ELK GROVE — Though the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I track and field championships don’t conclude until Friday, the Davis High boys and girls teams both put points on the board on Day 1 as three field events for each gender held finals on Wednesday at Elk Grove High.
In addition, track events featured qualifying races on Wednesday.
And thanks to a section-title-winning long jump by Blue Devil Kyle Clancy and teammate Nate Harper’s third-place finish in the pole vault, the DHS boys will enter Friday’s final day in second place with 16 points. The Devils are five points ahead of defending champion Jesuit, but four behind leader Golden Valley.
“It was awesome,” Davis head coach Spencer Elliott said of Clancy’s season-best 22-11.50 effort. “That was a huge jump for Kyle and it’s important as far as us trying to win a team title to get 10 points out of the long jump.”
Harper scored the other six points with his vault of 15-02.
Pole vault also was a strong event for the Blue Devil girls with Michaela Niva placing fourth Wednesday, clearing 10-03, and Clara Riggle posting the same height to take sixth.
Those results, combined with freshman Alyssa Lengtat’s seventh-place long jump (17-02), gave the local girls 10 points heading into the final day.
Though only the top eight finishers in each event scored, the top 12 athletes qualified to compete at next week’s all-division SJS Masters meet.
DHS’ Lily Wolfe and Danielle Gantar finished ninth and 10th, respectively, in the pole vault to make Masters, where they will be joined by Joseena John, who was 12th in the long jump.
Joe Blakewell finished 12th in the boys pole vault, which also qualified him for Masters.
Wednesday wasn’t just about the field events, though, as each team had eight different events to run to qualify for Friday’s finals.
“We did a good job of moving people through to Friday, which was the goal for (Wednesday), to get people in the lanes for Friday,” Elliott said “We’re in a good position to go for (the section titles). I don’t think there’s anyone who we were really expecting to go through who didn’t. We’re poised to compete on Friday.”
Devil standouts in the track prelims included Blake Croft (1:55.83) and Willie Hall (1:57.48), who finished 1-2 in the boys 800 meters, each winning a heat.
“I’ll be happy (Friday) if our kids go out and compete hard and do the best they can, and I know they will, so I’m not even worried about that,” Elliott said. “It would be cool to win some of the banners. I think it’s going to be close. I think it’s going to be kids scrapping for points.
“We did a great job (Wednesday) doing what we needed to do and put us in a position where we have the opportunity to score a bunch of points on Friday, so it will be fun.”
Notes: In addition to section titles being decided in each track event, all of the field events that didn’t take place Wednesday — boys discus, girls shot put, and the high jump and triple jump for both genders — will hold finals Friday. … All 1,600 and 3,200 runners advanced directly to the Friday finals.
— Reach Evan Ream at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @EvanReam