ELK GROVE — Oak Ridge High long distance runner Rachel Peterson had a personal record, placing fifth in the finals of the 3200 meters at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I finals with a time of 11 minutes, 3.76 seconds.
“I really wasn’t expecting it,” said Peterson, a senior. “I’ve had a few bad races the last couple of weeks. I just wanted to give it my all.”
Peterson started the race running with a pack of runners. Then halfway through the race, the Lady Trojan broke free, and was third behind Davis’ Fiona O’Keefee, who won at 10:39.11, and St. Francis’ Lauren LaRocco, second at 10:44.47. The last two laps had Peterson dropping back to fifth, racing neck-and-neck with Elk Grove’s Isabella Dobson, fourth at 11:02.68.
“I was trying to keep on my pace,” Peterson said. “I felt good the last 1200 (meters). I thought I could give it my all the last few laps, and see what I could do.”
Now the question for Peterson is if she’s going to compete at the Masters. The 3200 is on the same day as Oak Ridge’s Class of 2014 graduation, which is Friday. Peterson has competed in the 3200s at the Masters the last two years.
“I may decide to opt out,” Peterson said. “I haven’t thought about it (since Friday night). I really want to do both things, but graduation only comes once. I want to race again. I just need to weigh my options and see.”
Other Oak Ridge track and field athletes advancing to the section’s Masters meet, which starts Thursday and runs through Friday, also at Elk Grove High, are Brandon Jetter in the 100 meters, Griffin Prather in the 300 high hurdles, and William Vaughn and Justin Priest in the long jump.
Advancing for the Lady Trojans was Briana Dulgar in the 1600 meters, along with Kathryn Sanders in the 100, Kristina O’Donnell in the 300 high hurdles and Alexa Ray and Angel Pears in the high jump.
The top 12 advance to the Masters. Listed below are results from the divisional meet.
100 meter: 12-Brandon Jetter, OR, 11.28. 300 HH: 7-Griffin Prather, OR, 39.96. HJ: 4-William Vaughn, OR, 6-5; 10-Justin Priest, OR, 6-1; 14-Justin Bethke, OR, 5-9.
12-Briana Dulgar, OR, 5:19.50. 100: 9-Kathryn Sanders, OR, 16.12. 300 HH: 10-Kristina O’Donnell, OR, 46.54. 3200: 5-Rachel Peterson, OR, 11:03.76; 16-Arial Hendrickson, OR, 11:35.18. SP: 17-Atiah Brinson, OR, 31’10 1/4. HJ: 9-Davidson, 4-11; 12-Alexa Ray, OR, 4-11; 12-Angel Pears, OR, 4-11.