Some good times and some not so good times. That seemed to sum up the performance of this year's cadre of Metro Conference qualifiers who competed at last weekend's California state track and field championship meet at Buchanan High School in Clovis.
Six individuals represented the conference. Though none managed to bring home a coveted state medal, there were some personal highlights in a meet that was rated as one of the very best in years.
Head of the class
Olympian senior Sydney Magdalena, the Mesa League's Female Track Athlete of the Year at the league finals on May 19, improved her standing in the girls 100 hurdles with a personal best time of 14.41 at last Friday's state prelims.
Magdalena entered the state meet with a qualifying time of 14.54 after winning the Division I title the preceding week at the San Diego Section finals. However, her prelim time was not good enough to advance to the following day's state finals after she finished fifth in her heat.
She placed 15th overall in qualifying; only the top nine runners from the prelims advanced to the finals.
The top six place-finishers in each event receive medals.
Dublin sophomore Mecca McGlaston won this year's state title in the girls 100 hurdles 13.54; Cathedral Catholic sophomore Dani Johnson, the section's Division II champion in 14.16, captured seventh place in 13.99.
State of mind
But just getting to the state meet is a reward all its own, according to veteran Otay Ranch coach Ian Cumming, who had the opportunity to coach Mustang senior Monique Anguiano in the girls 1600-meter run.
"If you qualify in California, you'll likely place in any other state," Cumming said. "The talent in California is just incredible and this year's state meet was one of the best I've seen. For instance, in the boys 100 dash, a 10.69 time didn't even make it to the finals. The number of national leaders set during the two days of the meet was large. It was pretty phenomenal. So, just getting there is a big deal."
Anguiano, the third-place qualifier from the section finals, did not have the best of days in last Friday's state prelims. She set a school record of 5:01.16 to secure a trip to Clovis at the section finals but managed only a 5:20.23 in her state prelim race, finishing 13th in her heat and last among the 25 prelim runners.
Cumming said she just wasn't able to maintain her peak performance.
"She went from a 5:47 to a 5:26 with six weeks to go in the season and proceeded to drop (from there)," Cumming explained. "She had quite a remarkable drop and she carried a peak for a pretty long time. She went four weeks riding that peak. I'm really happy with what she did."
Canyon Crest Academy sophomore Kelly Bernd, the section's No. 2 state meet qualifier in 4:59.25, placed 10th in the girls 1600 finals in 4:57.54.
The stacked field was not kind to several other Metro qualifiers.
Eastlake senior Shane Martin, the No. 1 section qualifier in the boys 110-meter high hurdles, timed 14.57 to place fourth in his heat and 17th overall in qualifying. He clocked 14.41 to win the section Division I championship but could not improve on that at the state prelims.
His best on the season remains 14.34.
Also, Titan weight man Wes Braddock, a two-time state meet qualifier and the reigning Mesa League Field Athlete of the Year, could not duplicate his best on the season in the boys shot put, finishing with a mark of 55-4.5 in last Friday's state prelims. He qualified as the section's Division I champion with a 56-10 mark at the preceding section finals, his best on the season.
Braddock, who will continue his track career at UC Riverside, turned in a 53-2 mark at the state prelims as a junior.
Olympian senior Aqel Carson also did not better his time at last Friday's state prelims. The runner-up in the section Division I finals with a time of 21.82 (his best on the season), Carson timed 22.17 in the state prelims to place him sixth in his heat and 20th overall in qualifying.
Sweetwater senior Jose Martinez, the 2014 South Bay League Track Athlete of the Meet, clocked a season best 39.40 to place second in the section Division I finals. However, his 40.48 time at the state prelims placed him seventh in his heat and 23rd in qualifying.
The San Diego Section finished with nine medals (five boys and four girls) at last weekend's state meet. Madison senior Dotun Ogundeji was the section's lone gold medalist after compiling a mark of 65-5.5 in the boys shot put.
Cathedral junior Hannah Labrie-Smith scored a silver medal in the girls 300 hurdles with the all-time section mark of 41.67.
La Costa Canyon senior Steven Fahy finished third in the boys 3200 in 8:56.97 while Mission Hills junior Suzie Acolatse placed third in the girls 100 dash in 11.67 and Rancho Bernardo senior Augusta Thomason was third in the girls pole vault after clearing 12-4.
Poway senior Brandon Lucas placed fifth in the boys 200 dash in 21.38 while West Hills junior Melissa Mongiovi was sixth in the girls 400 dash in 55.31 and Poway senior Charlie Bush finished sixth in the boys pole vault by clearing 15-6.
Poway's boys 4x100 relay team also was sixth in 41.73.
California State Championship Meet
Buchanan High School, Clovis
Friday, June 6
Boys Running Events
110 high hurdles: 17. Shane Martin (Eastlake) 14.57 (fourth, heat 3)
200 dash: 20. Aqel Carson (Olympian) 22.17 (sixth, heat 1)
300 intermediate hurdles: 23. Jose Martinez (Sweetwater) 40.48 (seventh, heat 2)
Boys Field Evens
Shot put: 13. Wes Braddock (Eastlake) 55-4.5
Girls Running Events
1600: 25. Monique Anguiano (Otay Ranch) 5:20.23 (13th, heat 1)
100 hurdles: 15. Sydney Magdalena (Olympian) 14.41 (fifth, heat 1)
High school multi-event championship meet set June 21-22 at Cuyamaca College
This year’s annual San Diego County Multi-Event championship meet is scheduled June 21-22 at Cuyamaca College. The event allows all-around high school athletes to match skills with the best in the county.
The seven-event girls heptathlon includes the 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200-meter dash, all of which will be contested on the first day of competition, as well as the long jump, javelin throw and 800-meter run, all of which will be contested on the final day of competition.
The opening day of the 10-event boys decathlon features the 100-meter dash, long jump, shot put, high jump and 400-meter dash. The second day of competition features the 110-meter high hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw and 1500-meter run.
“Any athlete good in four or five of these events should be encouraged to compete,” event director Lyle Barton noted. “The decathlete and heptathlete are considered to be the best and most fit athletes on a track team. This is a fun-filled event that will be a lifelong memory for all those who participate.”
Awards will be presented to the top five finishers. T-shirts will be presented to all competitors.
Events on both days start at 9 a.m.
Shot put, discus, javelin and pole vault implements will be available, if needed.
This is a post-season event and will not affect an athlete’s high school eligibility.
The entry fee is $40 per athlete. Entries will be accepted on day of the event. There are unlimited entries per school.
Cuyamaca College is located at 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway, El Cajon.
For more information, call (619) 201-3811.