Hickey Freeman

20 May 19
Times-Herald
The strategy for the 400-meter run is not the same as the 100 or 200 dashes. It’s also not the same as some of the longer distance events like the 800, 1,600 or 3,200. Maybe most of all, it takes the right mindset to excel at the race. Benicia High sophomore Katelyn Carro certainly had that at the Meet of Champions on Friday and Saturday. The MOC is the North Coast Section’s section championship. Carro advanced to the 101st CIF State Track & Field Championships in Clovis with a third-place finish at the section finals on Saturday at Diablo Valley College. Her time of 55.95 seconds was a personal-best. She is the Times-Herald Athlete of the Week. Carro said finishing second overall (first in her heat) in the section trials gave her a boost heading into the finals. “I think it did give me some confidence, but it was tough all the way through,” she said Sunday afternoon. “The 400 is a hard race. It is mentally and physically tough. I think I learned to love it a little bit more this year.” As a freshman, Carro advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Masters meet in three events last season — the 400, 200 and as a part of the 4-by-100 relay team. She said that relay team took up more of her focus last season but she concentrated on the 400 more this year. Pete Keys, one of Carro’s coaches, said it took some time for his sophomore to understand the strategy of the 400 and how to run with the other top athletes in the section. “The last two weeks we worked on technical approach and key points in her race, and with that Katelyn was also peaking at the right time,” he said. “So working on all the little things, it all came together. She also knew she needed to be in the top three to advance to state, which gave her the extra boost. Katelyn has a lot left in the tank to turns heads and make an statement at state.” Carro said improving her start in the 400 had a big effect at the section final. “My coaches are always talking to me about starting too slow,” she said. “I usually have a strong finish but I guess I worry about running hard in the last 100 (yards) and not having anything left. I just have to thank God for having the strength to finish strong.” In the finals, Belle Aduaka of Foothill took first (55.64) and Maddy Doane of Campolindo was second (55.66). Carro’s third-place time was more than enough to beat out the fourth-place finisher Zoe McDonough of Washington (57.67). “I didn’t want to get too confident but I tried to push myself to stay with the top people,” Carro said. “I also wanted to P.R. I was really excited about getting (55.95). I wanted to break 56.” Carro acknowledged it’s been a little tough training with a smaller group lately at Benicia High, but she said one of her friends, Sophia Hickey, has been helping train with her. The sophomore also qualified for the Tournament of Champions in the 200 but didn’t advance to the second day. “I did break 25 this year but I was so focused on the 400 so it was hard to put everything into the 200,” she said. One unexpected feature of in the Tournament of Champions was a heavy storm on Saturday. That didn’t seem to affect Carro. “It’s actually pretty fun running in the rain,” she said. “There’s a certain buzz you get.” She heads into state with the 13th best qualifying time. The top mark heading into the state trials is Samantha Monrroy of Millikan High of the Southern Section (54.16). Honorable mention Nate Freeman (Benicia baseball) pitched 6 2/3 innings of scoreless ball in a North Coast Section playoff win over Northgate. He struck out 10 batters and allowed just three hits. Adrien Garcia (St. Pat’s baseball) only gave up two hits and after the first inning allowed no runner to reach second base in his 11-1, five-inning complete-game win over Swett in the NCS playoffs. Ashley Middling (St. Pat’s softball) Middling had a four-hit game in a playoff win over Salesian. Deijah Pangilinan (St. Pat’s softball) hit two home runs in a win over El Molino, including a walk off homer in the fifth to win the game 12-2. She then hit three home runs in a 19-0 win against Salesian. Bailey Sample, (Benicia softball) doubled twice and drove in three runs in a playoff win over Las Lomas. Croix Stewart (American Canyon track and field) Stewart qualified in the 100-meter dash with a fourth-place finish in the Meet of Champions trials. Stewart qualified for the TOC in the 200 and two relays but was hampered by the injury in those. Toyota Vallejo Athlete of the Week Name: Katelyn Carro School: Benicia Sport: Track and field Achievements: Qualified for state in the 400 after taking third overall at the Meet of Champions at Diablo Valley College. She had a new personal-best mark in the event.
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