CLOVIS — Coming off an impressive performance at the Masters Meet, Edison High's Jeff Thies was hoping he could add an even more significant accomplishment to his resume at the CIF state track and field finals on Saturday.
The week before, the Chargers senior clocked 9 minutes, 4.38 seconds in winning the 3,200 meters, making him among the contenders in Saturday's championship field of 26 runners. Thies didn't have to worry about a qualifying race Friday and was in the hunt all the way before finishing third in 9:05.31.
Thies, who is headed for the University of Oregon, showed remarkable improvement in his last two races of the season, after a time of 9:29.61 at the Sunset League finals.
Blake Haney of Bakersfield Stockdale won in 9:01.65 and John Lawson of San Anselmo Drake was second in 9:02.64. Thies finished just ahead of El Toro's Juan Gonzalez (9:06.45) and Tal Braud of Torrey Pines (9:06.91).
Huntington Beach junior Susannah Oleson finished seventh in the girls' high jump and achieved a personal-best.
Oleson cleared 5 feet, 6 inches to advance through prelims after finishing third overall on attempts. On Saturday, the Oilers junior cleared the opening height of 5-3 3/4 on her first attempt, then cleared 5-6 on her second try.
Four jumpers topped out at 5-6, but Oleson finished ahead of eighth-place Kiana Herold because she had needed fewer jumps to clear the height.
Rachel McCoy of Fontana Miller cleared 6-0 3/4 to take first place, Alexandria Florent of North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake was second at 5-10. Erinn Beattie of Ventura Buena was third and Asia Chesley was fourth, both clearing 5-8.
Prior to the state finals, Oleson's best jump was 5-5, a height she reached three times — at the Southern Section preliminaries, the Southern Section finals and at the Masters Meet, where she placed 10th.
She jumped 5-4 at the Sunset League finals.