Clovis North Shines: Madsen and Bitter Lead Shot Put Domination

Clovis North throwers Mckay Madsen and Brayden Bitter stand atop the awards podium in first (Madsen) and second (Bitter) place at the C.I.F State Track and Field Championships on May 24-25 (Photo by Armando Negrete, Instagram @etergen_sports).

May 26, 2024 – Veteran’s Memorial Stadium filled with excitement as people from across the state settled in for the final events of the 2024 CIF Track and Field State Championships. Among the athletes, the Clovis North shot put team stood out, etching their names into the annals of high school sports history with an unforgettable performance.

Junior McKay Madsen, a rising star in the field events, emerged as the evening’s hero. With a powerful display of strength and technique, Madsen clinched the gold in the shot put, his throw landing at an impressive 62 feet, 9 1/2 inches. But the story didn’t end there. Standing beside him on the podium was his teammate, senior Brayden Bitter, who secured the silver medal. Together, their achievement solidified Clovis North’s dominance in the event.

“It feels great, you know I really wanted the gold, but I’m happy it went to the right person,” Bitter said, his smile reflecting genuine pride. He was thrilled for Madsen, a bigger smile taking shape as he acknowledged his teammate’s achievement. “Awesome, he deserves it. He works so hard; I know how hard he works. So well deserved.”

The competition had been fierce, but Madsen’s focus and determination shone through. His victory was capped off superbly when his mother, school board trustee and former Miss California Tiffany Stoker Madsen, presented him with the gold medal. It was a moment that captured the essence of the CIF’s mission: fostering connections and creating memorable experiences for student-athletes.

Meanwhile, Buchanan High School’s girls’ 4×800 relay team celebrated their own triumph on home turf. The team, composed of Kynzlee Buckley, Elle Lomeli, Sierra Cornett, and Ellie Dimitrashchuk, delivered a stellar performance, securing third place with a time of 9:02.90. For these young athletes, it was a testament to their hard work and resilience throughout a challenging season.

“We’ve just been working really hard at practice. Working as a team, remembering all the training we’ve been through,” said sophomore Kynzlee Buckley, her eyes shining with determination.

Junior Elle Lomeli added, “It feels really good for me. I know all of us are super excited. It’s been a rough season, so coming out here with a great team and competing on our home turf was just an amazing way to end the season. Everyone we love is here, so it’s just been a great night.”

“This was our first time,” junior Sierra Cornett stated, highlighting this group’s instant chemistry. With none of them being seniors, the future looks bright for this talented quartet.

As the stadium lights began to dim, the atmosphere of the 104th CIF Track and Field State Championships lingered in the cool Clovis night. The Clovis North boys had also made their mark in the discus, with Madsen taking gold and teammate Derek Smith securing second place. Central High’s Noel Felix and Buchanan’s Ethan Avalos added to the local tally of impressive performances, rounding out a night that celebrated the heart and soul of high school sports.

The CIF’s mission statement, emphasizing the importance of belonging, connection, and positive competition, resonated deeply throughout the event. It was a night where athletes were not just champions on the field, but also ambassadors of sportsmanship and community spirit.

As the cheers faded and the athletes left the field, the echoes of their achievements remained, a reminder that for these young competitors, it truly is bigger than sports.

Other notable Clovis performances:

Buchanan boys placed 8th in the 4x800m relay (7:46.07).

Finton Keegan of Buchanan placed 9th in the long jump (22-06).

Clovis North girls placed 5th in the 4x800m relay (9:08.97).

Clovis North girls placed 5th in the 4x400m relay (3:47.42).

Marcus Salinas of Clovis East placed 8th in the 1600m (4:12.31).

Indiana Davis of Clovis East placed 9th in the high jump (5-5).

Harold Duvall of Clovis East placed 5th in the long jump (23-2 3/4).