The 5 North youth track and field athletes bring a regional title and a big collection of top medals from their summertime competition into their biggest challenges of the year, starting this week at the national Junior Olympics in Sacramento.

The local program has three athletes who have moved on to the USA Track and Field Hershey National Junior Olympic Championships at California State University, Sacramento. Competition started Monday and continues through Sunday in Hornet Stadium.

K.T. Ransom, 5 North founder and head coach, said this week’s Junior Olympics meet is tough to qualify for, so he was proud of how the local athletes competed at the regional qualifier, the USATF Region 16 Junior Olympic Championships, July 5-7 at Modesto Junior College.

“The competition was really tough because you had a lot of USA teams and AAU teams there. They went out there and they performed really well given the steep competition,” Ransom said.

Sprinter Jaclyn Chukwuma, 12, is the most prolific among them, qualifying for three events. This is her second time at the national championships, so she knows what to expect.

“All of the girls I race against, they’ve been running since they were 5 or 6. I just had to not worry about that,” she said. “All of my races, I was really nervous. I’d be terrified, and then after, I’d be like, it wasn’t that bad.”

She entered this week’s events after placing second in all her sprints at the Region 16 meet: the 11-12 girls 100-meter dash (13.02), 200-meter dash (27.09) and 400-meter dash (1:00.47).

Joining her in Sacramento are 5 North teammates Josiah Wilson, 12, and Ava Moschetti, 11. Josiah is a sprinter and jumper and qualified for the national meet with a second-place mark in the high jump (4 feet). Ava is a distance runner and qualified in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 11 minutes, 51.64 seconds.

Ava is also making a repeat trip to the national meet. She learned last time that the same mindset that gained her a fifth-place finish at the Region 16 meet in Modesto will help her succeed against national competitors.

“It was very nerve-wracking. There were so many girls out there and I didn’t expect it,” she said. “But what my coaches told me was that it’s just another track meet with a name on it.

“As the gun went off, I just calmed down a lot. Once I finished the race, I felt very proud of myself for seeing how far I can go.”

Josiah has also been to the national championships before. He said his qualifying high jump mark was his best yet, and he’s also working on cutting time in his sprints, where he just missed the cut to qualify for the USATF national meet.

“Last year, there was definitely competition. There were a lot of competitors that were very fast, way faster than me,” he said. “I shaved down 2 seconds from the 100 meters. Last year I had 15 (seconds), this year I had 13.”

Ransom said that while the USATF meet is the toughest national meet to qualify for — only the top five athletes in each event at the regional meet advance — it’s just one of the big milestones that the 5 North athletes can boast of reaching this year.

The biggest among them is the championship plaque from the AAU Track and Field Region 22 Qualifier, June 12-15 at Oakdale High School.

Ransom could tell the kids were doing well throughout that meet. In all, 34 athletes placed in the top six in their events and qualified to advance to the national meet, the AAU Junior Olympics at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina, which will be held Saturday through Aug. 3. So far, only a few have made the commitment to travel to North Carolina.

Ransom noted that while the kids focused on their individual events at the regional meet, the coaches looked at the team scores. As 5 North athletes collected multiple gold, silver and bronze medals, Ransom saw his team’s name at the top of the standings.

“It was close at the end, us and the Fresno Flyers. They were battling us at the end, but we had about six distance runners that got us some points,” he said. “We were going back and forth. It was kind of fun. The coaches were watching points, but the kids weren’t.”

Among the 34 national qualifiers from 5 North, the team had 11 gold medalists, including four multiple gold medalists, at the Region 22 meet.

In the 15-16 boys division, Rison Pereira won the 800 (2:10.92) and the 1,500 (4:45.16), and John Villanueva won the 400 hurdles (1:07.15). In the 14-year-old boys division, Antonio Aguirre won the 1,500 (5:23.44) and the outdoor pentathlon (1,228), and Andrew Simmons won the 100 hurdles (18.49). Kyrrahlynn Dowell won the 13-year-old girls 200 hurdles (31.73) and outdoor pentathlon (1,994). Mario Quezada won the 9-year-old boys shot put (17-7) and high jump (3-6)

Also winning gold were Ciella Seals, 14-year-old girls 100 meters (13.00); Oliver Byrd, 12-year-old boys 80 hurdles (15.35); Ava Moschettin, 11-year-old girls 3,000 meters (12:43.01); Daniel Middleton, 10-year-old boys long jump (10-0); and Devin Cortinas, 8-and-under boys shot put (17-1½).

In late June, the 5 North team had 29 athletes qualify for the national meet at the AAU West Coast National Championships in Reno. Among them were five gold medalists: Mario Quezada, 9-year-old boys high jump (3-6); Aiden Dowell, 11-year-old boys javelin throw (58-0); Jaclyn Chukwuma, 12-year-old girls 400 (1:02.14); Kyrrahlynn Dowell, 13-year-old girls high jump (4-8); and Antonio Aguirre, 14-year-old boys 200 (33.06).

Ransom credits this year’s success to a group of new coaches he has brought on, most of them former top athletes at Kimball High. He said he needed coaches with a track and field background, so he drew on his own days coaching football and track and field at Kimball to recruit some of the athletes he used to work with.

Damon Jackson, a recent Sacramento State graduate, still holds the Kimball school records in the 100 meters (10.72) and 200 meters (21.86). Chloe Jenkins, a recent California State University, Stanislaus graduate, holds the Kimball High record in the 300-meter hurdles (46.04). Malik Ransom, also a Kimball High graduate, is in his second year of coaching the 5 North team and will be a senior this fall at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Also coaching the 5 North kids this summer is Trovoy McKinney, a graduate of James Logan High in Union City.

USA Track and Field Region 16 Junior Olympics Championships

July 5-7, Modesto Junior College

Top five qualify for Junior Olympics

9-10 girls

100—30, Jade Colver, 16.61.

200—45, Jade Colver, 37.14.

Long jump—16, Jade Colver, 8-7.

9-10 boys

200—32, David Bianchini, 36.65.

400—16, Josiah Martinez, 1:17.63. 25, David Bianchini, 1:24.22.

800—18, David Bianchini, 3:13.42.

Long jump—15, Josiah Martinez, 10-4.

11-12 girls

100—2, Jaclyn Chukwuma, 13.02.

200—2, Jaclyn Chukwuma, 27.09. 34, Ashlynne Demontigny, 31.48.

400—2, Jaclyn Chukwuma, 1:00.47.

800—26, Ava Moschetti, 3:11.73. 31, Isabella Bianchini, 3:20.17.

1,500—15, Ava Moschetti, 5:43.72.

3,000—5, Ava Moschetti, 11:51.64.

80 hurdles—7, Isabella Bianchini, 15.26. 10, Ashlynne Demontigny, 15.76.

High jump—8, Isabella Bianchini, 3-10.

11-12 boys

100—7, Josiah Wilson, 13.26. 12, Jermaine Nance, 13.98. 20, Rithvik Illuri, 14.48.

200—6, Josiah Wilson, 27.67. 18, Jermaine Nance, 29.29. 21, Oliver Byrd, 30.40.

400—15, Oliver Byrd, 1:08.53.

800—26, Rithvik Illuri, 3:00.53.

80 hurdles—8, Oliver Byrd, 15.73.

Shot put—20, Aiden Dowell, 17-5¾.

Javelin—11, Aiden Dowell, 55-5¾.

High jump—2, Josiah Wilson, 4-0.

Long jump—12, Jermaine Nance, 12-8¾.

13-14 girls

100—9, Ciella Seals, 13.02. 40, Scarlette McIntyre, 14.54. 45, Sophia McIntyre, 14.91.

200—26, Ciella Seals, 28.21. 48, Scarlette McIntyre, 30.02. 52, Sophia McIntyre, 30.67. 54, Alison Byrd, 30.83.

400—30, Linda Medrano, 1:09.53. 40, Alison Byrd, 1:13.21.

800—20, Linda Medrano, 2:36.46. 34, Kyrrahlynn Dowell, 2:47.79. 41, Sarah Villanueva, 3:23.22.

100 hurdles—14, Kyrrahlynn Dowell, 17.21. 25, Alison Byrd, 20.93.

200 hurdles—9, Kyrrahlynn Dowell, 31.21. 21, Linda Medrano, 34.72.

High jump—10, Kyrrahlynn Dowell, 4-4.

Long jump—26, Scarlette McIntyre, 12-9¾. 30, Sophia McIntyre, 11-7¼. 31, Linda Medrano, 11-4½.

13-14 boys

100—16, Aiden Simon, 12.54.

200—14, Aiden Simon, 25.35. 22, Andrew Simmons, 26.19. 42, Kobe Thomas, 34.30.

400—10, Aiden Simon, 59.24.

800—15, Andrew Simmons, 2:28.55. 28, Antonio Aguirre, 2:39.37. 38, Kobe Thomas, 3:14.10.

1,500—28, Andrew Simmons, 5:19.56. 34, Antonio Aguirre, 5:27.47.

200 hurdles—12, Andrew Simmons, 30.62. 19, Antonio Aguirre, 33.11.

Long jump—19, Kobe Thomas, 3.38.

15-16 boys

100—24, Christian Lavagetto, 12.00. 29, Andray Clark, 12.35.

200—23, Christian Lavagetto, 24.44. 30, Andray Clark, 24.93.

400—20, Christian Lavagetto, 57.26.

800—11, Rison Pereira, 2:14.44.

1,500—14, Rison Pereira, 4:39.15.

110 hurdles—6, John Villanueva, 20.21.

400 hurdles—9, John Villanueva, 1:06.91.

AAU West Coast National Championships 2019

June 27-30, Reed High School, Reno,

Top eight advance to Junior Olympics

8-and-under girls

800—8, Kendall Kitchens, 4:10.39.

1500—5, Kendall Kitchens, 8:06.58.

8-and-under boys

100—23, Jasiah Presley, 17.47. 40, Bugatti Tosco, 24.46.

200—23, Devin Cortinas, 37.59.

400—18, Devin Cortinas, 1:28.03. 20, Tyler Willey, 1:28.97.

800—5, Tyler Willey, 3:22.05.

Long jump—7, Devin Cortinas, 8-2½. 12, Jasiah Presley, 4-1. 14, Bugatti Tosco, 3-10½.

Shot put—4, Tyler Willey, 16-1. 5, Jasiah Presley, 14-6½.

Javelin—9, Bugatti Tosco, 14-1.

9-year-old boys

200—23 Mario Quezada, 36.24.

High jump—1, Mario Quezada, 3-6.

Shot put—3, Mario Quezada, 17-½.

10-year-old boys

100—10, Josiah Martinez, 16.17.

200—12, Josiah Martinez, 33.24. 14, David Bianchini, 36.29.

400—8, Josiah Martinez, 1:22.21.

800—4, David Bianchini, 3:12.64.

Javelin—3, David Bianchini, 58-0.

11-year-old boys

100—21, Aiden Dowell, 16.60.

Shot put—8, Aiden Dowell, 20-2½.

Javelin—1, Aiden Dowell, 67-9.

12-year-old girls

100—3, Jaclyn Chukwuma, 13.25.

200—2, Jaclyn Chukwuma, 26.87. 21, Ashlynne Demontigny, 32.70. 28, Alexandria Frank, 35.88.

400—1, Jaclyn Chukwuma, 1:02.14. 17, Addison Turner, 1:14.24. 21, Alexandria Frank, 1:31.69.

800—8, Addison Turner, 3:06.38. 9, Ashlynne Demontigny, 3:11.47.

80 hurdles—4, Isabella Bianchini, 14.51. 6, Ashlynne Demontigny, 16.28. 11, Addison Turner, 18.19.

Long jump—8, Isabella Bianchini, 11-4½.

High jump—3, Isabella Bianchini, 3-10.

12-year-old boys

100—2, Josiah Wilson, 13.65. 6, Jermaine Nance, 14.25. 11, Rithvik Illuri, 14.50.

200—4, Josiah Wilson, 27.58. 10, Jermaine Nance, 30.59. 19, Izik Quezada, 34.83.

400—16, Oliver Byrd, 1:10.56.

80 hurdles—2, Oliver Byrd, 15.78.

High jump—5, Izik Quezada, 2-10.

Shot put—6, Izik Quezada, 24-9.

4x100 relay—2, 5 North (Jermaine Nance, Josiah Wilson, Oliver Byrd, Rithvik Illuri), 57.75.

13-year-old girls

100—16, Sophia McIntyre, 15.13.

200—15, Scarlette McIntyre, 30.02. 17, Sophia McIntyre, 30.37.

400—10, Linda Medrano, 1:07.16. 17, Scarlette McIntyre, 1:10.35.

800—2, Kyrrahlynn Dowell, 2:33.96. 6, Linda Medrano, 2:38.87.

100 hurdles—4, Kyrrahlynn Dowell, 17.65.

200 hurdles—6, Kyrrahlynn Dowell, 31.76. 10, Linda Medrano, 35.16.

Long jump—5, Scarlette McIntyre, 13-2½. 7, Sophia McIntyre, 12-5. 12, Linda Medrano, 10-5.

High jump—1, Kyrrahlynn Dowell, 4-8.

13-year-old boys

100—7, Aiden Simon, 12.83.

200—7, Aiden Simon, 26.12.

400—9, Aiden Simon, 59.16.

800—11, Isaiah Pratt, 2:57.41. 12, Kobe Thomas, 2:58.30.

Long jump—7, Kobe Thomas, 12-5½. 8, Isaiah Pratt, 9-10½.

14-year-old girls

100—2, Ciella Seals, 12.84.

200—6, Ciella Seals, 26.91. 29, Alison Byrd, 31.33. 34, Sarah Villanueva, 35.79.

400—18, Alison Byrd, 1:13.25. 19, Sarah Villanueva, 1:20.85.

800—7, Sarah Villanueva, 3:23.90.

100 hurdles—6, Alison Byrd, 21.02.

14-year-old boys

200—10, Andrew Simmons, 26.24.

400—12, Antonio Aguirre, 1:08.98.

800—8, Andrew Simmons, 2:38.10. 10, Antonio Aguirre, 2:43.73.

1500—8, Ishan Dehal, 5:59.09.

3000—5, Ishan Dehal, 13:39.69.

200—1, Antonio Aguirre, 33.06.

4x100 relay—3, 5 North (Aiden Simon, Kobe Thomas, Antonio Aguirre, Andrew Simmons), 54.18.

15-16 boys

100—13, Christian Lavagetto, 12.14.

200—13, Christian Lavagetto, 24.82. 23, John Villanueva, 26.19.

400—7, Christian Lavagetto, 56.08. 14, John Villanueva, 59.23.

400 hurdles—4, John Villanueva, 1:08.31.

AAU Region 22 qualifier

June 12-15, Oakdale High, Oakdale

Top six advance to Junior Olympics

8-and-under girls

100—9, Sarai Brooks, 19.60. 10, Veronica Tomova, 19.82.

200—7, Veronica Tomova, 41.95. 9, Sarai Brooks, 42.92.

800—3, Kendall Kitchens, 3:52.08.

Long jump—2, Kendall Kitchens, 5-8. 4, Veronica Tomova, 5-4.

8-and-under boys

100—8, Jasiah Presley, 17.46. 15, Bugatti Tosco, 24.50.

200—5, Devin Cortinas, 35.61.

800—4, Tyler Willey, 3:14.56.

Long jump—3, Tyler Willey, 7-6½. 7, Jasiah Presley, 6-2. 12, Bugatti Tosco, 2-10.

Shot put—1, Devin Cortinas, 17-1½. 3, Jasiah Presley, 13-5.

9-year-old girls

100—5, Jade Colver, 16.82.

200—6, Jade Colver, 37.60.

Long jump—3, Jade Colver, 8-3½. 7, Laila Pratt, 4-10½.

9-year-old boys

200—7, Mario Quezada, 33.39.

Shot put—1, Mario Quezada, 17-7.

High jump—1, Mario Quezada, 3-6.

10-year-old girls

200—8, Rachel Middleton, 33.90.

Long jump—3, Rachel Middleton, 10-1½.

10-year-old boys

200—5, Daniel Middleton, 31.63. 7, David Bianchini, 35.18.

400—3, David Bianchini, 1:17.34.

800—3, David Bianchini, 3:05.73.

Long jump—1, Daniel Middleton, 10-0.

11-year-old girls

100—7, Borislava Tomova, 16.18.

800—3, Ava Moschetti, 2:54.16.

1,500—2, Ava Moschetti, 5:54.07.

3,000—1, Ava Moschetti, 12:43.01.

Long jump—3, Borislava Tomova, 12-2.

High jump—2, Borislava Tomova, 3-8.

11-year-old boys

100—7, Aiden Dowell, 16.60.

200—7, Aiden Dowell, 34.41.

Turbo-javelin—2, Aiden Dowell, 70-6.

12-year-old girls

200—2, Jaclyn Chukwuma, 26.70. 14, Ashlynne Demontigny, 30.92.

400—3, Jaclyn Chukwuma, 1:01.75. 8, Ashlynne Demontigny, 1:12.55.

80 hurdles—3, Isabella Bianchini, 14.26. 4, Ashlynne Demontigny, 15.95. 6, Addison Turner, 18.17.

800—4, Isabella Bianchini, 3:02.32. 6, Addison Turner, 3:08.30.

Long jump—8, Isabella Bianchini, 11-4.

Outdoor pentathlon—3, Isabella Bianchini, 1795.

12-year-old boys

100—4, Jermaine Nance, 13.93. 7, Rithvik Illuri, 14.21.

200—5, Jermaine Nance, 29.07. 7, Oliver Byrd, 29.72. 10, Rithvik Illuri, 31.08. 14, Izik Quezada, 34.02.

400—4, Oliver Byrd, 1:11.80.

80 hurdles—1, Oliver Byrd, 15.35.

Long jump—5, Jermaine Nance, 12-0.

13-year-old girls

400—4, Kyrrahlynn Dowell, 1:07.04. 5, Linda Medrano, 1:07.27.

200 hurdles—1, Kyrrahlynn Dowell, 31.73.

800—4, Linda Medrano, 2:43.92.

1,500—3, Linda Medrano, 5:44.74.

Long jump—3, Kyrrahlynn Dowell, 13-1½. 4, Linda Medrano, 12-3½.

Outdoor pentathlon—1, Kyrrahlynn Dowell, 1994.

13-year-old boys

100—5, Aiden Simon, 12.77.

200—4, Aiden Simon, 25.36. 11, Kobe Thomas, 33.58.

400—5, Aiden Simon, 59.37. 7, Kobe Thomas, 1:13.18.

200 hurdles—2, Trovoy McKinney Jr., 50.41.

800—4, Isaiah Pratt, 3:01.08.

Long jump—4, Kobe Thomas, 11-6½.

14-year-old girls

100—1, Ciella Seals, 13.00. 13, Alison Byrd, 14.96. 14, Sarah Villanueva, 17.17.

200—3, Ciella Seals, 27.29. 11, Alison Byrd, 31.06. 12, Sarah Villanueva, 36.02.

400—5, Alison Byrd, 1:11.10. 7, Sarah Villanueva, 1:21.50.

200 hurdles—2, Alison Byrd, 35.90.

800—5, Sarah Villanueva, 3:13.59.

14-year-old boys

100—6, Andrew Simmons, 12.75.

200—7, Andrew Simmons, 26.49.

400—7, Antonio Aguirre, 1:07.23.

100 hurdles—1, Andrew Simmons, 18.49.

200 hurdles—2, Antonio Aguirre, 32.75.

800—3, Andrew Simmons, 2:31.63. 4, Antonio Aguirre, 2:36.74. 5, Ishan Dehal, 2:42.03.

1,500—1, Antonio Aguirre, 5:23.44.

Outdoor pentathlon—1, Antonio Aguirre, 1228.

15-16 boys

100—6, Christian Lavagetto, 12.11.

200—3, Christian Lavagetto, 24.94. 8, John Villanueva, 26.52.

400—3, Christian Lavagetto, 57.87. 4, John Villanueva, 59.48.

110 hurdles—2, John Villanueva, 20.39.

400 hurdles—1, John Villanueva, 1:07.15.

800—1, Rison Pereira, 2:10.92.

1,500—1, Rison Pereira, 4:45.16.

Contact Sports Editor Bob Brownne at brownne@tracypress.com, or call 209-830-4227.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.