Monache sophomore Monte Moore was within 10 meters of being an automatic qualifier for the Valley Masters Championships at the Division II Valley Championships in track on Friday at Golden West High School.

Moore still qualified as an alternate to the Valley Masters by placing third in the 800 meters. In another runner withdraws, Moore would be eligible to compete in the Valley Masters. Moore led the effort of 16 Marauders who qualified for the Division II meet.

Moore finished in 2:00.90 in the 800 that slowed down into a tactical race. San Luis Obispo's Lewis Westwood dictated the pace.

Moore made his way through traffic to the front of the pack and held at Westwood's right shoulder. Moore made a move with 350 meters left in the race, but couldn't hold on and answer Westwood's kick in the last 100 meters. 

Sunnyside's Diego Gonzalez came from behind to edge Moore in the final 10 meters. 

"Monte is a tremendous competitor,” Monache coach Seth Ishida said. “He acts like a professional and does everything right. It was a strange race that surprised us with a slower opening pace and some quality speed at the end. 

“Monte has a tremendous kick and this would usually work in his favor. We were hoping to go to the next level at Masters, but we will have to keep preparing and hope that someone decides to focus on another race.”

Also for Monache Anthony Estrada placed 10th in the 800 in 2:05.84. Josiah Robles competed in 4 events for the Marauders.

He placed sixth in the 110 meter high hurdles in a personal best 16.53. He also ran a leg in the 4x100 relay that finished in 13th with in 45.80, anchored the 4x 400 meter relay that finished in 10th place in 3:37.11 and place 13th in the 300 meter hurdles 45.14. 

"He was our MVP and never hesitated to work through his 4 events,” Ishida said. “He is an unselfish team-oriented athlete." 

Jaden Torres, Anthony Estrada and Monte Moore rounded out the 4x400 team. The 4x100 team was composed of Johnnie Chavez,  Jayden Keene and Jaden Torres.

Ariel Gomez placed 10th in the 110 high hurdles for Monache. The Marauders placed 8th, 9th, 10th and 14th in the Discus with PR's from Raymundo Rodriguez (133 feet) and Nicholas Dowling (130 feet).  Matthew Barba was 10th at 129-0 and Joaquin Leyva was 14th at 121-0.  Barba also placed 10th in the shot put at 41-0 and Leyva placed 15th with a throw of 37 feet. 

For Monache's girls, Janessa Alba was 13th in 53.72 in the 300 hurdles and 17th in the 100 hurdles in 19.31. Itzel Barrios was 8th in the shot put with a throw of 29 feet 8 inches and 14th in the discus with a throw of 85 feet. 

Freshman Iris Lemus was 13th in the 400 meter dash with a personal record of 1:04.31.  Sierra Galapon was Monache's highest girls finisher with a 7th place jump of 14 feet 10 inches. 

"Our athletes gave it their all and left it all on the table,” Ishida said. “I am very proud of the responsibility and character that it took to make it to this level and put up these results.”

San Luis Obispo won the boys and girls titles. “Division two is tough competition,” Ishida said.  San Luis is a very affluent school with superior resources, but our kids still brought their competitive fire. 

“San Luis set the example, with a team of 300 athletes. We can all aspire to be that great someday."

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