Javier Contreras gets a do-over. The Madera High senior will get at least three more throws in his high school shot putting career. Depending on how those go in today’s state meet trials, he could have even more in Saturday’s finals.
Contreras has had a tremendous four-year career for the Coyotes, and heads to the CIF state track and field championships at Buchanan High as the Central Section champion — a title he was denied last season.
He had the section’s best mark last year, but finished second. While he still qualified for the state meet, not winning ate away at him for an entire year. And while the chance for redemption was in his grasp, it looked like the title he so desperately wanted was slipping away again at this year’s section championships.
He was sitting in fifth place with one throw left. But on his final throw, Contreras uncorked a huge toss that hit the dirt with a thud. He thought it was good enough to place in the top three, but not likely enough to win him the coveted title of Valley champion. And the measuring tape can be a cruel mistress. But once the dust cleared, the toss was measured at 53 feet, 9 3/4 inches to win the event by nearly a foot...