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“I always have a gut feeling someone’s right behind me,” she said. “Like no matter what, there’s always going to be someone right behind me wanting to take my spot, just waiting for me to stop. So that’s what I keep in mind. And that’s what pushes me.”

Vasquez’s mindset is a good one to have as she heads into the college arena. Last year, the Cardinals top female runner signed with, and received a partial scholarship from, California State University, Sonoma -- a NCAA Division II program. She will run cross country and track for the Seawolves.


Monache senior committed to FPU’s cross country and track programs

Before he was a standout runner for Monache High School, Isaiah Sotelo was drawing attention in middle school and at the elementary level.

Now the senior looks to do the same as a member of Fresno Pacific University’s track and cross country programs after committing to the NCAA Division II Sunbirds.

“I chose Fresno Pacific because of how coach Ray Winter sold me on the program,” Sotelo said via email. “They are an up-and-coming program that has a lot of potential. Hopefully, through hard work and dedication, we can achieve something over the next four years. It means a lot to continue my career in college (with) new goals, new people. It is a blessing to be able to continue something that I enjoy doing.”

Along with running at FPU, Sotelo plans to major in criminal justice before moving on to law school and becoming a district attorney. At FPU Sotelo will receive $11,000 in academic scholarships ,and the rest in grants and athletics, to cover the total cost according to MHS head coach Seth Ishida.

No time for second: Granite Hills’ Colton Painter was a two-time Valley qualifier and ESL champion

Colton Painter wanted to play basketball when he came to high school.

But with encouragement from his dad, Painter made a switch to golf and is now one of the top golfers in the Valley.

The Granite Hills senior was the best golfer in the East Sequoia League this season, winning the ESL individual title and leading the league in scoring averages while helping his team to a second-place ESL finish.

On the way to becoming The Recorder’s 2018-19 Orange Belt Boys Golfer of the Year, Painter also shot the lowest round of nine in the area and was one of only three local golfers to qualify for the CIF Central Section Championship tournament.

The spring sports season came to an end for area athletes Saturday at the CIF State Track and Field Championships at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium in Clovis.

Back-to-back state qualifiers, Lindsay High School’s McKaylie Caesar and Monache’s Ivan Mendez, were part of the final events with the seniors running in the girls and boys’ 3,200-meter run, respectively.

Meet begins at 3:30 p.m. at Veteran's Memorial Stadium

Twelve local athletes are set to compete in the CIF Central Section Track and Field Championship meet Saturday at Buchanan High School’s Veteran's Memorial Stadium.

Due to expected rain, the Central Section office said the meet will begin at 3:30 p.m. rather than 4 p.m with field events then track events at 4:30 p.m. Cost of admission is $8 per adult, $6 for high school students with ID and $7 for seniors. Parking also costs $5.

Athletes qualified for the Valley meet by either placing top three at the Central East Area meet last week or by having one of the next six top marks combined from all the four Area meets.

History made: Monache’s Mark Cardwell was the school’s first four-time state qualifier

From the start, all eyes have been on Mark Cardwell.

A ranked wrestler since his freshman year, Cardwell was not only the most successful boys wrestler during his time at Monache High School, but also in the area. 

This season he became the first Marauder to be a four-time state qualifier and played a large part in the team being runner-up Valley champions. 

One of the most decorated wrestlers in the Valley, Cardwell is The Recorder’s 2018-19 Orange Belt Boys Wrestler of the Year — an award the senior’s won three years in a row.