Tickets to state meet at stake

Reality checks will be distributed Friday at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters meet in Davis. Many athletes who had their way in divisional meets last week will need every bit of luck they can get just to survive the trials. Those who do not might be even luckier because they will not have to be in the finals Saturday with no chance of getting anything more than a pat on the back from a sympathetic coach.

Many of the section qualifiers from Vacaville, Vanden, Will C. Wood and Dixon high schools fall into that category. Vacaville’s Khloe DeLaTorre is the only one to rank first in the section in any event according to The sophomore has the top time in the 800-meter run at 2:14:43, which she set April 20 in placing second to Carondelet’s Jayla Addision (2:14.36) at the Sacramento Meet of Champions. Granite Bay’s Kylie Nasca was third in 2:16.21. No other girl eclipsed 2:17 that day.

Khloe DeLaTorre and Makayla Galvan on train Monday in preparation for the Masters meet.

Nasca is second to DeLaTorre in the section and is one of the three seniors to crack 2:17 this season. The only other runner to do so is sophomore Veronica White of Christian Brothers. At least two of those five girls will not make it to the state meet May 24-25 at Buchanan High in Clovis because only the top three finishers will go. DeLaTorre knows how it feels to be left out after finishing fourth last year.

The 15-year-old DeLaTorre will do whatever it takes Saturday to earn a ticket. So will other athletes from Vacaville, Vanden and Dixon who rank in the top five in their respective events. Dixon junior Nathan Bloom and sophomore Madison Olds are ranked fifth in the boys shot put and girls discus, respectively. Sophomore Naiaja Sizemore of Vanden is ranked second in the 100 and fourth in the 200.

DeLaTorre was also weighing a heavy Masters load. In addition to the 800, she made it in the 1,600 and helped the Bulldogs qualify in the 4×400 and 4×800 relays. At one least event had to go, so she dropped the 1,600. It has yet to be determined if one relay event will be cut. The same four girls – DeLaTorre, Jensis Rafferty, Reagan Fisher and Alicia Rawdon – compete in each relay, so dropping one will not leave anyone out. DeLaTorre could never do that to a teammate.

Opponents are fair game. DeLaTorre has a specific strategy for each of those who might give her a run for money. She knew exactly what to expect in the 1,600 final at the Division III meet. Brenna Mannion of Vista del Lago, the only Division III girl to break 5 minutes this season, tucked in behind DeLaTorre with Placer’s Anna Seares running out front.

As soon as Mannion made a move on DeLaTorre by pulling even on the third lap, DeLaTorre figured it was time to make a “big move.” She immediately pulled away from Mannion and zipped past Seares to win comfortably in 5:09.05. Mannion was second in 5:12.95, followed by Seares and Vacaville sophomore Makayla Galvan.