Kathy Watson of Saugus High experienced the thrill of victory and the agony of the feet, er, make that the ankle, within a span of 30 seconds in the Southern Section track and field championships at Long Beach Veterans Stadium on Saturday.
Watson, a senior, cleared a personal best of 5 feet 10 inches in the high jump to win her second consecutive Division I title, but as she pranced around the infield in celebration, she dislocated her right ankle and had to call it a day.
The injury, which Watson initially sustained while playing for the Centurions' basketball team earlier this year, appeared serious at first, but after being examined by a trainer she expects to jump in Friday's Southern Section Masters Meet at Cerritos College.
"I couldn't believe it when it happened," Watson said. "I said, 'Oh God. No, no, no.' "
The injury ended what had been a perfect competition for Watson as she cleared 5-0, 5-2, 5-4, 5-6, 5-8 and 5-10 on her first attempts. Her jump of 5-8 topped her previous personal best of 5-7 and her 5-10 jump moved her into a tie for fourth on the all-time regional list with Linda Soja of Poly (1980) and Allison Walker of Hoover (1981).
Not bad for someone who was competing in only her fourth outdoor meet after being academically ineligible for the first part of the season. "I came in here shooting for 5-8," Watson said. "When I got over that, I said, 'Yeah.' "