CIF-SAN DIEGO SECTION PRELIMINARIES
An injury forced Cathedral Catholic junior sprint star Bryce Brock out of Saturday's Division 2 Preliminary meet, held at Mt. Carmel High. (Photos by Clark Kranz)
SAN DIEGO -- Five meters before the finish of the 100-meter dash, Cathedral Catholic's Bryce Brock slowed noticeably.
It's not unusual for runners to cruise the final few meters when they are in an event that is simply qualifying for the next round like the CIF-San Diego Section Division 2 prelims Saturday at Mt. Carmel High.
Only this time, Brock was not throttling back as he went immediately to the medical tent.
"I'm done," said the Dons' junior, who came into the meet ranked third in California in the 100-meter dash at 10.56 seconds and tied for third in the 200 at 21.49 for wind-legal times.
"It's all part of God's plan -- everything happens for a reason."
Asked if he might try to run a 200 later in the meet or return in a week to run the 100 where his 10.95 is still the second-fastest in Division 2, he shook his head.
"If I run you won't see me for the next five years and I don't want that," said Brock. "I'm not discouraged; I'll be back and hopefully I'll be phenomenal."
The 100 setback came less than an hour after the Dons' 4x100 relay team, which had run 42.20, dropped the baton on the first exchange.
Valhalla's Ian Lipsey appears to be the major benefactor of Brock's absence heading into next Saturday's championships as he not only had the fastest 100-meter time, a 10.74 but also led all qualifiers in the long jump at a wind-aided 22-5.75.
On the girls' side, there were some strong performances even though most of the athletes appeared to be just trying to qualify.
The exception was West Hills senior Brandy Atuatasi who led all qualifiers in both the discus and shot.
First, she hit 156-9 in the discus, just off her best of 162-3, and promptly took aim at the section record of 167-3 by Mt. Miguel's Laulauga Tausaga.
"My wrist doesn't bother me at all in that event," said Tausaga. "It really hurt today in the shot because I wasn't able to see my chiropractor this week with all the senior activities."
"I'm going for that record next week," said the Stanford-bound senior.
She came back to lead all qualifiers in the shot at 40-9.50, a best for her this season but still behind the 45-1.50 in 2019.
Mt. Carmel's Jaymie Ruskovich, who two years ago was part of the Scripps Ranch state-winning 4x100 relay team, showed she's getting close to her peak by topping the 100-meter runners in 12.32 and posting the second-fastest 200 at 25.11, behind the 24.79 wind-aided time of Cathedral Catholic's Aryana Boostani.
"It has been a very challenging year with the coronavirus and switching teams," said Rustkovich, a senior. "I'm trying to get back under 12 seconds in the 100 and stay mentally strong."
Another former member of that relay team, hurdler Aaliyah McCormick, who ran state-leading times of 14.10 and 43.12 a week ago, cruised a 14.39 and 43.87, making sure she advanced to the championships.
Mission Hills' Kyle Smith and Poway's Maxwell Jefferson posted impressive double wins with Smith clocking a 10.80 in the 100 meters and a windy 21.76 in the 200. Jefferson swept the hurdle qualifying with a 14.79 in the 110s and a 38.33 in the intermediates.
On the girls' side, Poway's Alyssa Bean had the fastest 200-meter time with a 24.47 and 400 at 56.56 as well as running legs on the Titans' front-running 4x100 relay at 48.87 and the 4x400 at 3:55.76.
San Pasqual's Elise Miller (Angel Pena photo above) also dominated, winning her heat of the 100-meter hurdles in the fastest time of the day at 14.38 run into a slight wind before topping the long jump (18-9.25) and triple jump (40-1).
The smallest enrollment schools produced some quality performances at Valley Center High.
Madison's Aysha Shaheed led all qualifiers in the 100 at 11.94 and the 200 at 24.49 after helping the Warhawks' 4x100 relay to the fastest time of the day, 48.87.
Steve Brand is a regular contributor to MileSplitCA and serves as the San Diego Section editor