Three locals medal at state

Fountain Valley High junior Kyle Middlebrooks started fast at the CIF State Track and Field Championships, while Edison’s Hillary Hayes and Matt McElroy laid back for awhile Saturday at Buchanan High in Clovis. All three got what they were looking for in the end, however.

Middlebrooks finished second in the state in the boys’ 100-meter dash, while Hayes and McElroy also medaled with fourth and fifth-place finishes in the girls’ and boys’ 3200, respectively.

But there was also a sense of disappointment for Huntington Beach High senior Allison Koressel, a state title contender who failed to clear a height in the girls’ pole vault at finals.

Middlebrooks finished in 10.57 seconds, second only to state leader Randall Carroll of Cathedral (10.38). While the time wasn’t a personal-best — Middlebrooks ran a 10.48 at the OC Championships — he was definitely satisfied with the result.

“I got off to a pretty good start,” he said. “[Carroll] just came on. He’s fast; he’s a fast guy.”

He’s also a senior, while Middlebrooks can try again for a state title next year.

“I think it was a pretty good race for me,” said Middlebrooks, also a star running back for the Barons football team. “It’s crazy. It’s a good feeling knowing that I’m the second-fastest in the state. Coming back next year will be real fun.”

Hayes won’t have that luxury, as the senior is headed to Cal. But she finished off her high school career in grand style, placing fourth in the girls’ 3200 in 10 minutes, 28.79 seconds.

The time was nearly nine seconds faster than her third-place time at the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet the week before, again breaking her own school record.

“I just wanted to PR again,” Hayes said. “I’m just so happy. It’s an amazing feeling; I couldn’t have asked for a better ending.”

Hayes said she wanted to focus on her last mile after the race went out at a pretty fast pace.

“All my splits were perfect,” she said. “It was a good race.”

McElroy also set another PR as he finished fifth in 8:56.44, over three seconds faster than his Masters Meet time of 8:59.91.

“Eight guys ran under nine minutes, and that’s the first time that’s happened [at state],” McElroy said. “It went out really fast. I was at the end of the pack; I was planning to just go out behind the pack and work my way up.”

McElroy said he out-kicked two kids at the end, finishing strong to secure the fifth-place finish.

“It meant a lot,” he said. “I’d never gone to state before. It’s my first year making it out of CIF finals.”

It was also the UCLA-bound Koressel’s first time going to state, and she was one of the favorites in the girls’ pole vault as she came in tied for the state lead at 13 feet, 1 inch.

Koressel easily cleared the qualifying mark of 11-8 on Friday, but then failed to get a height on any of her three attempts Saturday.

Coach John Shirley said Koressel was having issues getting enough speed on her approach on the first two attempts.

Her third attempt, she had a good takeoff but the pole was too small.

“She was disappointed,” Shirley said. “This is the first time she no-heighted all season. But we have junior nationals coming up [June 25 at the University of Oregon]. She’ll try to get some revenge in Oregon.”

Kortney Ross of Westview won the state title in 13-4, just three inches above Koressel’s PR.

“I think I probably could have hit 13-4, but you never know,” Koressel said. “My run was just off. It wasn’t how I wanted it to go, but sometimes you have those meets. At the meet, I was really disappointed, but now I’m fine. I have junior nationals coming up and four years at UCLA.”

Koressel said she is looking forward to junior nationals. The top two finishers in each event there will qualify for the 2009 Pan American Junior Athletics Championships, held in Port of Spain, Trinidad beginning July 31.

“It’ll be really good competition,” she said.


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