BigO Tyres

   CLOVIS, Calif. ““ Senior Lauren LaRocco and the 4×400-meter relay both earned top five finishes in the final two races of the meet...

   CLOVIS, Calif. ““ Senior Lauren LaRocco and the 4×400-meter relay both earned top five finishes in the final two races of the meet as the St. Francis program placed 21st overall at the CIF Track and Field Championships Saturday.

   LaRocco entered the meet with the ninth-fastest seed time but was determined to finish her career on the podium (top-six finish). She raced like it Saturday.

   She settled into the middle of the pack to start and executed her game plan over the eight-lap race.

   “I knew everyone was going to start out pretty fast,” said LaRocco. “I stayed relaxed and stayed with a group around me. I moved up throughout the race and started trying to push the pace into the top six and medal.”

   Assistant Coach Mason Myers said the race plan was executed perfectly.

   “We are very proud of Lauren’s phenomenal comeback this season,” said assistant coach Mason Myers. “We had a race plan for her to go out in 5:12. She pushed the fifth lap and got into position and we talked last lap to really execute and run hard. She ran a 72-second lap, surging to a new personal record.”

   LaRocco clocked 10:23.10 to reset her own school record, finishing fifth overall and earning a spot on the podium.

   “I was doing a lot better than I expected,” said LaRocco of her race. “I am not used to all the competition but I had confidence at the end. I was itching to make a move and I was feeling good. I am glad it ended with a PR and another school record.”

   LaRocco will run at Portland next year and will look back on her St. Francis days fondly. She was sixth at the 2013 CIF Cross Country Championships and was a four-time qualifier for the cross country state meet.

   “If it had to end, I am glad it got to end here,” said LaRocco. “It is kinda sad. I am ready and high school has been a good long career. I had so much fun out there. I am definitely going to miss it.”

   While LaRocco’s performance ended the individual events for the Troubadours, the St. Francis 4×400-meter relay team took the stage for the closing event looking to make history.

   Head Coach John DuCray has molded the trio of sophomores (Ariane Arndt, Kiani Reyn, Lilly Enes) and junior Sydney Hunter into a formidable group. They advanced out of prelims with the third-fastest time and looked to repeat.

   Arndt led off and closed her leg behind only Long Beach Poly and Piedmont Hills, two of the fastest teams in the country.

   “I knew if I wanted to stay in the race I had to get out quicker this time,” said Arndt after the race. “Yesterday I was a little slow on the start so right when the gun went off I went. I hit the stagger pretty well. I did everything I could do.”

   St. Francis held the third spot for the rest of the race en route to a school-record 3:45.02, two seconds faster than the record set last week.

   “It felt so amazing coming in right where we were placed and doing better than we ever thought we could do,” said Hunter, who ran the final leg. “We made our goal of getting on the podium.”

   The team has dropped 14 seconds over the last two years from 3:59 to 3:45. They advanced to the state meet but did make it past the first day.

   “It was a young team and I was not sure if they were going to hold up but they did fantastic,” said Head Coach John DuCray. “We talked last year that they could run 3:46 and get on the medal stand. They did better than that and were third in the state. They were great.”

   Sophomore Kiani Reyna said the race was to plan.  They finished running a time ranked among the Top 10 in the nation entering the weekend.

   “We planned on getting a PR today,” said Reyna.

   Enes said the Troubies put everything they had on the track.

   “We made it this far and we knew we needed to push through and try our hardest. We put everything out on the track. We did it.”

   Senior discus thrower Kayla O’Brine finished 12th overall earlier in the day.

SportStars Magazine best in prep sports


SportStars Magazine: High School Sports Articles Online SportStars is your go-to source for the very best high school sports articles in California. Player and team profiles, game coverage, health and fitness tips and the largest Camps, Clinics & Combine resource for athletes. We're the story behind the stats.

No comments so far.

Be first to leave comment below.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *