SACRAMENTO - Archbishop Mitty's Renisha Robinson knows the road from San Jose to Sacramento all too well after making the drive four times in 36 hours.
"It was a hectic day," she said after finishing fourth in the girls 800 meters at the state track and field championships.
Earlier Saturday, Robinson took part in Mitty's graduation ceremonies.
Robinson got home from the meet trials at 11:30p.m. Friday and awoke at 6:30a.m. to prepare for graduation.
Immediately after, she stopped home for 10 minutes, then returned to Sacramento.
"I wasn't thinking about how my graduation affected me on the track," Robinson said. "I think my first 400 was fine, but there was a lot of wind."
Robinson led from the gun until the back straight of the final lap. She tried to fend off a rush from several runners but was unsuccessful, though she kept her final position down the stretch. Robinson, who will run for Sacramento State next season, finished in 2 minutes, 10.25 seconds, to earn her first state-meet medal.
"I gave it everything I had," she said. "That's all you can give."
Leigh freshman Jordan Diaz was eighth in 2:13.03.
Los Gatos' Colin Quirke was out of sorts on his first three throws of the shot put, failing to reach 59 feet, but he came through on his fourth attempt with a throw of 60-4 3/4 to finish third.
"I just couldn't catch one today, even the 60-footer wasn't that good of a throw," Quirke said. St. Francis' Andy Vargas was sixth at 57-11.
Oak Grove's Sebastian Sam got the pace he wanted on the first lap of the 800, and he came roaring back from eighth place down the back stretch, passing several runners with a strong kick to finish fourth in 1:53.86.
"It was a great experience, this really boosts my confidence to come back and do even better next year," said Sam, the only junior on the podium of seniors.
Bellarmine College Prep senior Stephen Powell finished sixth in the discus with a throw of 180-4, his fourth personal-best mark in the two-day competition.
Powell's father has never been in his life, and although he talks with his mother, he has lived on his own in an apartment for the past two years.
Asked how he felt after receiving his medal, Powell was exuberant.
"Fantiliastic," he said. "Who would have thunk it."
When asked how he has maintained a 3.7 GPA living on his own, Powell said: "What else am I going to do? I can't be sad all the time, that would give me gray hair. This was the state meet, so I wanted to be at my best."
Los Altos senior Eric Hersey finished eighth in the 300-meter hurdles, but he landed on the podium with a fifth-place finish in the 110 hurdles with a wind-aided time of 13.84.
Milpitas senior Eileen Nguyen finished fourth in the 400 in 54.53, the sixth-fastest time in CCS history, and was seventh in the 200 in 24.30.
SACRAMENTO - Castilleja's Tori Anthony skipped her graduation ceremonies Saturday to compete in the pole vault at the state track and field championships, so she wanted to deliver a performance to remember.
Anthony's effort was indeed memorable, as she broke the national high school outdoor record by clearing 14 feet, 1 inch on her third attempt.
That gave the Central Coast Section a pole-vaulting sweep, following Los Gatos' Nico Weiler's state-meet-record victory in the boys competition.
Anthony bounced out of the pit and raised her arms as the crowd of 11,171 rose to its feet after eclipsing the 13-9 set by Mary Saxer of Lancaster, N.Y., in 2005.
"I wasn't going to leave here tonight without doing something special," said Anthony, who didn't take up the sport until November 2004. "It was a combination of everything today. I had a great approach with a tail wind, and the crowd really got things going. I tried to have the best takeoff I could."
Anthony loved the balance beam as a gymnast, but when she got burned out on the sport and discovered the pole vault, she was hooked.
"Once I started, I couldn't stop," said Anthony, who set a personal best of 14-2 1/2 at an indoor meet this season. "I have been trying to clear that height (14-1) for so long, it's been a long time coming."
St. Francis senior Natasha Barthel started her day by hitting her high notes in a sterling rendition of the national anthem to get the finals started. She ended it with her second consecutive third-place finish after clearing 12-10.
"Tori and I are good friends, we push each other," Barthel said. "You couldn't ask for better conditions. In the last couple days, I finally got my steps down and my timing was there."
Weiler had already clinched the boys state title when he eyed his third and final approach on the runway with the bar set at 17-2.
With a strong plant and an explosive push, Weiler cleared the height and set a state-meet record, surpassing the 17-1 set by Granite Bay's Scott Roth in 2005.
It was the second time Weiler extended his meet with a clearance on his final attempt; he also did it at 16-10 to give him a shot at the record.
"I couldn't finish my last competition in America like that," said Weiler, and exchange student from Stuttgart, Germany, who will decide in the next two weeks whether to move to Los Gatos to complete his senior season. "The crowd really pumped me up; they were so engaged. The crowd, the competition and the announcers made it a really special event."
Weiler became the first CCS pole vaulter to win a boys state title since Leland's Scott Slover in 1994.
"I don't know how he's doing half the stuff he's doing, he's got some kind of amazing power," said his coach, Brandon Vance. "Last week took a lot out of him, but he manned up and showed what kind of competitor he is today."
St. Lawrence junior Josh Cusick became the first athlete in school history to win a state medal, taking sixth by clearing 14-10.