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Vista sends three to state meet

By: Matt Long
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Vista del Lago will have three athletes compete at the state track and field championships Friday and Saturday at Buchanan High School in Clovis. Vista senior Emily Cooper qualified in the 100- and 200-meter dashes for the second straight year, as did sophomore Madeleine Ankhelyi in the 1,600-meter run. Riley Martin, a senior, qualified in the 1,600 meters. Cooper placed first in the Masters 100-meter dash, posting a time of 12.21, while taking second in the 200 in 24.59. Cooper has been battling quad injuries since the middle of the season and was thrilled just to have qualified for the state meet. “I was surprised to qualify,” Cooper said. “Since I’ve pulled my quads I didn’t really expect to do anything. I’m surprised and excited.” Cooper, who will run at CSU Long Beach next year, said her quads have gotten progressively better, but the injury is still in the back of her mind and the pain and tightness is still there. Last year at the state meet, Cooper placed 19th in the 100 meters in 11.95 and 14th in the 200 in 24.87. “I’d like to break 12 seconds again in the 100 and run a P.R. (personal record) in the 200,” Cooper said. Based on last year’s times, Cooper will need to run 11.75 to qualify for the finals in the 100 and 24.22 to qualify in the 200. Ankhelyi defended her Masters title a year ago by winning it again this year in her personal-best time of the season, 5:01.43, the fastest time by any runner in the Sac-Joaquin Section this season, according to Vista assistant track coach Mike Kozlowski. “The whole group ran together for three laps and I took the lead on the last straightaway,” Ankhelyi said. “It was kind of windy so no one wanted the lead. I feel I have a pretty good kick, at least sometimes I do, and it worked this time.” Though she’s only a sophomore, Ankhelyi will be making her fourth trip to the state meet, having gone twice in cross country and last year in track when she placed 17th in the 1,600 in 5:12.92. Based on last year’s times, Ankhelyi will have to run 5:04 to qualify for the finals. “I just want to break 4:58,” Ankhelyi said. Martin ran second in the 1,600 at the Masters Meet in 4:19.65. He will be making his first trip to the state meet on Friday. Last year’s qualifying time to make the state finals was 4:20 and the winning time was 4:21. Martin, who plans to attend UC Irvine next fall, has the 29th fastest time, however, of the athletes participating in this year’s state meet. Vista had five other athletes compete at Masters who didn’t qualify for the state meet. Meghan Heffelfinger placed 11th in the discus (109’ 04”), while sisters Chelsea Shill (21st, 2:27.90) and Maci Shill (19th, 1:02.04) ran in the 800- and 400-meter runs, respectively. Scott Fukui completed his career by placing 14th in the 100-meter hurdles (15.61), while Matt Winkler placed fifth in the 1,600 (4:24.18).