Grizzlies have a field day at Masters meet

Nielsen, Kinloch, Zingheim win their events on day one and qualify for state
By: Robbie Enos/Roseville Press Tribune Correspondent
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The medals awarded on day one of the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Track and Field Championship must be made of honey, because Grizzlies won half of them.

Granite Bay High School athletes dominated the finals in those field events, taking three of six championships Thursday at Hughes Stadium in Sacramento.
James Kinloch claimed the discus throw, Kevin Nielsen the high jump and Katie Zingheim the pole vault.

Nielsen took the expression “mad hops” to the next level with a winning high jump of 6 feet, 7 inches. Nielsen nearly qualified for next weekend’s State Meet in the long jump as well, placing fourth.

“When I got up to higher heights, I kept my speed going,” Nielsen said. “I tried not to slow down. On those heights, I really focused on the knee drive. I got the knee drive up, and I think that’s what really helped me get there with those last jumps.”

Zingheim, headed to Stanford on scholarship, set a meet record at 13-1 to win the Masters pole vault crown for the second time. The next-best mark was 12-3.

“My approach was to just work on the technical things that I’ve been drilling into my head,” Zingheim said. “I wasn’t too concerned about the qualifier because it was pretty low. So I just wanted to hit the qualifier and then kind of relax, and then get those big marks.”

Kinloch struggled out of the gate. His first several throws were 40 feet below his personal best.

“When I first started, I was suffering,” he said. “That first throw shook me up pretty bad. Luckily, I qualified for finals. I just had to run it out and let that anger get out.”

Midway through his throws, his father came over to coach him. Kinloch finally unleashed his full potential with a mark of 183-6.

“My dad is one of my coaches, and he always helps me a lot and tries to calm me down,” Kinloch said. “He told me to just keep my arm up and keep it straight, because I was dropping it low. That was causing the disk to wobble. Once I picked that back up, I picked up some serious speed.”

Other local results included Hannah Hardy of Woodcreek finishing third in the girls long jump with a mark of 17-8¼ and qualifying for the State Meet, Nelson Quinley of Oakmont placing fifth in the boys discus with a throw of 163 feet, and Ariel Maroon of Roseville clearing 10-9 in the girls pole vault to finish sixth.