By Zach Cavanagh
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The long and strange 2020-21 high school athletics year came to an end for San Clemente on Saturday, June 12, as the Tritons track and field team participated in the final competitions for any San Clemente High School athletes this season.
San Clemente competed in six events at the CIF-SS Division 1 track and field finals at Trabuco Hills High School, and despite some strong showings, the Tritons were unable to secure any top-three positions.
San Clemente’s highest finisher was senior Natalie Vissman, who posted a fourth-place finish in the girls high jump. Vissman narrowly missed out on a medal spot with a personal-record clearance height of 5 feet, 4 inches, which was the same as those placing from second place through sixth. However, the tiebreaker goes to the fewest number of attempts needed to clear the height, and Vissman took fourth.
Junior sprinter Caroline Hawkes placed sixth in both of her individual races. Hawkes ran her second-best time of the season in the girls 200 meters at 25.18 seconds and her third-best time of the season in the girls 400 meters at 56.63 seconds.
Hawkes, senior Madelyn Poole, freshman Lyza Yetter and sophomore Kennedy Banks ran in the girls 4×400-meter relay, where San Clemente placed seventh at 4:04.
In the 3,200-meter race, senior Kelsie Yamano finished in eighth at 11:18. The UC San Diego-bound Yamano did not initially qualify out of the CIF-SS preliminaries, but after a competitor bowed out, Yamano stepped in as an alternate and posted her second-best time of the season.
On the boys side, senior Pierce Egbert finished eighth in the pole vault with a clearance of 13 feet, 9 inches. Egbert cleared a personal record of 14 feet even in the preliminaries.
Valdez Swings at CIF-SS Individual Golf Championship
San Clemente senior golfer Aiden Valdez’s admirable run through the CIF-SS postseason came to an end on Thursday, June 10.
Valdez shot a 9-over-par 81 to finish tied for 44th at the CIF-SS boys individual championships and SCGA qualifier at the River Ridge Golf Course in Oxnard.
Valdez had qualified for the individual championships with a second-place finish at the CIF-SS Southern Division championship on June 2 at Western Hills Country Club in Chino Hills, and Valdez also tied for seventh among individual scores at the CIF-SS Division 2 team championships on June 7 at Bella Collina San Clemente.
Zach Cavanagh is the sports editor for Picket Fence Media. Zach is a California Journalism Award winner and has covered sports in Orange County since 2013. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ZachCav and follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SouthOCSports. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.