Valley Christian's Elena Bruckner, Ronna Stone win girls throw titles

CLOVIS -- Valley Christian High captured both throwing events at the CIF state meet Saturday at Buchanan High. Teammates and close competitors Elena Bruckner and Ronna Stone each won one.

The two throwers combined to give Valley Christian a second-place finish in the girls team competition with 27 points. Oaks Christian won the team title with 34 points.

Stone pulled an upset in winning the discus.

Bruckner, the national leader in both events, came back from a third-place finish in the discus to win the shot put.

Stone saved her best for last.

Already in first place, the senior hurled the discus a personal-best 161 feet, 9 inches on her last throw to put a perfect exclamation point on her unexpected state championship victory.

"I got a P.R. and a state title, I don't know what I'm more excited about," Stone said. "I'm really happy to finish my high school career winning at state.''

Bruckner, who threw 182-8 at the West Catholic Athletic League finals, took third at 154-9.

"She's gotten after it quite a bit," Valley Christian throws coach Arpedge Rolle said. "She's a junior and that's a beautiful thing."

Bruckner won her own state championship with a throw of 50-21/2 in the shot put. She had a season-best of 53-51/2 at the Central Coast Section finals.

"It was redemption, winning the shot put at 50," Bruckner said.

She revealed that she had been dealing with a back issue the last three weeks since that monumental throw in the discus at the WCAL finals, and that the situation with her back has affected her performance more in the discus than in the shot put.

"I'm not making excuses," she said. "I'm trying to deal with the circumstances. I had a knee thing all season and then I did something to my back.

"Even though I didn't take first in the discus I was so happy for Ronna."

Stone took 10th in the shot with a throw of 42-41/2.

Timarya Baynard of Piedmont Hills placed third in the 400 meters with a personal-best time of 54.38.

"I am happy with the race," Baynard said. "I felt if I had executed a little better I could have gone faster."

D'Airrien Jacckson of Wilcox came in fifth in 54.90.

"She got a little tense at the end or she could've had second," Piedmont Hills coach Chioke Robinson said of Baynard.

Baynard agreed.

"I got a little tense," she said. "I've got to keep relaxing and keep pushing."

Piedmont Hills teammate Bianca Bryant went out and led the 800, as she did in her heat the day before. But this time she faded in the second lap and came in seventh in 2:09.65.

The event started on an unfortunate note when Clovis North's Mikaela Smith fell and the race was restarted. Smith was disqualified, an act that sparked the crowd to chant, "Let her run, let her run."

"I wasn't expecting what happened with Mikaela," Bryant said. "I really respect her as an athlete and a person. I let it throw me off my game."

Menlo School's Lizzie Lacy placed fifth in the 3,200 in 10:23.86. Great Oak's Destiny Collins won the race in a national-best 9:53.79. Fiona O'Keeffe of Davis was second in 10:01.14.

"It was crazy running in the same race as them," Lacy said of Collins and O'Keeffe. "Knowing I was in the same race as them, it was a great opportunity."

Cupertino's Jade Harrison was a seventh-place finisher in the 200 with a time of 24.33.

Mountain View's Rachael Estell placed eighth in the long jump with a mark of 18-51/2.

Menlo-Atherton's Kathryn Mohr took ninth in the pole vault at 11-9.

Branham's Shelby Shikashio went 36-113/4 to place 11th in the triple jump.

Darius Carbin ties for 2nd

CLOVIS -- Darius Carbin cleared 6-5, 6-7 and 6-9 on his first attempt in the high jump finals Saturday at the CIF state meet.

"It's just a matter of hitting his marks and letting physics take over," Mt. Pleasant High jump coach Paul Williams said.

Carbin, one of five jumpers left in the competition when the bar was raised to 6-11, missed all three attempts at that height. The only jumper to clear 6-11 was Lemoore's Michael Burke. Carbin finished in a tie for second place with Trabuco Hills freshman Sean Lee and Sage Hill's CJ McCord, a couple of other jumpers who had no misses at lower heights.

"I felt I got 6-11 on my second jump," Carbin said. "It was real close. I just needed to kick my legs a little more. I felt good getting second. It's an improvement from last year."

Carbin tied for seventh at 6-7 a year ago as a sophomore.

Darius Thomas of St. Francis, a junior like Carbin and one of three high jumpers this season to clear 7-0, missed three attempts at 6-9. He finished in a three-way tie for sixth at 6-7.

"It would be nice if both Dariuses push each other and get to 7-3 next year," Williams said.

Overfelt's Jeff Rogers set the Central Coast Section record when he cleared 7-3 in 1985.

Carbin came back to place eighth in the triple jump at 46-3 3/4.

Carlmont's Johain Ounadjela took sixth in the 1,600 in a personal-best time of 4:10.73.

"That was one of the hardest races of my life," Ounadjela said. "I never had to do this, to run two days in a row. The fatigue from yesterday came into play."

Ounadjela made a move at the start of the gun lap, moved up to third before getting passed by a couple of kickers down the home stretch.

"I was third with 100 to go when my legs left me," Ounadjela said. "With 200 to go I got into a shoving match with (Brea Olinda's Austin Tamagno) the guy who ended up winning. It was the first time I ever lost a shoving match in a race. It took a lot out of me. It was a learning experience. I want to make sure that never happens in college."

Ounadjela will run at Columbia University.

"I'm really happy, but I have an inkling of dissatisfaction," he said. "It seems like just yesterday I was playing water polo as a sophomore. I ran track my first two years and played water polo before I decided to take running serious and do cross country."

Bellarmine College Prep's Andrew Lind placed seventh in the pole vault at 15-3.

Lind was in a good mood after the competition concluded.

"I graduated this morning," he said.

He will vault in college at Cal.

"The coaches at Cal will be real happy to have him," Bellarmine pole vault coach Warren Jaques said.

Saratoga's Steven Sum placed ninth in the 3,200 in 9:10.69.