Mishaye Venerable will know better next time.
The Cosumnes Oaks long jumper had just finished 12th in the finals of her event at the CIF State Track and Field Championships in Clovis on Saturday, a bit perplexed at why her best leap was a full foot shorter than what she recorded in Friday’s preliminaries.
“In the practice I just was, well, off,” Venerable explained. “I just guess I got over-excited.”
She admits it – she was a bit caught up in the moment. The best track and field athletes in California were in the same place and this being her first time was well, overwhelming.
“I felt pressured today,” Venerable said. “There was a record set in the event and that was running through my head at the same time.”
Marguax Jones of Redlands established a State Meet record with a jump of 20 feet, four-and-3/4 inches breaking a mark set in 1993 by Marion Jones of Thousand Oaks who would go on to become an Olympian.
The best leap Venerable could muster Saturday was 16 feet, four and ¼ inches, good for 12th place. In the Section IV meet, she won the long jump with a mark of 17 feet, ten inches.
But, there must have been something in the air around the long jump pit because Franklin High School’s Jorden O’Neal was also well short of her preliminary mark. In the finals O’Neal jumped 18 feet, one-half inch, to end up ninth in State.
O’ Neal had a best mark of 19 feet, four-and-3/4 inches on Friday in Clovis.
But, late Saturday the CIF track meet officials offered an explanation: They said all preliminary round marks were discarded because of “a measurement error.” They did not specify what that error was.
Still, Venerable said the experience was memorable.
“I just didn’t think I’d make it this far,” the Cosumnes Oaks junior said. “I am just so excited for next year. I know what I have to do to get back here.”
Venerable’s teammate Tais Marinho-Gomes was finishing her high school career at the triple jump. After leaping 37 feet, 11-and-a-quarter inches in the prelims, Marinho-Gomes went 37-7.75, an 11th place finish.
“I was having some knee issues and I think that was contributing to my performance,” the UC-San Diego-bound athlete said.
She was much more prepared for the intensity of the State Meet this time having experienced the event last season.
“It’s really a privilege to compete with athletes that are so good in their disciplines,” Marinho-Gomes said. “I think I was able to handle this a whole lot better than last year.”
She finished 12th in the event a year ago at State.
“(My improvement) over last year had a lot to do with mental toughness where I knew what I needed to do,” Marinho-Gomes explained. “This year I felt like I came knowing I would perform at a higher level.”
The top individual performance turned in at Clovis Saturday came from Long Beach Poly sprinter Arianna Washington who for the third year in a row won both the 100 and the 200-meter dashes. She single handedly accounted for 20 of her school’s 70 points to run away with the girls’ team championship.
The boys’ title race was much tighter. In the end Mater Dei won the team championship with 30 points. Castro Valley finished with 28 points and DeLaSalle 23 points.
Sheldon’s 4x400 meter relay team of Cameron Stone, Taron Johnson, Marcus Beloney and Steven Edwards had the top local performance of the track finals, finishing third in their event.
In the prelims, they had the second fastest mark at 3:15.71. On Saturday, they bested their prelim mark by more than one second. They ran the race in 3:14.10.
The same quartet was disqualified in the preliminaries of the 4x100 meters because of a lane violation.
Earlier on Saturday Stone finished seventh in the finals of the 400 meters with a time of 47.67 seconds. A junior, he’ll return next year as a favorite for a state championship in that event for 2015.
The lone state champion from the Sac-Joaquin Section was Woodcreek’s 4x100 meter relay team who circled the track in 41.20 seconds.
Folsom hurdler Austin Carter had a great showing in Clovis taking second in the 300-meter hurdles and an eighth in the 110-meter hurdles. Teammate Jonah Williams placed eighth in the shot put.
Grant’s Darrin Paulo was second in the boys’ discus throw.
St. Francis discus thrower and Elk Grove resident Kayla O’Brine ended up in 12th place in her event. The Troubadours’ 4x400 meter relay squad placed third Saturday running the event in a school record 3:45.02.
Vacaville’s talented hurdler Pattriana Perry was third in the 100-meter event and placed fifth in the 300-meter hurdles.
Several other Elk Grove Unified competitiors did compete in the preliminaries on Friday but did not qualify for Saturday’s final events.
After a third place finish in their heat, Elk Grove’s 4x400 meter relay team’s time was just a bit too slow and they were nosed out of qualifying for the finals.
Jazmine Smith, the Herd’s 200-meter competitor, ran her preliminary race in 24.81 seconds, but missed the finals by .69 of a second. In the 400-meter run her time was the 13th best overall, so she missed the finals.
In most events the top nine times or marks made the second day of competition.
Monterey Trail’s lone representative, Jahmar Sexton, was seventh in his heat of the 300-meter hurdles.
Chinyere Dike of Franklin ran the 100 meters in 12.21 seconds, seventh in her heat. The Wildcats’ 4x100 meter relay team just missed the finals by finishing fourth in their heat.
Johnson competed in the 100-meter dash for Sheldon, but was sixth in his heat with a mark of 10.86 seconds. He finished second in both the 100 and the 200 meters at the Section Masters Meet the previous weekend.
CIF announced Saturday that 9, 123 showed up for the finals that day, 16.372 total for the two-day event. They also announced that the State Track Meet would return to Veterans Stadium in Clovis annually through 2017.