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Placer’s varsity boys track and field team tops Center Cougars

By: Journal sports staff
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Placer’s varsity boys stepped up their game on the track. The results may have earned them at least a share of the Pioneer Valley League title. 
Facing the reining league champ and sprint specialists Center Cougars, the Hillmen (2-0) squeezed out a 70-66 victory to help Placer sweep the Cougars. 
The Hillmen’s cause was aided by a big day from James Hubbard, who won the 100 in a time of 11.52 seconds, won the discus with a throw of 153 feet, 3 inches and placed third in the shot put with a toss of 40-1.5.
"To see a thrower win the 100 was a true feat and testament to his strength,” said coach Katy Chamberlin. “The Center athletes were definitely surprised."
Others who upset Center's sprint domination in PVL were Nick Kennedy, who won the 200 in 23.55 seconds and was second in the 400 at 52.9 and Viktor Dorofeyev, who was moved from the mile to the 400 to win in 52.8 seconds, while cruising to third in the 800 in 2:10.75. Sophomore Jose Rodriguez set a personal best in the 800 and added another Placer first with his time of 2:06.93. He was followed by teammate Louis Rinn 2:08.51. 
Placer got expected wins from Toby Qualls in the 1,600 and 3,200 and Beau Babcock in vault at 12-6. And despite Center's strength, the Placer boys took the top five spots in discus with Hubbard, Nathan Swisley, Sam Queen, Lee Melbourne-Weaver and Tristan Skraber. Though only the top three scores count, it showed Placer's depth.
On the girls side, Placer (2-0) dominated and scored a 91-44 victory. 
The leading scorer on the day earning 13 individual points and anchoring the winning 4-by-400 of 4:11.14 was Kerry McCullough. She pulled a win in the 400 at 1:02.38, triple jump (32-5.5) and was second in high jump (4-10). 
Shelby Crider threw to a win in her first ever shot put contest with a throw of 26-9.5, and took second in both discus (97-8) and long jump (15-6.5). The winner of the long jump was reigning record holder Meghan Tucker at 17-6.5. Tucker also earned seconds in the 100 (12.96) and 200 (26.43). 
Other winners included Leah Fong in pole vault at 10 feet, Becky Mathews in high jump (5 feet), Macaylea Mitchell in 300 hurdles (53.48), Halle Ralls in the 800 (2:40.53) and Marci Baker in the 3,200 (14:40.3.)
Placer’s frosh-soph boys (2-0) rounded out the sweep with a close 65-60 victory. The highlight competitor of the day was sophomore Donnie Williams, who won both the 400 (54.52) and 800 (2:26.36) and took third in high jump at 5-4. Freshman Sasho Belsito claimed the win in triple jump (32-6) and was second in long jump (16-4). 
Johnny Capra, Mason Sage and Jacob Capra swept both the shot put and discus events. Anthony Wong and Riley Bushong went one-two in the 1,600 and Bushong went on to win the 3,200.
Next week Placer heads to Colfax for a dual meet on Wednesday.