Photo By: Courtesy of Sarah Robinson
Gunn High’s Sarah Robinson placed in both of her events at Saturday’s finals of the state meet. The junior from Los Altos Hills finished third in the 1,600 run and fifth in the 3,200.
The weather for Saturday’s track and field finals was about what’s expected in Clovis for June – hot – and that didn’t help distance runners like Sarah Robinson. She not only competed in the 1,600-meter run but the 3,200 as well at Buchanan High, where temperatures reached nearly 100 degrees.
Yet the Los Altos Hills resident beat the heat and most of the competition to earn a spot on the podium after each race. Robinson followed a third-place performance in the 1,600 by finishing fifth in the 3,200 run.
“This was my first state meet, and I am very happy about the results,” the Gunn High junior said.
Although Robinson didn’t have to race at the hottest time of the day – the 1,600 began just before 6:30 p.m. – she was back on the track for the 3,200 approximately three hours later.
“I felt a little fatigued after the 1,600 but was extremely happy that I was able to run in the 3,200,” Robinson said.
She not only ran it – Robinson set a personal record in the 3,200. Her time of 10 minutes, 26.65 seconds was just .11 seconds behind fourth-place finisher Danielle Shanahan of Bishop Montgomery.
Robinson’s 1,600 time (4:48.37) wasn’t her best, but it was good enough to beat Shanahan for third by more than a second. Robinson was in fourth after three laps, then surged to second before Nikki Hiltz of Aptos squeaked by her at the end.
“I felt that in the 1,600 I was running as conservative as possible until the final lap,” Robinson said. “During the final lap I was really pressing to catch Anna Maxwell (the winner from San Lorenzo Valley). I almost caught up to her, only losing by a second.”
The day before at the trials, Robinson ran a 4:51 to take fourth in the event (there was no preliminary race for the 3,200).
St. Francis High senior Marc Toney was the only other local athlete to advance beyond the trials. He qualified for the finals of the pole vault, finishing in a 12-way tie for first by clearing 15 feet, 5.75 inches Friday. Toney vaulted 15-10 Saturday, tying Chino Hill’s Dillon Groene for sixth.
Mountain View High’s Kolisa Nhlapo finished 24th in the 300 hurdles Friday, running a 46.52 that was 2.5 seconds off her school-record time. The junior said the poor air quality in the San Joaquin Valley affected her performance.
“I actually had difficulty breathing,” she said.
Nhlapo added that she “felt honored to attend the state meet.”
Los Altos High’s Brian Yeager placed 25th in the triple jump trials with an effort of 42-5.75.
The sophomore – who didn’t start triple jumping until the Eagles’ March 26 meet against Palo Alto – went 2 feet farther the week before at the Central Coast Section finals, where he secured second.
“I was a little bit intimidated going against the best in the state and some of the best in the nation,” Yeager said. “But it was a good experience; next year I’ll know what I’m up against.”
And what did he learn from his state experience?
“I need to work hard and strengthen my legs a lot,” he said. “The people there were really good and had strong legs – they could power through their jumps.”
Yeager said he jumped nearly 45 feet on his second attempt Friday, but it was ruled a scratch.