‘Baler boys
amp; girls thump Sobrato to run records to 3-0 in league; hit
West Valley Relays on Saturday
This wasn’t close to their ‘A’ team or ‘A’ game, but it didn’t matter. Despite resting some key athletes for upcoming track & field meets, the ‘Balers overwhelmed visiting Sobrato yesterday to continue their undefeated start in the Tri-County Athletic League.

The San Benito varsity girls team won all but two of its events to emerge with a dominant 125-16 victory. The Lady ‘Balers held the Bulldogs scoreless in 11 of the 16 events, and improved their TCAL record to 3-0.

San Benito girls coach Julio Trinidad almost apologized for his team’s prowess against a school that has yet to field a senior class.

“Our numbers are too big,” said Trinidad. “We’re too big for them to match up against.”

It was more of the same in the varsity boys competition, with the ‘Balers cruising to a 110-21 win – the largest margin of victory in their 3-0 league start. The individual highlight of the day was senior Todd Merrigan breaking his own school record in the pole vault, flying over the bar at 15-2.

Both San Benito varsity teams kept an eye on Saturday’s West Valley Relays – an event in which the ‘Baler coaches estimate more than 30 quality teams will compete. A few of yesterday’s lineup changes included Rigo Vasquez and Amanda Boyd passing up the 1600 and 3200-meter races, Dana Balsley holding out of the 3200 and Carly Brigantino stepping aside at the high jump.

Those changes only gave other Haybalers a chance to shine.

On the girls side, San Benito welcomed back senior Ashley Patton from a softball hiatus. Patton took no time at all to get back in the groove – winning the pole vault (8-1) and high jump (4-8), and placing second in the long jump (14-5).

‘Balers sophomore Ashlyn Gonzales won the long jump at 14-11 and Brigantino won the 100-meter dash. Freshman Courtney Allen took first in the 400-meter race and ran legs of the ‘Balers’ winning 4×100 and 4×400-meter relay teams.

Haybaler senior Jackie Perrien, the school record holder in the shot put, won that event at 34-10 and also took the discus in 104-3.

The San Benito girls swept the 1600-meter despite Boyd’s absence. Balsley won the event, with Jamilla Saqqa and Sandy Meza taking second and third, respectively.

Balsley spoke of the team’s mindset to keep fresh for West Valley while also winning against the Bulldogs.

“Just get ready for Saturday,” said Balsley after running the second leg of San Benito’s winning 4×400-meter relay. “Of course we want to win [against Sobrato]. We’re not going to not try. We’re always going to try to win.”

The San Benito boys team enjoyed a first-time winner when freshman Ryan Shorey held off Sobrato junior Eric Woodruff down the stretch to take first in the 400-meter race.

“I knew it was going to be close because I could tell he was right behind me,” said Shorey, who won in 56.60 seconds. “I was looking at the ground and I could see his shadow.”

‘Balers senior runner Jeff Weltz continued his strong season with individual victories in the 100 and 200-meter races, and also ran a leg in his team’s fast 4×100-meter relay. Vasquez won the 800-meter race in 2:06.

Merrigan took second in the high jump, but it was the returning State qualifier’s pole vault record that had his coach buzzing.

“He’ll probably break it a few more times this year, because every time he PRs, he breaks the record,” said San Benito head coach Iran White.

The ‘Balers boys frosh-soph team handed Sobrato a 119-16 loss, while San Benito’s JV girls team won 83-52.

With West Valley on tap for Saturday and his team headed to Salinas and to the Stanford Invitational next week, White is looking forward to seeing how far his athletes have progressed.

“We can get some kids into some really big competitions now that they’re approaching midseason form,” said White. “This is a big week coming up. This is a really big week coming up.”

Scott Campbell is the sports editor of the Hollister Free Lance. You can reach him at (831) 637-5566 (x334) or at [email protected].

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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