (44.41) finished just behind the Tigers. 

Patterson (3:36.66) finished in second place in the 4X400 event. Turlock’s Jackson Allen, Uriel Alvarez, Rogers and White (3:32.83) took first place. Pitman’s Guillermo Francis, Jarod Moren, Bryce Van Allen and Jayson Martin (3:37.85) rounded out the top three.

Juniors Michael Ekwueme and Seth Moore (5-08) finished with the same clearance as Alfred Nunes Jr. of Turlock, to create a three-way tie for second place. Junior Lawrence Harris (6-03) of Downey finished in first place.

Sophomore Ada Jack (2:35.12) did not podium in the 800-meter race, but her time was enough to earn a sixth-place finish and a County Clash meet qualification.

Patterson hosts league-wide event

All seven members of the Central California Conference congregated at Patterson Community Stadium to kick off the track and field league season on March 9.

Atwater High swept the team scores at the varsity level. The Falcons topped the varsity boys scoring with 131 points. Finishing behind them was Golden Valley (100 points) and Merced (75 points). Buhach Colony finished only two points behind Merced (73 points), to settle for fourth place.

Atwater’s 163.5 points finished ahead of Golden Valley (150.5) and Merced (54) in the varsity girls standings.

Golden Valley took the top spots in the frosh/soph boys and girls (139 and 199 points respectively). Atwater and Buhach Colony took second and third place in the frosh/soph boys and girls team standings.

Patterson’s lone first-place finish last Wednesday came from the boys 4X100 relay team of Benjamin Hernandez, Favour Nnaji, Obadiah Godbolt and Precious Nnaji (44.54).

Godbolt (52.42) set a personal record in the 400-meter race, which was good enough for a second-place finish.

Favour Nnaji (23.89) took third in the 200-meter race.

Michelle Ekwueme (18.67) took second in the 100-meter hurdles 33” event, and third (53.06) in the 300-meter hurdles 30” event.

The girls 4x400 relay team of Ada Jack, Michelle Ekwueme, Angeline Dauz and Natalie Cuevas Arevalo (4:37.50) put together a bronze finish.

Senior Mokbel Obeid (9-00) finished third in the pole vault event.

PI sports writer

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