A fast start Wednesday helped propel Rayann Booker to a fast time.
The Righetti sophomore got a big start out of the blocks and sprinted to a win in 12.05 seconds in the girls 100 meters at the CCAA FAT (Central Coast Athletic Association Fully Automatic Timed) meet at Santa Maria High School.
"That ties my PR," that she ran in the event last year, said Booker. "The start was the big thing for me," in the race Wednesday.
Booker qualified for the CIF Southern Section divisional finals in the 100 as a freshman last year. "I think I'm out ahead of where I was at this point last year," she said.
Thirteen of the 18 area high school athletic programs moved from the CIF Southern Section to the Central Section early last year, and most of those schools, including every Santa Maria Valley track team, were represented at this meet. The 2018-19 school year is the first one in the Central Section for the new members.
The meet on a Wednesday in which a mild, slightly breezy afternoon turned into a chilly evening was a varsity-only one.
With three events left to be scored at press time, the San Luis Obispo girls led handily over second-place Paso Robles, 139.5-82. Paso Robles and Arroyo Grande were tied for the boys lead with 86 points.
The Orcutt Academy boys were the highest-placing Santa Maria Valley team at press time. The Spartans stood fourth with 51 points.
Max Daniels helped the Spartans to a lot of those points. He set school records with a win in 23.00 in the open 200 and a second-place in the long jump at 20 feet, 9 inches. He anchored the Orcutt Academy 4x100 relay team to victory in 44.55, another school record, in the first boys event of the day.
Daniels teamed with Donavan Miller, Jaden Davis and his younger brother, Casey Daniels, for the 4x100 win. Max Daniels anchored the Orcutt 4x400 relay team to a third-place finish. Though they weren't sure of the time at press time, Orcutt coaches believed it was fast enough to be another school record.
"I didn't run that event today, but I run the 400 too," Max Daniels said.
"That helps me finish strong in the (200). The start was good out of the blocks, and that really helped."
Nipomo freshman Kacie Slover qualified for the 2018 state cross country meet. She won the first open event of the meet Wednesday, the girls 1,600, in a solid 5:21.04.
Slover ran to a big lead during the first lap, gave the lead up on the last lap and then sprinted from behind in the final 100 to pull out a close win.
"My finishing kick went pretty well in cross country," Slover said. "My cross country coach, coach (Jeff) Long and now my distance coach in track, coach (Carlyn) Hinds, has really helped me with that.
"I hadn't been starting fast, but coach Hinds has told me to go ahead and start faster, and she knows what she's talking about."
Unlike the Southern Section, where athletes who don't win at their respective league meets must meet a pre-set standard at a league meet to qualify for the post-season, coaches at the meet said, Central Section athletes can meet pre-set standards at any time during the season and advance.
Booker figured to get in with her 12.05 Wednesday. Some other particularly impressive winning early season marks that day included Paso Robles' Clay Wilhausen's 14-4 in the boys pole vault, Arroyo Grande's Justice Fair's 15.23 in the boys 110 high hurdles, San Luis Obispo's Anneke Moersdorf's 36-6 in the girls triple jump and Arroyo Grande's Hailey Goodell's 2:21.43 in the girls 800.
Moersdorf anchored the San Luis Obispo's 4x100 relay team to a win in 50.90 in the first event of the meet. She teamed with Addie New-Schmidt, Maddie Fletcher and Lily Svetich.
Fletcher won the open 200 in 26.3. Svetich took the open 400 in 1:01.77.
Templeton sophomore Merran Grindley was the Ocean League girls soccer co-MVP, and she scored a hurdles double Wednesday. Grindley won the 100 hurdles in 16.38 and the 300 hurdles in 49.28.
Corban Payne of Paso Robles racked up a throws double. He won the boy shot put with a solid best of 52 feet, 9 inches and the discus at 144-4.
Santa Maria 174, Pioneer Valley 111
The Saints garnered an Ocean League win over the Panthers.