Ricks, Hebert advance to state meet


Erin Fox, Managing Editor

Senior Madison Ricks and junior Lillianna Hebert qualified for the CIF Track and Field State Championships after placing in the top three at the NCS Meet of Champions on Saturday.

Ricks placed second in the 800 meters with a time of 2:14.16 and is returning to the State Championships for the first time since sophomore year.

The State Championships will be Friday and Saturday at Buchanan High School in Clovis, just outside Fresno.

“I’m just really excited for the state meet,” said Ricks. “Either Friday or Saturday is my last high school race.  I want to finish strong and run fast.”

Ricks’s future University of Southern California coach will watch her run at the State Championships, which she has now qualified for three times in four years.  Her junior year was the only year she didn’t qualify.

Ricks also qualified for the state meet in cross country once.

At NCS Meet of Champions (MOC), Hebert placed third in the triple jump with a distance of 38 feet, 1.5 inches to earn her first trip to state.

Overall, Cal finished seventh with 22 points at MOC, which took place Friday and Saturday at UC Berkeley.

Hebert nearly advanced in two events after placing  fourth in the high jump with a height of 5-03, earning a medal.  The top three in each event advanced.

“(Even) though I only qualified for state in triple jump, I feel as though this season has gone amazingly well for both of my events,” said Hebert. “ I have become more technically sound and I am determined to train even harder and qualify for state in both of them next year.”

Hebert actually cleared the same height as Cal sophomore Jen Kurtz, but Kurtz took fifth because she achieved her jump on her final try. Both medaled in the event. Kurtz advanced to state in the high jump last year as a freshman.

In the discus throw, junior Leti Hingano medaled with  fifth place with a distance of 121-11, while her sister Mata, a sophomore, placed 14th with a distance of 111-07. Junior Helen Kimber placed 19th with a distance of 104-03, and finished 13th in shot put with a distance of 34-11.5.

Head track coach Mark Karbo is optimistic about Ricks’ and Heberts’s chances at the State Championships.

“I think they’ll do well, both have a good chance to make it to finals,” Karbo said. “[They did] a fantastic job to qualify for the state meet. It’s a great accomplishment.”

The girls’ track team placed second at the NCS Tri-Valley Area Championships on May 24 with 43 points. Deer Valley won the meet, which was at Amador Valley High in Pleasanton.

Ricks qualified for MOC for the fourth and final time during her high school running career, despite a pelvic twist injury. She placed second in the 800 with a time of 2:17.56, but she is still hoping to improve at the state finals.

She currently holds the top spot on the school’s Top 10 List for the 800 with a time of 2:09.52, which she achieved sophomore year.

Hebert placed second in the high jump with a height of 5-6 and also second in the triple jump with a length of 37-2 ¾.

Leti Hingano won the discus throw with a distance of 125 feet. Kurtz took fourth in the high jump with a height of 5-6. Kimber placed fourth in the shot put with a distance of 36-9 ¾ and sixth in the discus throw with a distance of 107-8.

Mata Hingano qualified for the MOC for the first time in discus throw with a distance of 105-11.

“I’m proud of how I’ve improved this season, my PR for discus was 107 and now it’s 115,” Mata Hingano said.

Mata Hingano says her sister Leti Hingano, also a qualified discus thrower, contributed to her success this season.

“Watching her really helped my mistakes and she’s coached me,” said Hingano. She described her favorite part of track this season as practicing with her sister and getting close with the rest of her team.

For the men’s team, junior Christian Aldana qualified for his first MOC in the 800 with his time of 1:59.28. He described feeling pretty excited and a little nervous about the upcoming meet and attributed his success with many thanks to his fellow varsity teammates.

“Shout out to [them] for helping me and pushing past my limits and for helping me achieve my goals.” Aldana said.