Haybalers sophomore Golda Demby won the girls shot put with a throw of 38 feet, 9 1/4 inches in the Pacific Coast Athletic League Gabilan Division Finals on April 27 at Hollister High. Photo by Jonathan Natividad.

It was a clean sweep for the host Hollister High track and field program in the Pacific Coast Athletic League Gabilan Division Finals on April 28. 

The girls put together a dominating performance, totaling 206 points. The boys won with 141 points, but things didn’t get decided until their very last event. The results meant the Haybalers were perfect in division this season, having gone undefeated in duel meets as well. 

The top four placers in each event from the Gabilan Division Finals—plus the next best seven times/marks out of all the divisions—advance to the PCAL Masters Meet on May 6 at Pacific Grove High. From there, the top six finishers from each event automatically qualify to the Central Coast Section Semifinals on May 13. 

In the Gabilan Division Finals, Hollister girls winners included Hannah Vincent (long jump, triple jump), Lillian Thrasher (high jump), Golda Demby (shot put), Madison Minkel (400 meter run), Jasayla Mariscal (800) and Dani Orsetti (1600). 

Hollister also won both relay events, the 4×100 and 4×400. The 4×100 team of Thrasher, Minkel, Hannah Bocanegra and McKenzie Heckman won handily in a time of 50.58 seconds, which puts them at No. 10 in the CCS this season. 

The 4×400 squad of Jaylee Chan, Minkel, Zamaya Rivera and Mariscal also were dominant and finished in 4 minutes, 14 seconds. Vincent, who advanced to the CIF State Championships last year in the triple jump, went 36 feet, 1 inch for a new personal-record (PR). 

That mark ranks No. 6 in the CCS. Thrasher won the high jump with a clearance of 5-2, but her PR of 5-4 is tied for fifth on the section list. Individual winners from the boys side included Joshua Vincent (triple jump), Wyatt Tari (high jump) and Logan Freitas (400). 

Both relay teams were victorious as well. The 4×400 team of Alexander Brister, Anthony Mendoza, Breen and Freitas blazed to a time of 3:33.95, good for the No. 17 mark in the section. The 4×100 team of Malachi Zabala, James Breen, Shaun Jamal and Donovan Tommy were involved in one of the most exciting events of the meet. 

Their time of 43.76—which ranks No. 20 in the section—edged Palma by 1/100ths of a second. Hannah and Joshua Vincent are siblings who happen to be potential CCS top-3 finishers in the same event, the triple jump. 

They didn’t plan things out that way, though being just 11 months apart, perhaps it’s not a surprise they’ve excelled athletically in the same sport. In going 36-1, Hannah, a sophomore, PR’d for the first time since the end of the 2022 season. 

A quad injury earlier this season hindered Hannah’s progress, but at full strength again, she’s ready for some bigger jumps and not a moment too soon. 

“When I finally hit 36-1, it felt really good because I knew I could do it,” she said. “I know I can do better and I’m excited to try to PR more in the upcoming meets.” 

Joshua, a junior, is jumping two feet farther than last year, hitting a PR of 43-10—the section’s fifth best mark this season—at the Allen Dunn Haybaler Invite on April 15. 

“I was really happy when I jumped almost 44 feet,” he said. “I knew I could get there but I wasn’t doing it because I think I had some mental blocks with me being injured for almost half the meets last year. But I’m good now and hoping to go farther.”

Joshua worked on his speed in the beginning of the season and now is honing in on the step phase of the triple jump. Hannah is focusing on the hop phase and both continue to improve their form in such a highly technical event.  

Joshua and Hannah have an older brother, two younger sisters and two younger brothers. Because they’re so close in age, they competed in everything growing up—and still do. During a call with the Free Lance, Hannah sounded gleeful as she reminded Joshua that she bested him in the long jump—their second best events—in the Santa Cruz Coast Relays on March 4. 

Hannah won the girls event by going 16-8, while Joshua had a mark of 16-2 ½ to finish 18th in the boys competition. 

“I made fun of him for a long time for that,” Hannah said. 

To put things into context, Joshua has since gone further, hitting a PR of 18-10 ½ to Hannah’s best of 16-8 ¼. Assuming they get through the Masters Meet safely, the Vincents know they’ll have to be at their best to finish in the CCS top-3 and advance to State. That’s because the triple jump competition in the CCS is downright fierce in 2023. To wit: Hannah’s jump of 35-8 ¾ got her third place in last year’s CCS Finals.

This season, three athletes have already gone 37 feet-plus. Joshua’s PR of 43-10 would’ve placed him third in last year’s boys CCS Final; however, this year four athletes have already gone 44 feet-plus.

Whatever happens, the Vincents have each other, siblings who will support the other through the ups and downs of athletics. 

“We both have busy lives so don’t spend too much time together, but we’re close,” Joshua said. 

Joshua Vincent speeds down the runway en route to winning the boys triple jump competition. Photo by Jonathan Natividad.
Hannah Vincent won the girls long jump and triple jump events in the PCAL Gabilan Division Finals.
Wyatt Tari took second in the long jump and won the high jump in the Gabilan Finals. Photo by Jonathan Natividad.
Previous articleLetter: Youth support robotics and the environment
Next articleMore than 400 students compete in Gifted Games
Emanuel Lee primarily covers sports for Weeklys/NewSVMedia's Los Gatan publication. Twenty years of journalism experience and recipient of several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. Emanuel has run eight marathons with a PR of 3:13.40, counts himself as a true disciple of Jesus Christ and loves spending time with his wife and their two lovely daughters, Evangeline and Eliza.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here