- Published on Monday, 23 June 2003 20:39
- Written by Pete Borello - Town Crier Staff Writer
Although she participated in the high jump, Allie Miller's first national competition seemed more like the hurdles.
There were several obstacles the Los Altos resident faced at last weekend's USA Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Stanford University. Beyond the stiff competition, Miller had to overcome an early start time and a daunting opening height.
The combination proved too much for Miller, who failed to clear the opening height of 5 feet, 7 3/4 inches.
She wasn't alone, however, as only four of the 10 jumpers advanced to the next round.
"It was very disappointing for a lot of us," said Miller, entering her senior year at Los Altos High.
The opening height caught both Miller and Los Altos coach Julia Widstrand off guard; both expected the bar to start at 5-5.
"To open at that height (5-7 3/4), it's hard to do," said Miller, who tied the school record this season by jumping 5-9 3/4. "I'm used to opening at 5 or 5-2."
Miller also isn't used to jumping at 8:10 a.m., which is when her event began last Saturday. The early start seemed to affect her and the rest of field, none of whom jumped their best.
"The whole thing seemed a little lethargic," said Miller, who was at the track by 6:30 a.m. "No one was really hyped up."
"It's just too early in the morning and they didn't have ample time to wake up," the coach said. "The energy wasn't there."
Of her three tries, Miller's best attempt came on her second jump. "I just barely nicked the bar with my calf," she said.
Chaunte Howard of Georgia Tech went on to win the under-19 competition, going 5-11 1/4.
Miller, who placed first at the Central Coast Section finals and third at state, plans to participate in more meets this summer.