Hollander, Usgaard enjoy big days at Div. 1 prelims
MISSION VIEJO - Though she didn’t exactly follow her coach’s wishes for her 3200 qualifying race, the end result for Marina senior Laura Hollander was yet another impressively dominant victory.
Hollander opened with a 5:01 1600 meters and cruised to a meet-best 10:17.04 at the CIF-SS Division 1 preliminaries Saturday at Trabuco Hills High.
“My coach wanted me to go out and just win the race and not go so fast in the first 1600,” Hollander said. “It’s hard to get in my mind to shut it down, so I somewhat listened and somewhat keep pushing the pace. I’m happy that I did that to get myself used to that pace potentially for state.”
Hollander, currently second in the nation and in county history in the 3200 after a 10:10.51 at last month’s Arcadia Invitational, took the lead early in the first lap and pushed the pace throughout. She finished 48 seconds ahead of Arcadia sophomore Veronica Yamane (11:05.36) who was second in her heat.
Aliso Niguel senior Danica Wyson finished with the second best 3200 qualifying time, winning her heat in a lifetime best of 10:46.38.
"I knew that it was going to be fast and I just had to calm myself down and get to the front so that I didn’t get caught in the traffic,” Wyson said. “In the last lap, it was about giving it everything I had.”
Hollander also won her heat of the 1600 in a time of 4:55.38, the second fastest overall qualifying time of the meet behind Centennial of Corona’s Adrianna Olivas (4:54.43).
Dana Hills senior Tori Usgaard will compete in three finals next week. She qualified for the finals in the 100 hurdles (wind-aided 14.87), the 300 hurdles (45.26) and the long jump (17-9).
“I had my PR in the 100 hurdles and tied my PR in the long jump, which was exciting for me,” Usgaard said.
Vikings senior Emily Taylor finished with the fifth best qualifying time in the 1600, winning her heat in a time of 5:01.38.
Vikings junior Kylie Nishisaka (5:03.26), Edison senior Lauren Grego (5:04.71) and Trabuco Hills senior Cassandra Smith (5:05.10) also advanced to the finals.
Taylor returned later in the meet and qualified for the 800 in a time of 2:15.17, the best time of all county runners in the competiton.
“It feels good to be in the finals because last year I was sick and had a really bad race at prelims,” Taylor said. “The was probably the best I’ve ever felt about an 800. I stayed with the pack, made my move, and had a lot at that end.”
San Clemente junior Sara Kebede won her heat of the 800 in a time 2:15.18 to qualify automatically for the finals.
"I just wanted to see what the rest of the girls were doing for the first 400,” Kebede said. “I really wanted to win the race.”
Grego (2:16.21) and Mission Viejo junior Sara Fleming (2:16.59) will also compete in the 800 finals.
Dolphins sophomore Michaela King will join Usgaard in both hurdles finals after clocking time of 14.99 in the 100 and 45.35 in the 300.
Dana Hills junior Brenna Barker (37-10½) had the second best overall distance in the triple jump. Also qualifying for the finals was Edison junior Michaella Schaeffer (36-9) and Los Alamitos junior Jordan Agnew (35-7¼).
Agnew also qualified for the long jump with a mark of 17-8.
Griffins sophomore Mackenna Howard (124-6) and Trabuco Hills senior Karen Ascencio (117-2) advanced in the discus, with Huntington Beach junior Ashley Donohoe (37-4½) moving on in the shot put.
Three county high jumper advanced to the finals. Barker, Huntington Beach sophomore Susannah Oleson, and El Toro sophomore Michelle DeDmon recorded clearances of 5-3.
Aliso Niguel junior Danielle Darden clocked a wind-aided 11.97 to advance to the 100 finals.
El Toro teammates Mikaela Morris and Madi Bragg, Huntington Beach senior Amy Loschiavo, and Edison senior Karen Snapper were among nine pole vaulters that qualified with a clearance of 10-9.