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FCS Track competes in the D4 Championship

Students continue to smash school records on track

On May 1, Fresno Christian’s track team arrived at Caruthers High School for the annual North West Sequoia League meet. After an exciting season, they are eager to compete against the top athletes in the league and have a chance to qualify for the next meet, the Division 4 Championship.  

Caruthers High School is hosting the meet for the first time on their newly finished track. All the North Sequoia League schools gather there for a chance to compete in individual events and hope for a chance to win the meet. 

Matt Tacchino, ’26, participates in his first season of Track, throwing shot put. (Madeleine Durham)

Freshman Hailey Higton earned First-Team honors in three events and won three medals, finishing 3rd in the 4×100, 2nd in the 4×400, and 3rd in the 800 meters alongside freshman teammate Giada Gilmore Young, who also earned First-Team honors and medals in the relays. 

The girl’s team finished fifth out of ten teams in the league with only 8 girls competing. They were seven points off from beating Fowler who had 39 more girls. Track & Field Coach Shawn Young was ecstatic about their placement.

“The girls finished fifth out of ten teams with only eight girls competing,” Young said. “That was an incredible place considering some teams in our league have dozens more girls than ours.”

Another highlight was the girls 4×400 team comprised of Kayla Castro, ’27, Giada Gilmore Young, ’27, Hailey Higton, ’27, and Laina Penland, ’25, running a season record of 4:27.08 to finish second in the league. Laina anchored the 4×400 team with a 59.61 400 split, closing a huge gap to Caruthers who won the event. Laina finished First-Team All-League (top 3 in each event) in four events and earned four medals, including third in the 4×100 relay, 2nd in the 4×400 relay, 2nd in the 400 meters, and 3rd in the 200 meters.  She reflected on the 4×400 relay race.

Laina Penland, 25′, runs the 400-meter dash and takes home a medal. (Madeleine Durham)

“I knew it would be a big gap to close, but I had my target set,” Penland said. “I started to get closer to her and all I was thinking about was finishing the race strong.”

On the boy’s side, Blake Bay, ’27, finished 3rd in the 3200 meters and earned First-Team All-League honors. He stayed for almost the entire meet as his event the 3200m was one of the last events of the day.

“The league meet was fun and exciting,” Bay said. “I enjoyed running against the other teams.” 

The California Interscholastic Federation Division Four Championships held at Caruthers High School followed the league championships. Division Four track teams from the Central Section gathered to compete on the track. Some highlights were Blake Bay, breaking his school record in the 3200 meters with a time of 9:31.98, which was faster than his previous record by almost 19 seconds. Laina Penland placed third in the 400 meters with a time of 1:01.76, earning another medal to add to her collection.

“I’m incredibly proud of our team,” Coach Dorina Gilmore Young said. “They have worked hard all season and our small, but mighty girls team made some noise in the Division 4 Champs. There is room to grow and more records to be broken in years to come.”

Bay and Bayley Wong qualified to compete in the CIF Central Section Masters Championships at Buchanan High School on Saturday, May 18. Bay will be running in the Boys 3200m and Bayley Wong in the Ambulatory 100, 200, and 400 meters. The season ended on a high note with these final marks by Bay and Wong.

To read more from The Feather read Boys Volleyball wins first round of playoffs or Boys tennis senior night! For more FCS Athletics, visit The Feather’s athletic page.

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About the Contributors
Ian Palsgaard
Ian Palsgaard, Journalist
Ian Palsgaard is a Junior who reports for The Feather online. He is the captain of the Fresno Christian Cross country team who aims to run in college. Ian believes talent is meaningless without hard work. He is looking forward to all the connections he can make well being a part of The Feathers team. On Most days after school, you can find him at Kuppa Joy enjoying a game of chess. 

Madeleine Durham
Madeleine Durham, Photojournalist
Madeleine R. Durham, '26, is a photojournalist for The Feather at Fresno Christian School. Durham joined the team to serve her school and community through photography and writing. When she’s not taking photos, you can find her volunteering at The Frappe House, reading a book, and painting, while listening to podcasts and music.   
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