The CIF preliminaries were held last Saturday at Poway High School to select the top 9 athletes in each event from each of two divisions who will compete for one of 3 state meet berths at this weeks finals, also held at Poway. This is the time most athletes hit their peak. Three Islanders did that with style with three school record performances.
Last year, as a sophomore, Jamie Klages set a new school record in the 100 hurdles, was the harbor league champion in both the 300-meter hurdles and high jump and scored nearly 100 dual meet points to win the girl team’s MVP award. To top it off she high jumped 5’ 3” at the CIF to earn a trip to the state meet as one of San Diego’s top three qualifiers. This year because of soccer commitments and injuries she missed all of the major track invites and several dual meets. Going into the league prelims two weeks ago her best high jump was only 5 feet even, along with 18 other girls at that height. Seventeen other girls had jumped higher. Prior to the league championships our high jump/hurdles coach, Kerry Elders, worked out some inconsistencies in her approach. She responded at league with a school record jump of 5-4 ¼ to qualify for the CIF prelims as one of the top seeds behind Mt Carmel’s Lindsey Whetstine at 5-6 ¼ and Valley Center’s Bonnie Zabinsky who had come of nowhere at her league meet with 5-7. Whetstine won the D-1 flight with 5-6 and Jamie took the D-2 flight with an astonishing 5-7 jump that added nearly 3 inches to her personal best. She’s now ranked among the top 10 in the state and one of the favorites to qualify for one on the top 3 positions that advance to the state meet.
Senior Katherine Wingert’s 1600 meter time had been stuck in the low 5:20’s since she was a freshman. This is a competitive time but second tier to the low and sub 5-minute times required for the big meets. It was frustrating to see no improvement from year-to-year. About 6 weeks ago a blood test indicated that she was anemic. She was put on iron supplements and changed her diet to include red meat. He response to this new regimen has been nothing short of dramatic! On May 6th she ran 5:11.6 on our dirt track in our last dual meet with Christian to advance to the top 5 in the county. Then at the harbor prelims she ran just fast enough to win in 5:18.1 and tripled by winning both the 800-meter and 3200 meter runs with PR’s in both events of 2:18.42 and 11:47.5 respectively. At the CIF prelims she ran away from the field in her heat of the 1600 to set a new school record of 5:03.82. The previous record was 5:05.84 set by Jessica Lunt in 1996. Two and a half hours later she won her heat of the 800 in 2:19.74. This placed her second in division 2 to teammate Beth Wittry who won her heat in 2:19.55. Both qualified for the “A” heat in finals but Katherine will probably scratch the 800 to concentrate on the 1600. Then after three hours rest Beth and Katherine were joined by Nila Herutelou and freshman Sara Player to run the 4x400. They just missed the school record with a time of 4:06.17 but they moved on to the finals. Nila had earlier advanced in the 400 in 60.42 and Player had run the 300 hurdles in 49.28.
Junior Reid McLean can score points nearly every event. He’s high jumped 6-3, long jumped 21-9, has near 11 flat 100 speed, has clocked 50.15 in the 400 this year, can throw and run the hurdles. At the prelims he had a bad long jump series hitting only 20’-4”, and a decent 400 time of 50.41 to qualify in both for this week’s finals. His best performance, however, came in the 300 hurdles where he won his heat with a new school record of 39.50. Since this is one on the top section times this year and the 300 hurdles come after the 400 he’ll drop the 400 at CIF finals so he’ll be fresh. Brett Simmons set the previous record of 39.92 in 1999.
Junior Jake Ruzevick hooked a slow first lap in the 1600 but finished
the last three strong and clocked a PR of 4:23.44 to qualify for the
finals. Junior Adam Munns advanced in the high jump at 6’ 4”,
two inches off his PR, but he’s been nursing a sore foot that
appears to be getting better each day. He should be in top shape for
the finals. His twin brother Brad clocked 2:03.09 in the 800 off of
just 2 ½ weeks of training. Brad had been sidelined all season
from a basketball injury to his ankle.