Competing against the best Division I athletes in the Sac-Joaquin Section, there was little margin for error for Davis High runner Chris Izqueirdo and Modesto jumper Stephanie Stavrianoudakis.
That last bit of energy that each was able to produce was the difference between bringing home a championship medal or finishing in second place.
Izqueirdo won the 800-meter race in 1 minute, 57.26 seconds, beating Davis of Yolo's Corey Coates by nine-hundredths of a second. It was quite a turnaround from last year's section Division I meet, where Izqueirdo finished in 24th place in 2:05.78.
Stavrianoudakis provided a similar display of strength, winning the triple jump with a distance of 36 feet, 11¾ inches -- beating Buhach Colony's Rio Schwalbach, who soared 36-8 to finish second.
The performances earned Izqueirdo and Stavrianoudakis berths in the Masters Meet, Thursday and Friday at Hughes Stadium in Sacramento -- the site of Friday night's Division I competition.
That's where they'll meet up with the top performers from the Division II and III meets, which were held earlier this week. The top three finishers in each event at Masters qualify for the State Meet.
Beyond Izqueirdo and Stavrianoudakis, it was a lean night for Stanislaus District athletes -- no one else brought home a title. Since the top 10 finishers in each event go to Masters, however, there will be plenty of athletes running and jumping next week.
The girls' pole vault was the district's deepest event, as four athletes are going on to the Masters.
Modesto's Sarah Skinner went 9-1 to finish third -- just 3 inches behind the winning height -- while Pitman's Kyndel Fletcher was fourth, Turlock's Alexandra Assali-Agresti was eighth and Johansen's Taylor Carson was ninth. Assali-Agresti and Carson were two of eight jumpers eliminated at 8-1, but earned Masters berths based on fewer misses.
In some of the night's other highlights:
— Buhach Colony's Rebecca Hammar, whose sister, Rachel, won the shot put and was second in the discus at this meet a year ago, did her best to carry on the family legacy. She was second in the discus with a toss of 136-9 and fourth in the shot put at 38-3.
— Merced's Afrikaa Holloway was the district's top boys' jumper, finishing fourth in the triple jump (44-5) and sixth in the long jump (21-8¼).
— Golden Valley's Porsha Grayson also advanced in two jumping events, finished second in the long jump (17-4¾) and fifth in the triple jump (36 feet).
— Davis' Roberto Rosas was third with a 9:36.51 in the 3,200. He couldn't duplicate the title he won last year, even though he was faster by seven seconds.