RECORD SETTERMichael Norman (Vista Murrieta) 400 meters —
45.19 second, ties national record set in 2012 by Aldrich Bailey. 200 —
20.30, new California state record, No. 6 all-timeFOUR MORE NEW 2015 NATIONAL LEADERS
Amanda Gehrich, Tesoro (Rancho Santa Margarita)
— 1600 (4:39.33)
Destiny Collins, Great Oak — 3,200 (9:53.79)
Jasmyne Graham, Roosevelt — 100 hurdles (13.17), 300 hurdles (40.73)
— For two days — to the point of nauseam — the public address announcer at Buchanan High School touted the California Interscholastic Federation Track and Field Championships as "the greatest track meet in America."
After watching the dizzying show that the kids put on at the 97th edition Friday and Saturday, it would be difficult to debate. Especially Saturday's final three-hour act.
From a breath-taking national and state record performance by sleek and powerful Vista Murrieta (Murrieta)
junior Michael Norman to an improbable national leading 3200 win from Great Oak (Temecula)
senior Destiny Collins to three more top national 2015 marks, including two from Roosevelt (Eastvale)
senior hurdler Jasmyne Graham, to photo finishes, bitter and heart-breaking beginnings and do-or-die championship jumps, this one had it all.
If the thunderous and spontaneous roars from an overflow crowd of almost 9,000 fans didn't support that, then this from longtime national track and field expert Mike Kennedy should.
Without doing a thorough analysis last Saturday night, Kennedy estimated this state meet to be one of the top "five-to-10" in California history.
And Kennedy, the high school editor for Track & Field News, has covered 56 CIF state championship meets, the last 55 consecutively.
Besides the six new national-leading marks, there were 31 new top-10 national marks this season — according to dyestat.com — with 21 of those recorded by females.
Here are the 10 most memorable moments of a memorable meet.
1. Go Michael go!
Norman runs with such ease and fluidity, sometimes experts wonder if he doesn't leave a little in the tank. He didn't Saturday, attacking the final 120 in his open 400, bringing the fans down the straightaway to their feet.
He tied the 2012 national mark of 45.19 seconds set by Aldrich Bailey of Mansfield (Texas) and bettering the 1993 state-meet record of Calvin Harrison (North Salinas).
About 90 minutes later, Norman breezed to victory in the 200 in a state-record 20.30, bettering the 2007 mark of Long Beach Poly's Bryshon Nellum.
In neither race, Norman was pushed. His much anticipated showdown with 100-champion T.J. Brock, of Chaminade, was dashed when the Chaminade junior came up limping after the 100 finals. He scratched from the 200.
Norman capped his remarkable day with a 44.9 leg in the 1600 relay, lifting Vista Murrieta to third while securing the team title with 37 points, bettering Chaminade (West Hills)
"I wanted to leave it all on the track and I think I did," Norman said. "It feels good. But I'm going to work even harder for next year." 2. Bounce back city
Collins had every reason to sulk, soak or just mail it for the 3200. The national 1600 leader led for almost 3 ½ laps of that final, only to be passed by Tesoro junior Amanda Gehrich (4:39.33) and Palisades senior Marissa Williams (4:39.88) . Not only did Gehrich and Williams pass her, their times surpassed Collins for the two best times in the country. Collins finished third in 4:41.30 and had to be distraught.
But somehow she found the guts and fortitude to stay on the heels of 3200 favorite Fiona O'Keeffe, of Davis, before passing her with 300 to go. From there, Collins broke O'Keeffe's spirit with a remarkable surge and sprint to finish in 9:53.79, the fourth-fastest mark in California history.
Her last lap was 66 seconds, highly improbable considering she'd just run seven laps following back-to-back grueling 1600s on consecutive days.
3. Fight to the finish
They'll be talking about the girls 100 hurdles finish for a long time. At the line, Graham edged defending champion Mecca McGlaston, of Dublin,
13.17 to 13.18, the two fastest times in the nation this year and No. five and six nationally all-time.
McGlaston, who had fought back from two severe hamstring pulls during the season, led from hurdles one to seven when Graham, the national leader coming in, finally caught her. She appeared to take a slight lead over eight, but by the final barrier, McGlaston had caught back up.
There was contact over hurdle 10, and Graham was able to win at the line.
"I stumbled out of the blocks but I knew I had 10 hurdles to make up for it," she said. "To conquer this and keep fighting to win is a great feeling."
McGlaston, a fierce competitor, was in tears afterward. The junior finally calmed down to see the forest through the trees, though she was upset because she said Graham grabbed her. Photos seemed to support her claim, a protest was made immediately by Dublin coaches but it wasn't heard.
Dublin coach Chris Williams said he delivered an official grievance – for impeding a runner — to the meet referee.
"He decided that since there was no infraction on the track (there was no yellow flag raised), that we were not allowed to appeal," Williams said. "During that discussion, I asked why there wasn't even a white flag raised, which often happens when contact happens in a race but an official decides that it wasn't an infraction.
"He said he did not know why. I asked why he wasn't involved with the observed discussion between three officials on the track immediately following the race. He said he didn't have to be. He continued that there was nothing more I could do since I couldn't appeal a ‘non-call.' "
Said McGlaston: "When I got out fast and led the first two hurdles, I thought I got this. That's why it hurts. I thought I had it. … But I guess can't be that mad. I PR'd by a lot."
She won last year in 13.54 seconds and worked hard from injuries to get down to 13.70 before Saturday's final where she PR'd by more than a half-second.
4. Hurdle this
Graham went on to claim the national lead in the 300 hurdles, with a sterling performance, winning in 40.73. The race produced three of the nation's top six times this season.
5. Hurdle that
A sterling opening leg by Norman gave Vista Murrieta a big 400 relay lead heading into the anchor. But the baton was dropped, opening the door for Chaminade anchor Brock, who sprinted home for a winning time of 40.75, the 10th best time in the country this year.
"I got scared," Brock told reporters afterward. "It (the baton) got into my lane so I had to turn into a hurdler." 6. Heartbreak start
The much-anticipated 800 girls finals was tainted by a false start and separate disqualification before the race eventually got underway.
The 12 finalists had all broken 2:10 in prelims, an unprecedented feat, and all the marks were jammed within about 1.5 seconds. That led for a predictable fast and intense final, which came to fruition when Huntington Beach junior Cassie Durgy was DQ'd for a falst start, a rare occurrence in a middle distance race.
More rare was the restart, when two-time defending champion Mikaela Smith, the hometown girl from Clovis North (Fresno)
, was spiked in the first 20 yards. She went down in a heap, calling for another stoppage and re-start.
A pained Smith got bandaged up and tried to continue, but before she got back to the starting line, she was also DQ'd for impeding the progress of a runner.
That set off a loud set of boos from the crowd and floods of tears and screams from Smith. It was sheer heartbreak.
"I feel so, so sad for Mikaela," fellow Central Section competitor Hannah Waller told the Fresno Bee. The Buchanan (Clovis)
junior won the 400 in the nation's No. 6 time of 53.13. "It's heartbreaking. But she has bigger things coming to her. It's in her best interest to let this go and look forward to her career."
Smith will run next season at USC.
The race went on and San Marcos sophomore Erica Schroeder won in 2:07.08, followed by Centennial (Corona) freshman Rylee Penn (2:07.43).
7. Sprint city
Rio Mesa (Oxnard)
junior Zaria Francis got out to a big lead before holding off Oaks Christian (Westlake Village)
sophomore Lauren Rain Williams, 11.31 to 11.39, the second and third best times in the nation this year.
Francis edged Williams again in the 200, this time going 23.09 to 23.16, again the second and third best times in the country in 2015. Williams opened the day by anchoring her team to a 4x100 relay win (45.66), which led to the overall team title with 34 points to 24 for Great Oak.
8. Home sweet home
Waller, running on her own track in front of her hometown fans, simply ran away from a talented field. Runner-up Brianna Guillory, of Deer Valley, was more than a second behind at 54.29.
She shattered the Central Section record as well after finishing third and fourth the last two years at state.
"It's an amazing feeling," she told the Fresno Bee. "This shows that all the hard work from last June finally paid off. I'm glad I could show the entire state and the home fans what I could do. ...This was the cherry on top."
9. Best for lastCastro Valley
senior and No. 1 triple jump qualifier Kennedy Jones was holding on to first place for five jumps, until Agoura sophomore Tara Davis (41-6¾) and Carondelet (Concord)
senior Christina Chenault (41-0½) passed her on their final attempts.
Jones, whose best for the season and meet was 40-9, outdid both of them, jumped right past them and right past 41 feet also, going 42-5 ¼, the third best mark in the country this year. Davis' jump was No. 6 and Chenault's No. 8 in the nation.
When she saw her mark, Jones screamed, jumped, spun in the air, pulling off a euphoric 360.
"I knew I had it in me," she said. "I came in with no doubts. I knew I was going to win. This is all so exciting."
10. Best for last 2
Jones wasn't the only one to deliver on a final triple jump attempt for gold. Saint Mary's (Albany)
senior Ron Smith went a lifetime legal best 49-0¼ to edge Stuart Hall (San Francisco)
senior Drew Xandrine-Anderson (48-11¾) for the title.
Unlike Jones, Smith won't be jumping in college. The fluid 6-2, 180-pounder is on a football scholarship to San Diego State, which doesn't have a track and field program.
"This is my final triple jump ever," Smith told himself before his winning jump. I want to finish on top. … My coach always tells us that above all, it's all about heart. That it just takes one. I'm just thankful I did it."
CIF STATE TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPSAt Buchanan High School, Clovis
T.J. Brock (Chaminade) 10.34, Sean McGrew (St. John Bosco) 10.56, Dominic Davis (Alemany) 10.56200:
Michael Norman (Vista Murrieta) 20.30, Zachary Shinnick (Damien) 21.10, John McDonald (Lincoln-Stockton) 21.34400:
Norman (Vista Murrieta) 45.19 (ties national record), Greg Campbell (Chaminade) 46.97, Zachary Shinnick (Damien) 47.19
Isaac Trevino (Centennial) 1:51.55, Connor Morello (Clovis) 1:52.04, Isaac Cortez (Great Oak) 1:52.791600:
Austin Tamagno (Brea Olinda) 4:09.13, Kasey Knevelbaard (Immanuel) 4:09.44, George Gleason (Huntington Beach) 4:09.573200:
Caleb Webb (Big Bear) 8:47.30, Robert Brandt (Loyola) 8:51.97, Eduardo Herrera (Madera South) 9:02.09110 hurdles:
Alexander Billing (Simi Valley) 13.68, Joseph Anderson (Upland) 13.77, Justin Collins (Carson) 14.15 300 hurdles:
Justin Collins (Carson) 36.67, Connor Maech (San Juan Hills) 37.11, Tre’Shon Woods (Roseville) 37.46 4x100 relay:
Chaminade 40.75, Notre Dame-Sherman Oaks 41.28, St. John Bosco 41.624x400 relay:
Wilson 3:13.46, Notre Dame-Sherman Oaks 3:14.14, Vista Murrieta 3:14.81HJ:
Michael Burke (Lemoore) 6-11; Darius Carbin (Mt. Pleasant) 6-9; Sean Lee (Trabuco Hills) 6-9; CJ McCord (Sage Hill) 6-9PV:
Austin Laut (Oak Ridge) 15-9, Jett Gordon (Marina) 15-9, Barrett Weiss (Flint Prep) 15-9LJ:
Gregory Vann (Rio Mesa) 24-6, Emmett Brooks (Kingsburg) 24-1, Joey Souza (Kingsburg) 23-2.25 TJ:
Ron Smith (St. Mary’s) 49-0.25, Drew Xandrine-Anderson (Stuart Hall) 48-11.75, Seth Brooks (Kingsburg) 48-10.25
Matt Katnik (St. John Bosco) 72-0, Nathan Bultman (West Ranch) 63-11.25, Bronson Osborn (Esperanza) 61-9Discus:
Charles Lenford (Oceanside) 195-4; Malik McMorris (Mater Dei) 186-10, Bronson Osborn (Esperenza) 184-5
Zaria Francis (Rio Mesa) 11.31, Lauren Williams (Oaks Christian) 11.39, Suzie Acolatse (Mission Hills) 11.62.200:
Zaria Francis (Rio Mesa) 23.09, Lauren Williams (Oaks Christian) 23.16, Celera Barnes (St. Bonaventure) 23.73400:
Hannah Waller (Buchanan) 53.13, Briana Guillory (Deer Valley) 54.29, Timarya Baynard (Piedmont) 54.38
800: Erica Schroeder (San Marcos) 2:07.08, Rylee Penn (Centennial) 2:07.43, Jacquelyn Hill (Etiwanda) 2:08.591,600:
Amanda Gehrich (Tesoro) 4:39.33, Marissa Williams (Palisades) 4:39.88, Destiny Collins (Great Oak) 4:41.303,200:
Destiny Collins (Great Oak) 9:53.79, Fiona O'Keeffe (Davis) 10:01.14, Marissa Williams (Palisades) 10:20.35100 hurdles:
Jasmyne Graham (Roosevelt) 13.17, Mecca McGlaston (Dublin) 13.18, Tara Davis (Agoura) 13.55300 hurdles:
Jasmyne Graham (Roosevelt) 40.73, Jurnee Woodward (Vacaville) 41.17, Dani Johnson (Cathedral Catholic) 41.304x100 relay:
Oaks Christian 45.79, Serra-Gardena 46.02, Upand 46.494x400 relay:
St. Mary's-Berkeley 3:43.33, Deer Valley 3:45.84, Carondelet 3:45.94HJ:
Erin Beattle (Buena) 5-9, Skyler Daniel (Upland) 5-7, Lillianna Hebert (California) 5-7PV:
Kaitlyn Merritt (Santa Margarita) 13-3, Rachel Baxter (Canyon) 13-3, Katie Thomas (Santa Margarita) 12-9LJ:
Courteny Corrin (Harvard-Westlake) 20-10, Margaux Jones (Redlands) 20-4.25, Tara Davis (Agoura) 19-7.50 TJ:
Kennedy Jones (Castro Valley) 42-5.25, Tara Davis (Agoura) 41-6.75, Christian Chenault (Carondelet) 41-0.25
SP: Elena Bruckner (Valley Christian) 50-2.50, Nia Britt (Notre Dame-SO) 48-10.75, Laulauga Tausaga (Mt. Miguel) 47-0Discus:
Ronna Stone (Valley Christian) 161-9, Kendall Mader (Newbury Park) 155-3, Elena Bruckner (Valley Christian) 154-9