As a Righetti freshman last year, Rayann Booker was running pretty fast pretty early in the season.
A little too fast a little too early in the season, she felt. Booker did not get the finish she wanted in the CIF Southern Section 100 final at the divisional championships.
"I think I'm peaking a little better this year," she said during a recent practice session at the Righetti track.
"I think I peaked a little too early last year."
Booker, the top area girls sprinter, is one of a handful of Righetti girls who will compete in Division 2 at the Central Section Masters Meet at Clovis Buchanan High School Saturday. Field events will start at 4 p.m. Running events will start at 5 p.m.
"There aren't that many Division 2 teams, so even though we only have five girls we have a chance to place high in Division 2," said Righetti coach Mike Pope.
Rayann Booker, along with her twin sister, Reann, who will also race in the open 100 and 200, is part of the Righetti 4x100 relay team that will compete Saturday.
Kailani Cabanting will run the lead-off leg. Rayann Booker will run second, Kameah Tell will run third and Reann Booker will anchor. Cabanting and Tell are seniors.
Cabanting acknowledged that it will take some doing for Righetti's 4x100 relay squad to advance out of the sectional to the state meet. The top three finishers in each event Saturday, plus those who make pre-set at-large standards, will qualify for the CIF State Track and Field Championships that will take place May 24 and 25 at Buchanan.
"The first two (seeds in the Central Section Masters Meet) are out of our reach," said Cabanting. "Our career best is 48.5 and, looking at the times, I think we're going to have to hit that time, or go faster, to advance."
Righetti sophomore Tatianae Felemi will compete at the sectional meet in the girls shot put. The area will be well-represented in its first Central Section Masters Meet appearance, with several representatives from St. Joseph and Nipomo set to compete Saturday.
Most of the area athletic programs moved to the Central Section from the Southern Section last year.
Rayann Booker is seeded third in the 100. At press time, no other Rigehtti entrants were seeded in the top three in their events.
They think qualifying for the state meet is within their range, though.
"My (shot put) best is 37 feet, 4 inches," said Felemi."I've been hitting 38, 39 feet in practice, and if I can keep throwing that way, maybe I can hit the 42 feet I need to advance."
Hand-offs are crucial for any relay team and Tell, as her team's third runner, will be on the receiving end of the exchange with Rayann Booker before handing off to Reann Booker.
"Our hand-offs have been good," said Tell.
Reann Booker figures to have an outside chance to advance in the 100 and 200. "It just depends (as to how things are going) which one is my favorite event," she said.
Both Bookers have been highly decorated this year. Reann Booker won the Santa Barbara County championship in the girls 100 and 200. Rayann Booker repeated as league champ, this time in the Mountain League, in the 100 and 200.
Before the County meet started, Pope said it was a coach's decision not to run Rayann Booker.
All of the sprinters on the Righetti girls squad are set to go for the Central Section meet.
"As a team, we've been a lot healthier this year," said Pope.
"We coaches went to a clinic. We incorporated some of the things we took from there into the training the team does, and I think it's made a big difference."
Pope said, "We have been fortunate to have three sprint coaches, Tony Gayfield, Cameron Glasgow and myself, this year. We're able to stay on top of things with the girls' training."