By Joe Naiman
Ramona High School junior Courtney Jackson cleared 11’3” in the girls pole vault competition at the CIF San Diego Section track and field finals May 25 at Mt. Carmel High School, achieving third place overall and qualifying for the CIF state meet.
Jackson placed second among the Division I pole vaulters.
The athletes in the combined Divisions I and II with the top three times or distances in each event at the section finals earned invitations to the state meet, which will be held Friday and Saturday at Buchanan High School in Clovis. If Jackson vaults high enough at the preliminaries on Friday, she will compete in the CIF state finals Saturday.
“We need to get her on a bigger pole for her to be able to clear 11’9”,” said coach Sherri Edwards.
Jady Tolda from Cathedral Catholic cleared 11’9”. The tie-breaking criteria in the event of identical best distances is fewer misses at lower distances. Hayley Farr of Patrick Henry also cleared 11’3” with no misses at lower distances. Jackson, who cleared 9’3” and 9’9” on her first attempts, missed her first try at 10’3” before clearing 10’9” on her next vault. Jackson missed her first two attempts at 11’3” before going over the bar on her final attempt. Mimi Lian of Rancho Bernardo also cleared 11’3” but had two misses at lower distances to give her fourth place.
“Courtney did well,” Edwards said. “Courtney was very competitive.”
Ramona Freshman Holly Stallman lowered the school record for the third consecutive week in the 200-meter dash in the “B” race at CIF San Diego Section finals with a time of 25.71, which earned her a fifth place medal among Division I runners. In the 100-meter dash, she reduced her school record of 12.47 to 12.44 seconds, giving her sixth place in Division I.
“She was excited,” Edwards said of Stallman’s two medals. “I knew she was going to make it up on the stand.”
Sometimes an athlete will scratch out of an event in the finals due to injury or to focus on a different event. Senior Tristan Stidham, who thought he had missed the boys 1,600-meter “A” race by 0.3 seconds, was able to close out his high school career in that race when a runner scratched out. Stidham’s time of 4:25.76 in the finals didn’t match his personal record of 4:23.80 that he set during the preliminaries, but he improved his 11th-place preliminaries position to an eighth-place finals time.
“I was pleased with the way they competed today,” Edwards said after the May 25 finals.