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Silverado's Fermin takes fifth in 400

CLOVIS • There were no unhappy faces at the 91st CIF State Track and Field Championships at Buchanan High School on Saturday night.

Three athletes closed out their high school careers with some of their best lifetime marks, and a fourth, Daniel Rosales of Apple Valley, will get another chance next season.

Silverado’s Shawna Fermin found her favorite lane, Lane 9, and set a personal best in finishing fifth in the 400 meters in 55.16 seconds. Barstow’s Isaac Chavez and Rosales were eaten up quickly by a fast pace in the 3,200 with Chavez closing out his high school career with an eighth-place finish in 8 minutes, 57.40 seconds. Rosales, a junior, finished 19th in 9:08.54. Burroughs’ Kayla Kovar finished fourth in the shot put and fifth in the discus.

It is tough to run on the outside, but it did not seem to phase Fermin.

“Its difficult, but I’ve run it before, so I had experienced it before,” she said. “So I was kind of prepared. My coaches always say, ‘That’s your favorite lane,’ because every time I ran in that lane, I PRed.”

The Washington State-bound senior’s previous best was a 55.4, also run in Lane 9.

“There is no one in front of you, so you can’t go off of somebody like I need to speed up a little,” she said. “You just have to run off your head.”

Turquoise Thompson of Serra won the race in 53.10, just ahead of Akawkaw Ndipagbor of Long Beach Poly, who ran a 53.12. They were the second and third fastest times this season.

“I’m happy I PRed, even though I didn’t get to 54 seconds,” Fermin said. “It was the most developed season I’ve ever had. I improved my time by almost 3 seconds and I improved my jump by almost like 2 feet. So, it’s been a good year for me.”

Erik Olson of Novato, winner Chris Schwartz of Foothill and Jarvis Collin of Rancho Bernardo set an extremely fast pace in the 3,200. Chavez and Rosales tried to stay with the leaders, but as Chavez said, the 62-second first lap made it tough. Chavez was one of eight runners to break the 9-minute barrier in the race. Schwartz’s time of 8:52.50 was the third-fastest in the nation this season.

“It was fast and I knew it was going to be fast,” said Chavez, who is heading to Chico State next year. “It was a tough pace. But I’m extremely happy. My senior year and I’m in state.”

Last season, Kovar fouled out in the shot put en route to State Meet and only advanced in the discus. Saturday, she placed in both.

“It just feels surreal,” she said.

In the shot put, she had a throw of 43 feet, 11⁄4 inches on her second attempt. Anna Jelmini of Shafter, who set a meet record in Friday’s qualifying session, won with a throw of 50-53⁄4, nearly 7 feet farther than her nearest competitor. It was her second consecutive state title.

“I came here to do what I do, and then to have fun,” Kovar said. “It wasn’t a PR, and I didn’t think I could catch Anna.”

She then went 136-10 in the discus. Jelmini set a meet record with a throw of 186-9.


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