YAKIMA - Junior Eduardo Salmeron turned in the top performances of the day for the Sunnyside High School boys track and field team at last Saturday's West Valley Ram Relays.
Salmeron posted the best effort from a 35-athlete field in the long jump, leaping 21 feet-even. That was six inches further than the runner-up performance of Mt. Spokane's Shane Concepcion.
"Eduardo looked pretty good," said SHS Coach Darren Mezger. "Pretty much all the top guys in the region were going up against him."
The Sunnyside junior also had the second best leap from a field of 29 triple jumpers. He posted a distance of 42-3, topped only by the 42-10.5 performance of Pullman's Ben Pavish.
Team-wise, the Grizzly boys placed fifth in the 13-school field at Saturday's Relays, compiling a score of 46.5 points. The first through fourth-place finishing teams were Mt. Spokane (104.5), Kamiakin (93.5), Southridge (64) and Hanford (56).
Much of Saturday's scoring was based on aggregate relay results...compiling the distances or times of the top three individuals from each school in select events.
Behind Salmeron's long jump and triple jump performances, the Sunnyside boys won both the long jump relay and triple jump relay competitions.
In the long jump relay, besides Salmeron's best-on-the-day performance of 21-0, the Grizzlies got performances of 18-3 from Brandon Daley and 17-6 from Ryan White. The trio's first-place aggregate total was 56-9, two and a half inches more than the second-place finishing West Valley Rams.
In the triple jump relay, the Grizzlies placed first with an aggregate total of 114 feet, 8.5 inches, half an inch better than the top three triple jumpers from Mt. Spokane. Besides Salmeron's triple jump of 42-3, the second best individual performance last Saturday, Sunnyside got triple jumps of 39-0.5 and 33-5 from Sergio Lugo and Pedro Zagrera, respectively.
The boys high jump competition was scored on an individual basis. Salmeron again led the way for the Grizzlies in this event, tying for fifth with Chris Haueter of Southridge with identical leaps of 5-8. The winning high jump performance was an effort of 6-0, turned in by Austin Sparks of Chiawana.
The Grizzlies, too, got a third-place finish from their sprint medley squad of Reyes Cuevas, Bernaldo Madrigal, Jesus Magallan and Emmanuel Torres. The Sunnyside team tallied a clocking of 1:41.81. The top two finishing teams were Southridge and Mt. Spokane with times of 1:39.60 and 1:41.01, respectively.
Sunnyside excelled, likewise, in a specially created 4x110-meter shuttle hurdles competition. The foursome of Elijah Pena, Alvin Lopez, Eric Amaro and Lorenzo Carbajal sped to a clocking of 1:10.45 in the 440-meter event. Only a squad from Monroe posted a faster time (1:08.60). "The boys did a good job finishing second," said Mezger. "There were a lot of young guys that are pretty impressive."
In the 300m hurdles, scored individually as opposed to a relay format, the sophomore Pena turned in the third fastest time from a 15-runner field. He hit the finish line in 43.60 seconds. The only two hurdlers who bested the Sunnyside underclassman were Joseph Collett of Hanford (39.50) and Brenden Kelley of Southridge (42.80).
The one other Grizzly to notch a Top-5 performance at Saturday's Relays was the junior Amaro. Although the javelin event was set up in a relay format, Amaro unleashed the 800-gram spear a distance of 147-9, the fourth best throw on the day. Monroe's Jordan Trujillo had the best performance at 160-8.
"Eric's starting to get back to form," Mezger said Amaro's effort this past Saturday.
Sunnyside's track and field team is scheduled to host a non-league meet at 3:30 p.m. this coming Tuesday against Prosser and Hanford.