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Dons finish high at state track meet

Individual performances follow Amador boys team success locally

Several Amador Valley High stars competed in individual event finals at the CIF State Track and Field Championships earlier this month, capping a season that also saw the Dons boys varsity team take first in local and regional year-end meets in May.

Senior Conner McKinnon led the way for the Dons, earning a third-place finish in the 800-meter race during the state meet in Clovis. His time of 1:51.64 was six-tenths of a second off the top pace.

McKinnon was also part of Amador's 4x400 relay team that took fifth place in the state finals. He and teammates Ja'Maun Charles, Chris Bayley and Ledre McCollough finished more than four seconds off the winning pace.

Individually, Charles qualified for the 100-meter final and placed ninth in the event. He fell one spot away (0.03 seconds) from earning a spot in the 200-meter final, coming in 10th place during preliminaries.

In other state meet results, Amador girls hurdler Brookey Villanueva finished 22nd in preliminaries in the 300-meter event. Foothill High's Rachel Reichenbach also represented Pleasanton well, coming in seventh place during the high jump finals.

The Dons' success in Clovis followed strong showings in season-ending meets. The Amador boys took first in the East Bay Athletic League and North Coast Section Tri-Valley Area meets in May -- both held at Amador's campus.

In the Meet of Champions in Berkeley at the end of May, Amador's boys varsity team came in second place, three points behind winning Castro Valley High.

"We came up short of winning the MOC meet, but as I told the athletes, all we can do is tip our cap to a quality Castro Valley team. We performed well but in the end we came up just short, but not for a lack of trying," head coach Peter Scarpelli said.

Amador coaches pointed to the squad's training regimen among the top reasons for the team's stellar results during the season.

"It is a complete training package in many ways," assistant coach Barney Stocking said. "Playing sports is not just physical; it requires a fully-engaged mind and body. I believe this is the secret to our success."

Editor's note: This story was a collaboration between associate editor Jeremy Walsh and freelance writer Iza Fernandez.

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