CLOVIS — Just qualifying for the CIF State Track and Field Championship is a big accomplishment — bringing back one of the six awarded medals per event grants that athlete not only elite-status for California but the nation as well.
Unfortunately, the six El Dorado County participants at Buchanan High in Clovis — Ponderosa’s Sydney Blakeley, Ali Ryan, Brittany Anselmo, Christine Redor; Oak Ridge’s Maxine Goyette; Golden Sierra’s Connor Barla — had to settle for the former as no one from the group advanced to Saturday’s finals.
The heat, with temperatures exceeding 100 degrees during the afternoon for Friday’s preliminaries, took its toll. Only one, Redor, came out with a personal record. To advance, competitors had to place in the top eight.
The best finish was Blakeley’s 15th place in the pole vault and Ryan, who also was 15th in the shot put. Redor was 16th in the 1,600, Goyette 33rd; Anselmo 17th in the 800; and Barla 25th in the long jump.
Blakeley’s best and most successful vault was 11 feet, nine inches as the Master’s champion had hopes of reaching the finals in her first and last opportunity at the state level.
Ryan’s appearance was icing on the cake for her first year competing. She’ll leave Ponderosa with the school record and earlier was a Delta River League and Meet of Champions, champion. In Clovis her best was 39-2.25 after earlier throws of 38-5.5 and 38-0.25.
Speculation was that heat might have factored into Goyette (5:47.06) finishing way off her mark. Barla was capable of surpassing 23 feet and possibly medaling but he fell short with distances of 21-6.25 and 21-9.
Redor and Anselmo return next season so the weekend was good experience. Redor shrugged off the heat to PR at 5:04.88 over her previous best of 5:07.73.
“It was a great experience and a lot of fun. The field was real competitive so I’m happy to PR,” Redor said. “The great thing about the sport is there’s always room for improvement so I’ll work hard to come back next year and make the finals.”
Anselmo had the benefit of running in the evening. Her 2:15.06 was fifth for her heat.
“I was hoping to qualify but unfortunately didn’t,” Anselmo said. “As a sophomore I was just happy to be there. It was overwhelming but also a privilege and I enjoyed seeing all the competitors. It wasn’t my best time but it was close.”