California State University, Stanislaus, Turlock
Pac West Conference, NCAA Division 2
After three years of varsity baseball as a pitcher and middle infielder at West High, Damian Vallejos finished his senior year with some lasting memories.
“I have one where we played Manteca High and I got 11 strikeouts on them, and the last game of the season where we walked off against Tracy. A rivalry game, big game, and we ended the season strong this year,” he said. “I’ll definitely remember that one.”
The one-hit, 11-strikeout, 3-1 win over Manteca High happened March 21, and the Wolf Pack beat Tracy in two of three games in the final week of Tri-City Athletic League play, breaking a losing streak against the Bulldogs that went back to the 2010 season. Though the Wolf Pack didn’t make the playoffs, their 5-4 win over Tracy in extra innings in their final game of the season was just as satisfying.
“That was the big game — we all contributed and we came out with the win,” he said. “We had a lot of close games (against Tracy) last year, so we knew this year we had to finish it.”
Meanwhile, the Wolf Pack’s first-year assistant coach, Joseph Torres, actively sought opportunities for West’s seniors and learned that Stanislaus State in Turlock was interested in Vallejos after seeing his recruitment video.
Vallejos has played almost exclusively for West High during his high school years, including three years on the varsity team. He played some travel ball last summer to get exposure, but he said practicing and competing with the Wolf Pack provided plenty of opportunity for him to grow in the sport.
“It made me learn a lot about the game. It made me mature more as a man,” he said. “Even through all of the ups and downs and adversity with our team, it just made me want to keep grinding, keep working harder, and that’s where I am today.”
Track and field
California State University, Chico
California Collegiate Athletic Association, NCAA Division 2
Since her freshman year, Ava Cavallaro has been a leading thrower for the Tracy High track and field team.
Early in her junior year, she established herself as one of the Bulldogs’ all-time best throwers, breaking the shot put record at the San Joaquin County Meet — 35 feet, 5 inches, set in 2015 — with a throw of 36-11. She broke her own record twice, including her best throw, 40-4, at the County Clash VII on March 22 in Oakdale.
Cavallaro also holds the school record in the discus. In her junior year, she and teammate Evalina Maas-Espinoza both broke a 38-year-old school record (119-4, set in 1980) at Tracy’s dual meet with West on May 3, 2018, with Cavallaro’s throw of 126-3½ a couple of feet longer than her teammate’s throw (124-2).
Cavallaro broke her own record at this year’s Sacramento Meet of Champions on April 26 with her throw of 126-6.
She will continue her track and field career at Chico State University, where she will attend on an athletic scholarship.