Last Saturday the athletes who qualified out of their league finals the previous week competed in the CIF prelims held at Mt. Carmel High School. The Prelims is a qualifying meet to advance to the CIF Finals that will be held at Mt. Carmel this Saturday. Only nine athletes in the lane races, twelve in the 1600 and 3200 meter runs, and up to 12 in the field events for each of the two CIF divisions advanced. Although the two divisions competed in separate heats for each event, the results were combined so that the top half from both divisions qualified in the "A" flight or heat for the finals, with the remainder advancing to the "B" flight or heat. At the finals, a competitor must be in the top three finishers in the "A" group to advance to the State meet on June 1st. An athlete can also advance by matching a state standard for their event. Because of the number of heats needed, the girls meet was run in the morning starting at 9:00 AM, followed the boys meet in the afternoon starting at 2:00 PM. This format kept the competitors who were competing in multiple events from having to stay at the meet all day, but it made for a long day for coaches with both girls and boys who advanced. All the lane races were broken up into three heats, the 800 and 1600 had two heats, and the 3200 ran as a single large race. Athletes advanced by time out of all the heats, so winning your heat didn't guarantee you'd move on to the finals. Except for the high jump and pole vault, the field events had three flights. The high jump and pole vault used the 5-alive format.
Our first girls' event was the 4x100 relay. At league finals we were upset by Christian High School. This time Christian was in heat two, and we were in heat one, so we didn't compete head-to-head. We won our heat in 49.11, Christian won theirs in 49.53, and La Jolla won the third heat in 49.23, so we're the top Division-II seed going into the CIF finals. Ruthie-Grant-Williams ran the lead-off leg followed by Madison Shanks, Abigail Whittemore, then Alysah Hickey on the anchor leg. Madison came back later to clock 61.43 in the 400-meter dash. Alysah and Ruthie went 1-2 in the high jump with leaps of 5-6 and 5-4 respectively. The two girls also advanced in the long jump with Alysah winning with 19 feet 2.5 inches and Ruthie moving on with a leap of 16-5. Alysha's jump was the first wind-legal jump over 19 feet in San Diego this year by a high school girl. Earlier in the season, she jumped 19-5.25 with a 2.2 meters per second tailwind. In the 100 hurdles, Ruthie hit the last hurdle but still managed to run 16.28 to advance to the finals. In the 100-meter dash, Alysah easily won her heat to advance with a time of 12.22. The schedule for an athlete specializing in the high jump, long jump, and sprints is always tough at the big meets because there aren't many athletes with that combination of skills. A meet director would never put together a schedule with the long jump and triple jump going off at the same time, or the shot put and discus throw, for that matter. However, the top performers in the high jump and long jump are nearly always different athletes, so those events go off at the same time. At the prelims, the high jump, long jump, and the 100-meter dash all started at 9:00 AM. During the two jumping events, Alysah and Ruthie had to check-out to run the 4x100 relay; the 100-meter dash, in Alysah's case; and the 100-meter hurdles, in Ruthie's case. It was a busy morning. Teresa Perez qualified for three events out of league finals, the 1600, 800, and 3200 meter runs. In the 1600 on Saturday, she set a new Personal Record with a time of 5:03.22 to qualify as the fourth seed going into the finals. She came back in the 800 and qualified as the third seed with a time of 2:16.54. She ran the 3200, not so much to qualify, but as an attempt at the school record, which she missed by three seconds with a time of 11:05.70, while qualifying as the sixth seed. She already owns the school record for both the 1600 and 800-meter runs. This combination was the first time I've had anyone qualify for the CIF "A" heat in the three distance events. Two other girls moved-on in the 1600 with Madden Hundley qualifying as the sixth seed with a Personal Record of 5:07.10, and her freshman sister, Abby Hundley, advancing with a Personal Record of 5:12.91. Both Maddon and Abby also ran the 3200 with times of 11:33.37 and 11:56.36 respectively. Maddon is the third alternate so she may scratch in. Freshman Sofia Van Austin ran in a different 800-meter heat than Teresa and placed third with a PR of 2:18.96. When the times from both heats were combined, she emerged as the sixth seed going into the Prelims. The girls Islander distance squad will be well-represented at CIF Prelims this Saturday. Our school record holder in both the shot put and discus, Victoria Perez, advanced as the seventh seed in the discus with a toss of 105 feet 2 inches. She threw 32-2 in the shot put and is the third alternate, so she could scratch in.
For the boys, our featured event was Ian Hurlburt in the 800-meter run. He's been the section leader since the first meet of the season and leads the county with a school-record time of 54.17 set at the Mt. SAC Relays. This time gives him a two-second gap over the next fastest time. However, six boys have run between 1:56 and 1:57, and eight more have run under 1:58. There were two Division-I heats and two Division-II heats for the boys, who were all vying for one of the nine "A" slots. Since advancement is by time alone, each race was fast. Ian ran in the last heat. In the three previous heats, the lead runners went through the 400 in under 57 seconds, with six final times under 1:58 and two under 1:57. Ian, by nature, is a pack runner with a strong kick, so he tends not to take the lead. In his heat, they went through the 400 in 59 seconds. Oh Oh. When Ian saw the clock, he realized that perhaps it was time to abandon his normal strategy and start his kick early. He ran his second 400 in around 57 seconds to post the best time of the day of 1:56.23. In the boys 1600-meter run, Luke Klingenberg moved on as the sixth seed with a PR time of 4:25.85. He also ran the 3200 in 9:56.64 followed by Brad Busby with a time of 10:16.26. Luke is the first alternate, so there's a chance he'll scratch in. Max Fuller, Chris Russell, Luke, and Ian teamed up in the 4x400 to place eleventh with a time of 3:33.72. This time makes them the second alternates so, it's possible for them to scratch in. In the boys' 4x100 relay the quartet of Shane Alihan, Ian, Max, and Nicholas Dunlap ran 44.35.