Callum Bolger waited a year for a chance to redeem himself after coming up short in last year’s CIF State Track and Field Championship.
On a warm summer evening in the Central Valley, Bolger’s blazing final lap lifted him to a 3,200-meter state title and demolished the memories of last year’s third-place finish.
Bolger out dueled three of the best distance runners in the state, including Luis Grijalva and future Oregon Duck Cooper Teare, in the final lap to win in 8:53.91.
“It’s fantastic, it really is,” Bolger said after the race. “Coming back from last year I made too strong of a move early on, and I wasn’t able to hold on so learned this year and was able to make the right moves when I needed to.”
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Bolger was able to make that strong move late in the race partly because of the relatively slow pace of the first quarter of the race and the temperatures that hovered around 96-degrees most of the day shifted to the low 80s.
“I just kept grinding through and tuck in on the other guys and really get ready for that final kick,” Bolger said.
Bolger waited until 500 meters until the finish line to make his move. Grijalva and Teare matched. But when Bolger made another move with 300 meters to go, the duo couldn’t keep up.
The entire stadium stood to watch as Bolger lit a fire on the mondo surface in the last 100 meters. His final lap of 55.51 seconds was the fastest final lap of his career, Bolger said.
“That was crazy fast,” Bolger said. “It’s good that it came at the end of the year.”
Bolger now has another state title to go with the Division 4 CIF Cross Country Championship that he won in November.
The win made Bolger the first individual state champion from SLO County since Mission Prep’s Jordan Hasay won the 3,200-meter race in 2008.
Although he would have likely qualified, Bolger decided to sit out the 1,600-meter event again this year, but he and Teare will battle again in the mile race on June 17 in Seattle.
Moersdorf takes sixth in triple jump
It’s safe to say that SLO High sophomore Anneke Moersdorf was the least experienced athlete competing in the triple jump on Saturday. But it was hard to tell.
Moersdorf, who started competing in the triple jump less that two months ago, finished the State Meet in sixth place with a jump of 39-08.5.
“I was pretty happy because I did better than prelims and the goal was just to make it to finals and do really well,” Moersdorf said. “I wanted to get 40 feet again, but who knows, I’m still kind of new at it.
Moersdorf had the extra challenge of going up against one of the best jumpers, and all-around athletes, in the nation in Agoura’s Tara Davis. Davis, who holds the national indoor long jump record, set a new state record in the long jump (22-01), won the 100-meter hurdles (12.83) and the triple jump (42-11.75).
“She is crazy good,” Moersdorf said of Davis. “I can’t wait to watch her in the Olympics.”
Trio of runners finish strong
Paso Robles senior Trad Berti didn’t have the race to end his high school career that he hoped for, but the future Chico State distance runner still had a respectiable finish in the competitve 1600-meter event.
Berti finished in seventh place with a time of 4:13.48. Arroyo Grande senior Ban Taylor made sure SLO County had two representavies in the Top 10 of the state with a time of 4:18.87 to give him a ninth-place finish. Armijo’s Grijalva won the state title with a time of 4:08.62.
In the girls 3200-meter event, Paso Robles senior and future Cal Poly runner Annie Meeder finished in 10:47.73 to place 14th.
Furbee Finishes Unlikely Season
After failing to clear 6’ 3” in the finals of the high jump event on Saturday, Morro Bay sophomore Jacob Furbee walked through the infield dejected. But after talking through the initial disappointment, he was able to appreciate what he had accomplished.
Furbee, a 6-foot-4 goal keeper on the Pirates soccer team, picked up the sport just three months ago and was immediately successful. His clearance of 6’5” at the CIF-Southern Section Masters set a school record and sent him to the CIF State Meet, but he wasn’t able to duplicate the performance on Saturday.
Furbee finished the season with a 12th-place state finish.
“Today, just the heat and just being tired. Yesterday was hard. Not in my comfort zone as far as temperature,” Furbee said of the 97-degree temperature during his event. “But I am really satisfied with the whole season. You can’t be unhappy finishing State in the Top 12. It’s just frustrating that I was 12th.”
Furbee said he will give it a go again next year in both soccer and track and field. Next week he will turn his attention back to school for one last bar to clear -- finals.