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Personal records highlight state track meet

Oakmont’s Harper, GB’s Sutter, Woodcreek’s Kamaka reach podium
By: Kurt Johnson, The Press Tribune
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Six was the number of the night Saturday for local athletes competing at the CIF California State Track and Field Championships in Clovis. That was the number of competitors from the Roseville/Granite Bay area who qualified for event finals at the state meet, and it was also the best finishing position of the evening for any of those athletes. For most of those who reached the medals stand (the top six in each event were on the podium) it took a huge effort to get that far in an event where career-best results bring great joy even without a medal. Oakmont's Jazmin Harper ran her final 400-meter dash of the high school season, and posted her fastest time of the year, but even with that the sophomore finished two seconds behind the leader, in sixth position. The result is a solid one for Harper, whose future is bright after a 55.35 on Saturday night puts her in great position with two high school years remaining. Her new personal record time got Harper to sixth place, and to the medal stand for the second consecutive year. ”Jazmin gets pretty nervous and if she can relax just enough she will amaze you every time,” said Oakmont coach Mark Morrison. “She did just that and was truly amazing to watch. What a thrill to be able to be there as coaches and to see Jazmin run her 55.35 PR in the 400 and medal for the second year in a row.” Harper will be competing in the Golden West Invitational this Saturday at Folsom High School in her signature event, the 400, and also in the 200-meter dash. While her career best was only good enough for 17th position in the girls 3,200-meter run, the state meet was a huge success for Granite Bay sophomore Brooke Holt. Holt had a huge uphill battle in the 3,200 final, where the runner whose best times have been in the 11-minute range was up against a number of runners who typically run somewhere south of 10:30. The young Granite Bay sophomore rode the fast field to knock many seconds off of her career best and missed the school’s frosh/soph record by just .18 seconds. “The field and pace played a big role as Brooke just made up her mind she was going to attach herself to some girls who had run in the 10:40s and hang on,” said Granite Bay distance coach Randy Sturgeon. “I was so proud of Brooke. My biggest concern before the race was how she would handle a fast pace race, something that she had not been in this year. She hit the 1,600 in 5:18, faster than her 1,600 race in the Sierra Foothill League meet, and stuck right with the pack she was running with. She even managed to pass two girls on the last lap, finishing with a 79 second final 400.” Woodcreek junior Courtney Crosta was also in the event final, finishing in 30th position. For Granite Bay long jumper Justin Sutter, a sixth place finish was less anticipated. The senior entered the finals in possession of the longest leap in the state so far this season at 24 feet, 4 inches, but watched as two athletes went far beyond that as they surpassed 25 feet. Sutter fouled on his first two jumps, and his 23-01.75 on jump three turned out to be his best of the night, and that was good only for the No. 6 spot on the final standings. The Sac-Joaquin Section champion now looks ahead to a strong college career at the University of Arizona. Woodcreek senior Kayla Kamaka hit the number of the night with her sixth place result in the girls pole vault. Kamaka cleared 11 feet, 10 inches sooner than Granite Bay sophomore Katie Zingheim, as both maxed out there, with Zingheim taking the No. 7 spot. A number of other local athletes made the trip to Clovis, but were unable to advance beyond Friday’s trials. James Kinloch, the Granite Bay sophomore, was 18th in the discus prelims, and did not advance to the finals on Saturday after a top toss of 155 feet. “This is a great learning experience for him (Kinloch) when we come back next season,” said Granite Bay coach Jackie Nasca. “The state meet will be at the same location and he will have a good idea of what to expect from himself and his other competitors.” Christine Zavesky of Granite Bay posted a 5:03.37 in the 1,600-meter run, good for 20th place, but shy of what would be required for a trip to the finals. The sophomore delivered her best time of the year. “We all knew that it would be a much faster pace than what she had seen but she went out there and stuck with the pack,” Nasca said. Jordon Alviso came up short in the boys pole vault trials, as his 14 foot, 3 inch vault was good only for 17th position. The Woodcreek girls 4x400-meter relay team came up 19th in their qualifier, and also sat out Saturday's finals.