In spite of very hot weather, the MacCanDo team performed competitively at its first national qualifiers in Tulare, California on June 15-16, 2012.
All competitors qualified for at least one event in which they participated.
The youngest boy on the team, Leo Sweeney, 8 years old, initiated a medal rush for the team. Competing in shot-put for the first time, Leo won a silver medal. Leo is coached by team captain, Christian Eik.
A rookie hurdler, Sophia Fulton, snatched the AAU Area 23 Northern California title in the 80m hurdles Midget Girls’ Division. Fulton, ranked 5th in the pre-meet performance list, had a great start, and by the second hurdle, the race was over. She maintained her beautiful hurdling with speed and agility, winning a gold medal in front of her family members.
A multi-event athlete, Enrique Alvarado-Lobo entered in the high jump, triple jump, javelin throw and 200m hurdles and won 4 medals (1-gold, 1-silver and 2 bronze). Enrique also set his personal record in the 200m hurdles, almost one second faster than the previous week.
The Intermediate Boys’ 4x100m Relay Team (Wheaton, Buenaventura-Smith, Eik and Tieu) also won a gold medal and qualified for the National Junior Olympics.
Rookie long jumper and lead-off relay man, Michael Wheaton, with a distance of 19 feet 5, placed 5th in the long jump, Intermediate Boys’ Division.
For two consecutive years, Jacob Buenaventura-Smith remarkably qualified in the 100m and 200m dash. Jacob now has three events in which to compete at the Nationals.
Sadie Ray Smith jumped 11 feet 10 and won a silver medal in the long jump Sub-Midget Girls’ Division. At the jumping pit, Sadie Ray and competitors demonstrated beautiful sportswomanship, cheering each other on and helping one another. It was a beautiful scene for coaches and parents to witness.
Lindsay Chen qualified for discus and shot put in the Intermediate Girls’ Division. This is her 3rd consecutive time in qualifying for the Nationals.
Trevor Claros qualified for the triple jump with a distance of 38 feet 5. One week later he set another personal record at Los Gatos All Comers meet, with a distance of 42 feet. He and his family are excited about competing at the National Junior Olympics in Houston, TX.
The youngest member of the club, four year-old Maiya Alvarado-Lobo entered in 3 events. This was her very first championship meet and she finished all events. For a four year-old child, staying in her lane while running and finishing the race without any assistance was fantastic.
It was an emotional come-back for team captain Christian Eik at the last event on Friday, June 15th, at 8 p.m. Christian Eik took his place at the shot-put pit. In this particular championship, Christian was favored to take the 3rd place based on the pre-meet performance list in the Young Men’s Division. Although Christian was steadily throwing close to his best marks, other competitors were throwing farther than him, and he was frustrated. After Christian’s third attempt, Head Coach Robert shouted from the other end of the pit, “Let’s go, Christian, throw your shot and hit the coach’s head!” On the last attempt, Christian marked his life-time best of 41 feet 11, surpassing his personal best of 38 feet 4 he set just one week prior. Christian won the gold medal. “I took a deep breath, calmed myself and told myself to enjoy this last throw – and that did it!” It was a very emotional moment for Christian, who had been unable to train as much as he wished this season. He redeemed himself at the crucial time.