Aptos High senior Hunter Matys made his trip to the CIF State Track and Field Championships a memorable one by medaling in the long jump event on Saturday.
Matys placed sixth with a leap of 22-feet, 10.75-inches, which made him the only athlete from Santa Cruz County to place at the state meet this year.
Matys said it was an incredible experience to reach the biggest stage in California for the track and field championships.
“It was amazing to be able to perform at such a high level in front of a big crowd of people,” he said.
Matys qualified third in Friday’s preliminary round. He started near the end of the heat on Saturday and jumped 22-10.75, which put him at the top of the leaderboard.
But, California High senior Jordan Aubert followed up with a jump of 23-0.5.
Matys said he was impressed with all the other great athletes competing, especially those who might be worthy of going to the Olympics some day.
“They’re just like 10 times better than me and it’s insane just seeing that,” he said.
Matys said it was a blast being around other elite athletes, especially because he loves to compete.
“Just to be able to have other people pushing me to do my best was just amazing,” he said.
Matys said he re-strained a groin pull on his second jump, which he’d suffered Monday while practicing for the state meet. He spent most of Friday night and all of Saturday morning trying to nurse the injury.
Matys got three more jump attempts and made the cut into the top nine, but it wasn’t quite close to his opening mark.
Matys had already set a personal record of 23-3 3/4, which was the school record when he jumped it at the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League finals.
“I could’ve done better but just knowing that I’m in the top-six in the state of California in the long jump is just amazing,” Matys said.
Other notable local athletes to compete in Saturday’s finals were seniors Lila Roake of Santa Cruz and Chris Anderson of San Lorenzo Valley.
Roake and Anderson both ran the 3,200. Roake placed 24th in the girls race, while Anderson took 15th in the boys event.
Santa Cruz Breakers FC 2, FC Golden State Force 1 >> Ettore Ballestracci recorded two goals for Santa Cruz Breakers FC in a win on Friday against FC Golden State Force in USL2 Western Conference Southwest Division play.
Ballestracci put the Breakers on the scoreboard early with an unassisted goal in the fifth minute. He extended the lead with his second goal of the game in the 30th minute to make it 2-0.
FC Golden State cut the deficit to a goal after Louka Masset knocked in his shot in the 85th minute. But it wasn’t enough as the Breakers FC walked away their second-straight win.
However, the winning streak was snapped after Santa Cruz came up short in a 3-1 loss against Orange County SC on Sunday.
Riley Hanley scored in the 60th minute for the Breakers to make it a 1-1 game.
But Elijah Amadin put Orange County FC back ahead in the 70th minute with his second goal of the game, while Victor Falck sealed the deal with his first goal just 20 minutes later.
Santa Cruz (2-4-1) play at Santa Cruz High against San Francisco Glens FC on Sunday at 1 p.m.