MODESTO — Hard work. Having fun. A fast track.
Simple as could be, that’s Amber Bond’s explanation for her breakout performance at last week’s Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championships.
The Patterson High track and field team sent 20 athletes to compete at Modesto Junior College on Tuesday, May 19. But, when the dust settled two days later, only Bond remained.
“I came out here prepared,” Bond said.
Only the top six finishers in each event advanced to the Masters meet this week at Hughes Stadium in Sacramento. That meet begins Thursday, May 28, and ends the following day.
Bond qualified to compete in three events.
“She trains hard and just works hard to stay on top,” Patterson coach Shellie Freres said. “She puts the time in, and the results often speak for themselves.”
The versatile junior finished second in the girls 200-meter dash with a time of 26.56 seconds. She also made the grade in the girls 100, placing fifth in 12.89.
Bond looked comfortable in her first competitive 200 since running the event at the Western Athletic Conference championships on May 14.
Bond, who finished first at the WAC tournament in 26.64, surged out of the blocks and finished two meters behind Raquel Hammond of Lindhurst in the final on Thursday.
Running into a dry headwind and in warm conditions, Bond said she was satisfied with her run.
“It was a bit hot, but I’m still satisfied. I made it through,” Bond said.
Last year, Patterson High added a pole vault pit to Patterson Community Stadium. Since then, Bond has excelled at the event, further bolstering her season’s accolades with a fourth-place finish (9 feet) on Thursday.
If the boys team is going to soar back to the top of the WAC next season, two of the main reasons might be Wesley Washington and Solomon Weaver.
The Patterson freshmen shined at the WAC championships two weeks ago, where Washington finished first in the boys 400 (51.75), and Weaver placed second in the boys 3,200 (11:32.96). While neither fared well enough last week to advance to Masters, both garnered praise from their coach.
“For both (Washington and Weaver) to advance as far as they did as freshmen is quite remarkable,” Freres said. “They’re a great example of the talent that we will be returning next year.”
The freshmen runners said they were satisfied with their performances at sections but hope to do better in future races.
Freres has high expectations for both Washington and Weaver. She is looking to the underclassmen to again step up and play a vital role in the team’s performance next season.
• Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187 or firstname.lastname@example.org.