Prep stars shine at Bryan Bradley Viking Track Classic

Lily Mulligan sets meet record in pole vault, Coco McKamey wins three events, and Hanne Thomsen wins two.|

Cocome McKamey is as humble and as gracious as they come.

When she won her third of four events (she might win the fourth) at the 31st annual Bryan Bradley Viking Track Classic in the girls 300-meter hurdles, she could be heard saying something to the effect of “so slow”.

The final time (not immediately available by Ford Timing) was still a personal record.

“I was shooting for something a little lower,” McKamey said. “I wanted to break a second barrier. But it’s ok. I still PR’d by a lot.

McKamey joined several of her Panther teammates in taking the top spot at Saturday’s races and field events, as she also won the 100-meter hurdles by nearly a second and took the long jump crown on her third and final attempt with a 17-foot, 8-inch jump (per her coach). She hopes to make multi-events a part of her future track career, partly because she doesn’t like to sit in-between events.

“I always say I don’t like to be bored at the track because there’s so much waiting,” McKamey said. “It’s always great to be doing something and it makes track really enjoyable and really fun.”

Santa Rosa track and field coach Carrie Joseph acknowledged that McKamey is a “dream to coach” because she’s receptive and one of the most versatile athletes on the field.

“Coco is really coordinated, very, ‘coachable’ is a word you generally use with kids like that. You give her something to fix, and she fixes it … She’s very technically efficient and does very difficult events.

“She’s locked in on her technique, locked in on her speed. She works her tail off and it shows,” she said.

Montgomery’s Hanne Thomsen won the girls 800 and 1600 meters. She set a new personal record in the 800 with a time of about 2 minutes, 14 seconds. She originally set her PR at the Big Cat Meet earlier in the season at 2 minutes, 18 seconds. Thomsen set the pace from the start and then picked up the pace at about 500 meters to go.

“I felt pretty good about it (the PR) because I thought I was going to feel bad going into the race,” Thomsen said. “There was kind of wind, a lot of wind on the backstretch, but once I started, I actually felt pretty good and was able to close fast, so that was good.”

Maria Carrillo’s Lily Mulligan shattered the pole vault record by more than six inches, recording a 12-foot, 6-inch vault. The previous record was held by Petaluma’s Danielle Steffens, an 11-foot, 10-inch jump.

Per Pumas head coach Greg Fogg, the goal wasn’t for the junior to break the record more than it was to get back to her PR of 13 feet, which she set last year. She had three chances to hit that mark at this weekend’s events, but couldn’t clear the mark.

Fogg said she switched poles after the first attempt at 13 feet, going to a 13-foot, 7-inch pole, something Fogg said Carrillo/Petaluma pole vault coach Bruce Hotaling has been trying to switch her to. Mulligan has a 13-foot jump PR, but tried to get a 13’1 mark at Saturday’s meet. Fogg said she barely missed it.

Hotaling mentioned that he was coaching Steffens when she broke the record 10 years ago at the same meet. He texted her Saturday to let her know her record had fallen. According to Hotaling, she was happy to know her record had been beaten.

Per Hotaling, Mulligan had battled a wrist injury this year before eclipsing the Viking meet record.

“She never whined, she never complained, she was just full of determination to get it back, and today, she started getting it back,” Hotaling said.

Fogg also concurred that Saturday was a good step forward. He mentioned that she no-heighted at an event at Stanford earlier this season and was looking to move forward from that.

“The whole idea is for her to get on the big pole so she’s ready for big jumps coming at NCS to qualify for state,” Fogg said. “It was a good day today for her in terms of preparation for the big meets … her confidence is there.”

Mulligan dashed off after her final vault to get ready for prom. Reached Sunday, Mulligan explained this season has been tough, whether it has been due to injuries or adjustments to the longer poles. But once she reached the meet record and a season best of 12’6 on Saturday, she decided to shoot for the 13-foot mark.

“I feel like once I achieve one goal, I just kind of shoot for much higher ones because I’ve already done something good today, so I might as well try my luck,” she said.

Mulligan acknowledged the fact she bested one of Hotaling’s previous athletes is a good sign.

“It’s really cool knowing that I have a coach that he's coached so many of these athletes in this area that have had those records, so it feels good to know I’m working with someone who knows what they’re doing,” she said.

Fogg recalled the time his daughter dashed home from an event in Crescent City when she was running track at Carrillo years ago and got back in time to enjoy some of her prom, a parallel to what Mulligan was doing, although not as daunting of a journey home.

Hotaling runs North Coast Vaulters in Petaluma, which hosts pole vaulters from around the county, including other pole vaulters from area high schools in the offseason.

In addition to McKamey’s big day, the Panthers also had multiple single-event winners as of the Press Democrat's sports press deadline on Saturday at 6 p.m.: Kassidy Schroth won the girls 100 meters, Jordan Zamora won the boys discus with a 147-foot, 6-inch throw. Alexander Manning won the boys 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.89 seconds. The Panthers were also highly seeded in Saturday’s late events.

“I’m really proud of our kids’ focus and competitiveness,” Joseph said. “They want to win.

“Our kids like to win. And they put in the time and the effort to win on a big stage, it always feels good. Especially when they’re supposed to, so they live up to their expectations. It’s really been an impressive day. I’m really happy.”

The event went past the Press Democrat’s deadline. For full results from all of today’s events, visit

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