Hanson leads locals at Golden West Invitational

By: Matt Long
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Track and field athletes alike had to deal with strong winds on Saturday during the 51st annual Golden West Invitational at Folsom High. For some runners, the wind at their backs allowed them to run faster times, while others were slower when running into the wind. The field athletes also had their moments with the wind and though Oak Ridge senior Brian Hanson didn’t achieve his goal of clearing 16 feet in the pole vault, he did equal his personal-best vault of 15 feet, 6 inches and won the event. Hanson was the top local performer of the day in which 10 Oak Ridge, Vista del Lago and Folsom High athletes competed in the meet. Oak Ridge’s Samantha Ralstin and Amjed Aboukhadijeh and Vista del Lago’s Emily Cooper earned second-place finishes. Ralstin ran second to Castro Valley’s Chelsea Schneider in the 800 meters, finishing in 2 minutes, 14.42 seconds, just one-hundredth of second behind Schneider. Aboukhadijeh was the runner-up in the 3,200 in 9:26.12, while Cooper placed second in the 200 meters in 24.57. Oak Ridge’s Will Findlay and Folsom High’s Jessica Gannon, both high jumpers, placed third in their respective events. Findlay cleared the bar at 6’6”, while Gannon went 5’3”. Folsom’s Doug Vernon finished fourth in the triple jump at 43’7 ¼”, while Vista’s Madeleine Ankhelyi ran fifth in the 800 in 2:18.44. Vista’s Ian Kennedy placed ninth in the 800 in 2:02.71, while Oak Ridge’s Jeroen Keukenkamp ended up 17th in the mile run in 4:40.20. “I thought the meet went fairly well in spite of the high winds,” Meet Director John Mansoor said. “The kids persevered.” About 400 athletes from around the nation competed in the meet.