YAKIMA - Getting into racing form and working out the kinks were the primary goals for the Sunnyside High School track and field team at last Saturday's season opener.
Sunnyside, which has one of the largest turnouts for the team in school history, came away with an added bonus, however, by notching three first-place finishes at the 15-school, non-scoring Eisenhower Jamboree.
The one Sunnyside victory on the girls side was recorded by senior Kendall Platsman. Competing in the shot put, which drew a field of 36 athletes, she heaved the ball a distance of 32-2. Kittitas junior Alyssum Reno had a runner-up throw of 31-6.5.
The two wins Sunnyside snared in the boys events were earned by senior Eric Amaro and junior Elijah Pena.
Amaro was far and away the top javelin thrower on the day, recording an effort of 172-4. The next best throw, by Ike sophomore Andrew Martinez, only went a distance of 150-3.
Amaro also stepped up big in the 55-meter hurdles, setting the second fastest time from the 14-runner field with a clocking of 8.53 seconds. The winner, however, turned out to be his own teammate, Pena, who hit the tape first with a clocking of 8.13 seconds.
The Grizzlies had three other athletes who turned in second-place performances last Saturday - Bernaldo Madrigal, Juan Peralta and Geordan Skyles.
The sophomore Madrigal was almost exactly one-tenth of a second behind East Valley's Sergio Reyna in the boys 100-meter dash. Madrigal clocked a time of 11.87 seconds compared to the winner Reyna's clocking of 11.76.
Peralta, a senior, scored his runner-up finish in the boys discus. He got the platter to fly a distance of 124-5. The winning throw of 127-0 was set by Zillah sophomore Ruben Perez.
Sunnyside's one other second-place finish was grabbed by the senior Skyles. She had the second best leap on the day in the girls pole vault, recording a vault of 7-6. University High School senior Leslie French was first at 8-6.
Six other Grizzlies came away from Saturday's jamboree with 'Top 5' finishes - Brittney Broersma, Ryan White, Vanessa Alvarez, Jose Reyes, Jose Sanchez and Eduardo Salmeron.
Broersma had two third-place finishes on the day, those coming in the girls 300m and 55m hurdles races. The junior's times in those two events were 45.04 and 10.08 seconds, respectively. The winning times in those two races were 44.85 and 9.52 seconds.
White, a junior, placed fifth in both the boys 100-meter dash and long jump. In the sprint, he clocked a time of 12.15 seconds, approximately four-tenths of a second back of the winner. White's leap of 17-2.5 was fifth best in the long jump. The winning effort of 19-6 was set by East Valley freshman Jeremy Bade.
Alvarez, an SHS junior, sped to a clocking of 13.66 seconds in the girls 100-meter run - fourth fastest from the 67-runner field. The winning time of 13.55 seconds was set by Thorp High School senior Katelyn Pendley.
The freshman Reyes got Sunnyside a fifth-place finish in the boys 600-meter run, which drew a field of 23 mid-distance runners. Reyes got around the track in 1:33.69. Eisenhower junior Drew Schreiber was first in 1:25.80.
The senior Sanchez notched a fourth-place finish for the Grizzlies in the boys discus (119-6).
Salmeron, also an SHS senior, closed out the 'Top 5' finishes for the Grizzlies with his fifth-best leap of 5-4 in the boys high jump. The winning high jump performance on the day, 6-8, was established by University senior Eddie Gonzalez.
The Grizzly varsity track team is scheduled to compete again this coming Saturday, March 16, at the Papa Wells Invitational at East Valley High School.