Athletes shine at CIF South Area meet

Taft has had a very strong track team the past couple of years, with their girls winning back-to-back Sequoia/Sierra Valley Championships, but at the end of the last season Taft was informed that there would no longer be a Sequoia/Sierra meet, and they would be getting moved into the bigger schools meet, the CIF South Area meet, including big schools like Liberty, Stockdale, Bakersfield High School, etc.

Some Taft athletes worked extra hard this year to make sure that they wouldn’t be missing out on another chance to keep their season moving forward. To start things off, the phenomenal junior Jonathan Hopkins went over to the meet with a full head of steam. He ran a wind legal, personal best of 15.65 seconds in the 110 meter high hurdles, placing fourth at the meet; with that time, Hopkins has been the fastest hurdler Taft has seen since 2007. Alfonso Garcia ran a 15.54 in the 110 meter hurdles.

Hopkins also placed third in the pole vault, where he was able to vault 13-00.00 feet (his personal best in the pole vault is 13-09.00 feet). He will be moving to the central section masters meet (the meet that qualifies you for state) in pole vault and possibly the hurdles. They won’t know for sure until tomorrow, according to head coach Eric Newton though, he says that Hopkins will be focusing on pole vault.

The other athlete that qualified for the South Area meet that stood out in the top eight was Drake Null-Silva, a senior. Null-Silva was able to pull off a sixth place finish in the high jump with a jump of 5-11.00 feet; his personal best this season was 6-04.00 feet, which is now the new school record. Our first female athlete is a sophomore that qualified in the shot put, Willow Pilgrim. This season she was able to post a personal best of 32’11 feet, while Alice Tauta of Taft, a freshman, qualified in the discus for this meet. She threw 79-02 feet, her personal best was 97-05 feet. These athletes represented Taft very proudly and they proved that they could compete with the bigger schools with the ‘better’ athletes. We wish Hopkins the best of luck at the masters meet and hope that he is able to move on to the state meet!