Track and field’s best shoot for Valley and state gold

Featured photo, contributed photo – Paramveer Chohan passes the baton to Cuby Dunu in the 4×1 relay earlier this season at Clovis High. The relay team is currently No. 3 in the Central Section with a time of 42.49.

By Paul Meadors, Sports Editor

Paramveer Chohan is a step closer to his ultimate goal – a state title in the 300 intermediate hurdles – and along the way, he’s placed himself atop the Central Section record book. And he’s hopefully bringing some friends with him.

The Buchanan senior, who placed fourth in state last season, currently holds the No. 2 time in the state and is No. 1 all-time in the Central Section with a time of 37.05.

He also has the top time (14.53) in the Valley in the 110h but the 300h is his signature event, a race that he’s been working hard to perfect.

“It feels good to be ranked second in the state at this point in the season,” said Chohan, who’s undecided on a college. “I’m proud to have the best mark in Valley history because I’ve worked so hard the last four years to be the best athlete I can be.”

And he’s not alone – there are many athletes in the Tri-River Athletic Conference with the same goals, sitting atop the Valley and state with some remarkable times and marks. Namely, Buchanan’s Hannah Waller (100m, 200m, 400m, 400 and 1600 relay), Jacob Wilson (discus and shot put) and Clovis North’s Rhesa Foster (100m, 100 high hurdles, long jump).

After battling injuries for most of last season which kept him out of some high profile meets, Chohan was finally healthy at the end of year when it mattered most and had a stellar Valley and state meet. Now that he’s pain-free, he’s ready to show the state that he means business.

“I know I’m the best in the state when I’m 100 percent and able to practice hard every day,” declares Chohan. “I’ve worked extremely hard to get to this point in my senior year. I’ve been working to get faster, stronger, and healthier since last summer.”

Jacob Wilson, a junior, has improved 10 feet in the shot put and 20 feet in the discus since last year, and is among the state leaders in both this season. In fact, at one point this season Wilson led the state with a throw of 194-1. Actually, he’s improved that mark (195-1 at Reedley Invitational) but Bronson Osborn of Esperanza High has taken the state lead (204-4).

The competition is fierce in both the discus and shot put not only at the state level, but in the Central Section as well.

“This year has to be one of the best in California state history,” says Wilson. “For the Valley I expect four guys to be over the automatic state qualifier for discus and possibly three in shot put. No doubt it’s a tough year.”

Two of these local competitors are close to Wilson in more ways than one – best friend McKay Johnson (185 discus, 61-9 shot put) is from Clovis North and cousin Jonah Wilson (181 discus, 59 shot put) from Clovis High. But that doesn’t mean he’ll take it easy on those guys.

In fact, Wilson and Johnson are two of only four throwers in CUSD history to break 60′ in shot put and 180′ in the discus.

“My best meets tend to be their best meets too because I love the competition and they always push me to throw further,” says Wilson. “Only one throw counts and anybody can have a huge improvement at anytime, you always have to be ready to compete.”

Johnson, who’s attending Cal next season, respects Wilson’s work ethic and determination while staying focused on his own goals.

“Jacob has gone from being a competitor to my best friend and training partner,” says Johnson, who believes he can win Valley if he can be technically sound. “There are few people that I feel have worked as hard (as Wilson) the past year, and by the end there will be very few people that will be able to say they beat Jacob.”

The CIF Central Section Masters Meet is held on May 21 and the California CIF State Track and Field Championships are set for June 3-4, both held at glorious Veterans Memorial Stadium.

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