State track and field notebook: Sierra Atkins, Gabby Peterson moving on in 1,600-meter race
CLOVIS — She did it again. Analy senior Sierra Atkins torched the first lap of her 1,600-meter preliminary heat, doing it in 67 seconds en route to a fourth-place finish in her heat and a guaranteed spot in Saturday’s final at the CIF state track and field championships.
“I knew my first lap had to be pretty fast,” she said.
This coming from someone who drops the hammer on her first lap like nobody’s business.
“My coach was telling me I can lay back a little bit, but I was like, ‘If I’m going to get this, I need to PR.’”
She didn’t PR. She finished in 4:53.55, off of her best of 4:51.84 that she hit at the North Bay League finals. But that didn’t matter, not a bit — she advanced to the finals, seeded seventh.
Seeded sixth in the 1,600 meters is Gabby Peterson.
The Healdsburg senior ran a 4:51.65 and finished third in her heat to secure a double for Saturday.
Peterson had already qualified for the finals of the 3,200 meters Saturday.
The goal with the 1,600 meters was to play it smart, she said.
“I wanted to conserve as much energy for (Saturday) as possible,” she said. “The last two laps were kind of swift, but I think being able to take it back a notch in the first two laps helped me conserve some energy.”
Peterson, who made the state meet last year as a junior, said knowing the lay of the land at the massive facility at Buchanan High and having already experienced thousands of people watching the meet unfold helped Friday.
“I think it definitely helped with the nerves to not get too scared before going on,” she said. “Honestly, I’m always a bit nervous to race, but (it helped) being able to be more in control of my nervousness.”
No Day 2 for Casa relay team
The Casa Grande boys 4x400-meter relay team raced in the final event of the night Friday but could not pull off the dramatic finish that they did at the North Coast Section Meet of Champions last week — a race that earned them their spot in Clovis.
The crew of Matthew Mason, Logan Moon, Matthew Giroux and Jalydon Love finished in 3:23.91 — just a fraction of a second off their all-time best — for 22nd among 26 teams.
McCoy heads home
Just a week after uncorking a massive personal best at the North Coast Section Meet of Champions, Casa Grande junior Lillian McCoy came up short in the shot put preliminaries.
“I didn’t throw the best I could,” she said. “I don’t know. I just don’t think it was the day for me.” McCoy’s best put of the day was 37 feet, 8.75 inches, for 21st place.
“It’s a good opportunity to make it here in the first place, so I’m proud of that.”
Sarah Aanenson made a return trip to the state track meet, but this time she was wearing the colors of Bear River High School in Grass Valley.