YAKIMA - Powered by senior Francisco Navarro-Rodriguez and junior Kennedy Sarmiento, the Sunnyside High School track team notched four victories at the season opening Eisenhower Jamboree this past Saturday.
The events were contested at odd distances, designed to prevent too much emphasis being put on athletes in relation to standardized distances.
Navarro-Rodriguez was the top finisher in the boys long jump. He recorded a leap of 19-11, five inches further than the 19-6 leap of runner-up Tyler Hunziker of Goldendale. Sunnyside's Guadalupe Mendoza also competed in the long jump, earning a fourth place finish (17-2) from the nine-boy field.
Sarmiento was the clear winner in the boys 60-meter hurdles. He sped to a clocking of 8.10 seconds, 1.8 seconds faster than second place finishing Zach Sparks of Ellensburg. The Grizzlies' only other competitor in that event was sophomore Andrew Daley. He placed seventh from a field of eight with a clocking of 10.90 seconds.
Both, Sarmiento and Navarro-Rodriguez picked up another win for the Grizzlies when they teamed with senior Damian Ramos and freshman Isreal Manzo to capture top honors in the boys 4x100-meter relay. The foursome raced to a clocking of 46.81 seconds, 1.6 seconds quicker than the second place finishing team from Eisenhower.
Sunnyside's one other victory Saturday came from pole vaulter Katie Herndon. The junior won the girls event by clearing the bar at 6-6.
A total of 10 teams competed at the Ike jamboree Saturday. Team scoring was not kept, although the host Cadets clearly came out on top. Eisenhower won eight of the 16 boys events, and seven of the 16 girls competitions.
Sunnyside, with its four overall victories, tied the East Valley Red Devils for second most wins at the meet.
The Grizzlies, too, brought home three runner-up finishes.
The freshman Manzo placed second to Eisenhower's Jonathan Newport in the 100-meter dash, clocking a time of 11.93 seconds, only two-tenth's of a second behind the Cadet speedster.
Junior Elias Medrano picked up the second runner-up finish for Sunnyside. Competing in the 300-meter run, he turned the oval in a time of 40.20 seconds. That was a full 2.11 seconds behind Andre Moore of Moses Lake.
Senior Andrew Cortes nailed down the final second place finish for the Grizzlies. He heaved the shotput 42 feet, 10 and a half inches. His performance was second only to East Valley's Jonathan Buchanan, who unleashed a monster throw of 52-3.
Sunnyside's varsity track and field team isn't scheduled to compete again until Thursday, March 26, when the Grizzlies will travel to West Valley to take on the Rams, as well as Pasco and Kamiakin.