Archbishop Mitty's Renisha Robinson was disappointed, not relieved, that her competition for the Central Coast Section girls' 800-meter title will not be as strong as anticipated.
"You want to run against the best people," she said after running a personal-record 2 minutes, 9.27 seconds at the CCS semifinals Saturday at San Jose City College.
However, the field for Friday's final at Gilroy High will not include a healthy Justine Fedronic, if she is there at all.
The Carlmont sophomore, a state-title threat, limped through her heat with a partially torn calf muscle, qualifying seventh in 2:18.73 after not running for the previous nine days.
Fedronic won titles at the Arcadia, Mt. San Antonio College and Stanford invitationals. Her 2:08.08 ranks No.2 in California and No.3 in the nation.
But will she run next week?
"I don't know," she said.
"She'll have to make that decision at the starting line," Coach Jeff Gilkey said.
Fedronic will attempt to stay sharp with pool running and bike riding, but she will stay off her feet. Even if she competes, it may be merely for survival, just to finish among the top three so she can qualify for the state championships June 1-2 in Sacramento.
"If she runs next week, it's to get to the state meet," Gilkey said. "But top three would be a stretch right now."
The CCS had three returning state finalists in the event - Robinson, Fedronic and Palo Alto junior Mia Lattanzi, who finished second. But Lattanzi was unable to run her league trials because of plantar fasciitis in her foot and is out. Now Fedronic.
Robinson had struggled during the season but has found her form. She came through her first lap Saturday in 60 seconds and ran relaxed despite her fast pace.
"I'm excited that all that hard work is paying off," she said.
The boys 3,200 also had a high-profile casualty. Willow Glen junior Mohamed Abdalla, the state Division III cross-country champ, was running second in his heat before staggering down the stretch.
Abdalla, who had already qualified in the 1,600, barely reached the line, finishing in 9:41.08 to miss qualifying in his specialty by two spots. Afterward, Coach Victor Santamaria said he believed Abdalla had suffered from dehydration, with both calves cramping severely.
Pole vaulters showcased the meet. Castilleja's Tori Anthony provided a highlight with her attempt at a national high school outdoor record. Anthony had three tries at 14 feet, 1 inch, in an effort to break the mark of 14-0. Anthony, the defending state champion, set the national indoor record of 14-2 1/2 earlier this year.
"I thought I was going to get it," said Anthony, who cleared a meet-record 13-6 to break her year-old mark of 13-0. "I'm ready for something big."
Five hours later, Nico Weiler of Los Gatos followed with another meet record, clearing 17-0 in the boys pole vault before 30 patient spectators who stayed for the final event.
Nearly all the jumping was exceptional. Mt. Pleasant junior Vashti Thomas soared 20-2 in the girls' long jump - second-best in the state - and followed with a wind-aided triple jump of 40-11 3/4.
Among the boys, four broke 23 feet in the long jump. Until Saturday, no one in the section had done so. The most surprising was Los Gatos junior Kevin Rutledge, normally a high jumper, whose 23-2 shattered his personal record of 21-5 3/4.