ELK GROVE — Davis High sophomore high jumper Kyle Clancy is headed to the CIF state meet next weekend, thanks to an effort of 6-05 on Thursday at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters meet.
Finishing in a fourth-place tie, Clancy’s effort met the California height standard for an at-large berth. The top three finishers in each field event are automatic state participants.
“That’s pretty impressive, especially for a sophomore,” Blue Devils head coach Spencer Elliott told The Enterprise.
Except for his DHS boys’ flame-out in the 4×400 relay, Elliott said the Devils had a lot to build from during the Elk Grove prelims.
“Overall it was a good day,” the coach added, still scratching his head over how his guys plodded through four trips around the track in an anemic 3:25.10, finishing 13th and packing their bags … for home.
In their second-place finish at sections, Davis went 3:22.81.
“It was disappointing and I don’t know why it happened,” Elliott explained. “We talked about it. It’s on me, coaching. Next year will be different. We’ll prepare differently.”
But much of the rest of the night had good news.
For three local girls in the 800-meter race, the story was which gear to choose …
Section champ Laney Teaford chose to save some energy (2:19.52) and qualify fifth. Jeane-Marie McPherson recorded a personal-best 2:18.61 and gets a shot Friday to advance to Clovis on May 31 and June 1.
Han-ah Sumner — usually a key ingredient on Davis’s record-setting girls 4×400 relay team — put the pedal to the metal to win her heat (2:17.80) and qualify second overall behind Faith Makau (Enochs), who went 2:17.47.
Meanwhile, Ellie Eaton ran 56.88 — the second fastest Q-time of the night — to get a good lane for Friday night’s 400.
Eaton also anchored that special 4×400 crew (with Teaford, Rose Stephens and Claire Wiebe subbing for Sumner), which finished fourth overall at 3:58.38 — a walk in the park compared to its school-record 3:53.66 set just last Friday.
Curiously, Vacaville, which finished a distance third to the Blue Devils in those section finals, posted the top qualifying run (3:57.36) while St. Francis (last Friday’s winner by .01 over DHS) went 3:58.17.
Somewhere there’s a 4×400 snake in the grass for Friday night.
In the boys 800, Blue Devil Paul Mohr (1:55.90) was the top qualifier with teammate Blake Croft (1:57.71 in sixth) gaining a chance to run for state.
While triple jumper Kunwoo Hong failed to made the final field, the Davis athlete’s 43-11.75 was good for sixth — and a personal best by more than a foot.
“The was a huge jump for him. Great effort,” Elliott explained.
A handful of other DHS competitors came up short on Thursday …
Nick Denton’s discus throw of 150-09 was good for seventh, but no trip south. Alex McIntyre (22.53) was 11th in the 200, Stephens (46.08) just missed another run by finishing ninth in the 300 hurdles and Caitlin Mazzoleni tied for eighth in the high jump.
Eaton also just missed in the 200 (25.54) to Kennedy’s Michaela Pino (25.52), but Elliott called that “probably a blessing in disguise.”
Eaton and her 4×4 sisterhood have a real shot at state, not to mention Eaton’s individual chances in the 400.
Notes: The Davis 4×100 girls relay team took 10th and won’t pass another baton this spring. … Devil distance runners Jack Scranton, Sophie Meads and Fiona O’Keeffe are running Friday, as the there is no qualifying for the 3,200 and the 1,600.
— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-747-8047