There are probably some happy Alameda high school coaches these days.
The (AEF) just completed the Middle School Track & Field Championships, and there is a lot of talent that will soon be moving to Alameda high schools.
“We had more students than ever before participate in track and field,” said AEF president Bill Sonneman.
In all, 192 students from Lincoln, Wood, and The Academy of Alameda middle schools and a combined team from Nea and Alameda Community Learning Centers signed up for track and field.
“At the first all-comers meet, we had 11 heats just in the 50 meter run!" said Sonneman.
Students train with their school teams, but they compete individually. “This creates a congenial and supportive atmosphere among the athletes,” said Sonneman, “and it supports participation from schools with different population numbers.”
The students compete in individual and relay running events as well as field events. This season, AEF held two all-comers events in which all athletes could participate, culminating in the championships held May 18 (for running) and May 24 (for field). Individual medals were awarded for the top three finishers in each division.
The program has produced some fine high school athletes. Zachary Ribera, one of the athletes who qualified for the Meet of Champions in Sacramento this year, won the shot put in the middle school championships two years ago.
AEF began the Track & Field program three years ago. The Foundation’s Middle School Sports program also includes co-ed volleyball in the fall and boys' and girls' basketball in the winter. More information can be found at alamedaeducation.org.
Below are some highlights from the championships:
50 meter dash - Girls
8th grade division: 6.99, Kelley Desmond, Lincoln
1600 meter run - Girls
6th grade division: 6:19, Grace Taylor, Lincoln
1600 meter run - Boys
8th grade division: 5:23, Deep Singh, Wood
400 meter run - Girls
7th grade division: 1:07.6, Damiona Barbosa, Academy of Alameda
400 meter run - Boys
8th grade division: 59.4, Marcel Gelico, Wood
800 meter run - Boys
6th grade division: 2:40, Gavin Hill, Lincoln
4 x 100 Relay - Girls
6th grade division: 1:04.2 - Nea/ACLC
4 x 400 Relay - Girls
8th grade division: 5:09, Academy of Alameda
Shot Put - Boys
7th grade division: 31”, Ethan Ribera, Lincoln
8th grade division: 35’5”, Joe Hausner, Wood
Long Jump - Girls
6th grade division: 11’9”, Skylar Herrera-Ross, Nea/ACLC
Long Jump - Boys
8th grade division: 5’1-1/2”, Marcel Gelico, Wood