CLOVIS — No universal feeling is guaranteed to accompany a silver medal.
Emotions can run the gamut, fluctuating based on the overall context of a particular athlete’s season up until that point.
Whether overjoyed with a season-ending performance, merely content with an improvement, or fighting back tears from having to wait another year to try to be No. 1, San Luis Obispo County competitors experienced a wide range of reactions to their runner-up finishes at the CIF State Track and Field Championships on Saturday.
Three county prep stars came in second in their respective events: Templeton’s Savannah Camacho in the girls 800-meter run, Paso Robles’ Tess Rountree in the girls high jump and San Luis Obispo’s Abrianna Torres in the girls long jump. Arroyo Grande’s Garrett Weinreich was third in the boys shot put.
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Camacho came close to setting her personal best, clocking a time of 2 minutes, 7.84 seconds. But there was almost nothing anyone could’ve done Saturday to overcome Harvard-Westlake's Amy Weissenbach.
Weissenbach’s performance instantly became the main storyline of the entire meet, as her 2:02.04 broke a three-year-old national prep record by 0.86 seconds.
The crowd of nearly 8,000 at Buchanan High’s Veterans Memorial Stadium was wowed as the PA announcer let it be known that Weissenbach’s time would’ve ranked as the fastest collegiate time in the country this season, much less the 13th-fastest for any female regardless of age.
A year ago, Weissenbach barely beat Camacho in the same event, by 0.21 seconds in a photo finish. Weissenbach essentially put the sequel between the fellow juniors out of reach early.
“When she took the lead after the first 200, I knew it was just going to be me and her for most of the race,” Camacho said. “I didn’t think she was going to keep that fast pace the rest of the way, but she did, and she ran a race that was the opposite of what kickers like me like to do.”
While heartbroken over not getting to stand atop the medal stand, Camacho, a Pac-12 recruit who at one point earlier this spring owned the fastest 800 time nationwide, voiced perspective of the accomplishments of her season as a whole.
“For me, getting beat by the same person two years in a row — the same outcome, basically — it’s not something I wanted to do, but it happens.
“I’ve just got to bounce back as soon as possible.”
Rountree, a senior who earlier this year broke her own Bearcats school record with a leap of 5-71⁄2, found herself alone with Miller of Fontana’s Rachel McCoy to decide the state title after the rest of the 12-jumper field had been whittled away. McCoy won at 5 feet, 8 inches; Rountree cleared 5-6.
“I’m just really excited,” Rountree said. “My whole goal going into this competition was to place and get a medal, to bring some hardware home. I think I did really well.
“It hasn’t hit me yet,” added Rountree, also a volleyball star who’ll attend Principia College in Illinois. “All my hard work all season has really paid off, and I’m really proud of everything.”
Torres, who has signed with Colorado, posted a 19-43⁄4 mark in her premier event, trailing only the 19-113⁄4 of Clovis’ Jenna Prandini. Torres finished fourth at the meet a year ago.
“It wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, but I’ll live with it,” Torres said. “I’m grateful that I improved from last year.”
Torres, who has dazzled local track and field enthusiasts since her freshman year, was also reflective.
“It was a good season,” Torres said, “and I feel like I’m just beginning. I can’t wait to go to the next level.”
Torres was the Central Coast’s only multiple-event qualifier at Friday’s prelims. She also competed in the triple jump finals Saturday, placing seventh at 38-21⁄2.
There was steady rain throughout the area in the hours leading up to the meet. It dissipated for the majority of competition, but blow-dryers occasionally had to be used to clear the track.
Weinreich posted a 59-51⁄2 mark, close to his personal best of 59-61⁄4. Dos Pueblos’ Nicholas Scarvelis won at 64 feet even.
After leaving the infield, Weinreich rejoiced in the moment while fielding congratulatory phone calls from friends.
“Crazy,” Weinreich said. “That’s the only word to describe it. Even with all the weather conditions, I still pulled out third place.”
Weinreich, a junior who has several Division I football scholarship offers, firmly assumed his place alongside other decorated throwers to recently come out of the Eagles’ program, including his coach, former Cal Poly All-American lineman Stephen Field.
“I still can’t believe it,” said Weinreich, the only junior in the nine-thrower finals.
Torres’ teammate, Elena Clarke, finished sixth in the girls pole vault, getting over the bar at 12 feet. Clovis West’s Anginae Montverde won at 13-6.
Clarke, a UCLA-bound senior, brought the Tigers into seventh place in the overall team standings with 13 points.