Valley Christian-San Jose teammates Elena Bruckner, Ronna Stone lead NorCal’s state weekend
By TREVOR HORN | Contributor
CLOVIS – In the year the California Interscholastic Federation celebrated 100 years of athletics, the 2015 CIF State Track and Field Championships will go down as one of the finest over the past century.
With an all-time national record tied in the boys 400 meters (Michael Norman, Vista Murrieta-Murrieta 45.19 seconds) and six other seasonal best marks in the nation set, the two-day extravaganza did have a solid Northern California flavor.
And a very successful one for Valley Christian-San Jose as Elena Bruckner (shot put) and Ronna Stone (discus) walked away with state titles.
“It was huge to see all of the hard work Ronna put in, and Elena was happy for her, too,” Valley Christian throws coach Arpedge Rolle said. “They told each other that somebody has to win state.”
Bruckner, a junior, came in as the favorite to sweep the discus and shot put. On her third throw in Saturday’s finals inside the infield at Veterans Memorial Stadium at Buchanan High, Brucker’s throw of 50 feet, 2 ½ inches was the lone throw of the evening over 50 feet and put her on top of the podium.
Three weeks prior at the West Catholic Athletic League finals, Bruckner’s discus toss of 182-8 ended up the No. 4 throw in the world for juniors U-20 this season. However, Brucker did not come close to that mark in the state finals. But her teammate picked her up and represented Valley Christian with a title throw.
Bruckner was hampered by back and knee problems while competing for two state titles and on a travel volleyball team.
“She’s been slowed with a little back pain,” Rolle said. “But through all of that, her body just wasn’t living up to her will.
“I told (Bruckner) that ‘You’re more important than this (state title),’” Rolle said. “If she was going to injure herself, I didn’t want her to throw (the discus). But she did it. She said she wanted to do it.”
Stone won the state title with a throw of 161-9 with Bruckner joining her on the medal stand with a third place finish at 154-9.
“She’s had some great days and some bad days. This was a good one,” Rolle said of Stone. “When she was a freshman, she didn’t like throwing the discus.”
This marks only the third time since 1976, when both shot put and discus became official at the state finals, that teammates won both events in the same season. The only two other times came in 1988 and 1990 by Bakersfield High teammates Melissa Weis and Dawn Dumble.
In all, the mighty Southern Section won 19 of the 32 possible state titles, but NorCal came away victorious in six events.
• The St. Mary’s-Berkeley girls 1600 relay won state in a time of 3 minutes, 43.33 seconds. St. Mary’s senior Ron Smith won the boys triple jump at 49-0 1-4.
• Castro Valley senior Kennedy Jones won the girls triple jump at 42-5 ¼.
• Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills senior Austin Laut won the boys pole vault at 15-9.
• Defending state champion Mecca McGlaston of Dublin took second in the girls 100 hurdles. McGlaston, a junior, ran a 13.18, edged out by Roosevelt-Lake Elsinore senior Jasmyne Graham by .01 of a second. The two times are No. 4 and No. 5 in the world for U-20 hurdlers this season.
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