By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
Palisades High sophomores Brittany Darrow and Elizabeth Rene had plenty of incentive heading into last weekend’s CIF state track & field championships at Buchanan High in Clovis.
Dolphins distance coach Bob Macias promised to dye his moustache blue if Darrow broke 2:18 in the 800 meters or Rene broke 5:05 in the 1600 by season’s end. The state meet was their last chance and perhaps Darrow can convince her coach to “go blue” anyway after clocking a personal-best 2:20.63 in Friday’s prelims. Darrow, who was runner-up at the City Section finals one week before, topped her previous-best effort of 2:20.87 at South Bay in April, but it wasn’t enough to secure a spot in Saturday’s final. Alyssa Brewer of California High won in 2:09.12and City champion Maya Richardson from San Pedro was 18th in 2:15.85.
After taking first at City finals by one hundredth of a second, Rene shaved 2.8 seconds off her PR to clock 5:10.09 at the state prelims, finishing 18th out of 28 runners and ninth in her heat. Maddy Denner of Oak Ridge High won in 4:51.29. Only the 12 best times qualified for the finals.
In the 3200, freshman Sarah Bentley showed her potential is off the charts by dropping 10.3 seconds from her winning City time, completing the eight-lapper Saturday night in a personal-best 11:19.31. Malibu High sophomore Claudia Lane won the race in 10:07.33.
For the boys, Pali High senior Hunter Parker was eighth in his heat and 23rd overall in the 800 meters in a season-best 1:57.59. Parker was third at City finals in 1:58.27 and his PR of 1:57.10 was achieved at last year’s state prelims.
The Dolphins’ only representative in the field events was junior Bailey Jones, who was 20th in the long jump in 21 feet, 8.75 inches (an inch better than his second-place mark at City finals) and 21st in the triple jump (43-01.75) where his PR of 45-02 came April 1 at Covina.