Saturday, June 02, 2007

Sights from the state meet

Couldn't make it to the CIF State Track and Field Championships in Sacramento? Here's the jist in a couple words: Hot and cold.

I was told it wasn't as hot as it's been in previous years, but it was still pretty scalding in the daytime.

I got called out in the press box for wearing my posh designer brand jeans in such sun block-worthy weather. But when events stretched past 10 p.m. for Friday's preliminaries, I got the last laugh when underdressed reporters went down to do late night interviews, shivering in their khaki shorts.

But here's a few other things you might have missed, even if you came.

Making the short trip up from Palo Alto, Stanford freshman Erin Delaney was there to cheer on former teammate Tom Nagengast. The former Bearcats girls shot put state champion said she hasn't transfered the success she had at the high school level over to college yet.

Delaney was a few centimeters away from advancing to the NCAA West Regional and didn't hit the same marks she did as a Paso Robles senior, but she took solace in taking the bottom spot on the all-time top-10 list of Cardinal throwers.

Sticking with the Paso-Robles and throwing-events vibe, Bearcats coach Bill Stansbury told me senior Greg Draper has committed to throw for Cal State Bakersfield next season.

Also slated to be a Roadrunner is state champion Derek Johnson of Agoura - who won the event Saturday with a throw of 203 feet, 6 inches and had two more over 195. So Draper should have a good throwing partner to work with.

Finally, there were two national records set at Saturday's meet. Taft's Jeshua Henderson won the boys 300-meter hurdles in 35.34, and Castilleja's Tori Anthony won the girls pole vault at 14-1.

Obviously, both marks also set new California and state meet records, but interestingly, Anthony eclipsed former Morro Bay and San Diego State vaulter Shayla Balentine's state meet record.

Balentine vaulted 13-8 in 2001, which was a national record at the time. Though two other California girls have beaten the mark since then, including Anthony's 13-10 earlier this season, none were at the state meet until Saturday.

Balentine is still the third best vaulter in state history, and former Atascadero standout Chelsea Johnson, whose best high school mark is 13-6, is sixth.

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