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Tomas Kassahun

Brandon Ramirez, Jaden Zdarstek, Ryan Wristen, Ramon Ruiz Set 4×1 Record At SJM

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San Joaquin Memorial’s 4×1 team has made history. The team of Jaden Zdarstek, Brandon Ramirez, Ryan Wristen and Ramon Ruiz broke the school record in the 4×1 when they finished with a time of 42.78 at the Thunderbird Classic in Delano on April 28.

When anchor Ramon Ruiz gave his team the lead after taking the baton from Ryan Wristen, the Panthers put themselves in position to make history. As he watched Ruiz take the lead, Ramirez said he had a feeling that something special was about to happen.

Something special did apparently happen for the Panthers, who executed their handoffs as planned from the beginning and set the new mark while finishing ahead of Ridgeview (43.23).

Neither the opponents nor the heat were enough to deter the Panthers’ confidence on that memorable day in Kern County.

“We felt good and confident that we would PR going into the race,” Ramirez said. “It was a hot a day, but the track was good. I did believe we could have a performance like this.”

The Panthers were determined to break the 4×1 record all season long. At the West Coast Relays on April 1, the team of Wristen, Ruiz, Ramirez and Gerald Perry inched closer to the goal, finishing with a time of 43.39. The breakthrough moment finally happened nearly a month later in Delano.

“This is something we knew we could get by the season,” Ramirez said.

Although he is heading to Fresno State to play football, Ramirez said track-and-field still holds a special place in his heart.

“I love track because it’s a sport where you are on your own and it challenges you to do your best,” he said. “It helps you get in top shape and get faster which is important for other sports like football.”

Ramirez, who holds an impeccable resume as a student-athlete at San Joaquin Memorial, including CMAC Offensive Player of the Year as a running back and The Fresno Bee‘s Player of the Year last season, will look to add a few more accolades on the track before closing the book on his high school journey.

“Some goals of mine are to beat my personal records, win League and divisionals. Also qualify for Masters and State,” he said.