CLOVIS — Arroyo Grande High discus thrower Madison Jacobs didn’t truly feel the hurt until she was standing on the winners’ podium, where she stood on the second-place step during the CIF State Track and Field Championships at Buchanan High’s Veterans Memorial Stadium on Saturday night.
Standing at the top was Redwoods of Visalia’s Lissette Mendivil.
Yes, Jacobs was that close to becoming a state champion. The junior finished with a personal-best mark of 155 feet, 9 inches but Mendivil won by just one inch on her sixth and final throw.
“At first, it wasn’t like it was a big deal,” Jacobs said about coming up short. “At the same time, it was starting to hit me when you’re up there (on the podium). You’re so close and you’ve been working so hard all year and you can’t pull it out. It’s kind of disappointing.”
Two other San Luis Obispo County athletes made the same bittersweet walk to the podium only to receive second-place medals.
Arroyo Grande senior Garrett Weinreich finished with a boys shot put throw of 61-111⁄2 — his personal best — to finish second to Newport Harbor’s Ethan Cochran, who won at 62-4 1⁄4.
And Templeton senior Savannah Camacho became a three-time state runner-up in the girls 800-meter run behind Harvard-Westlake’s Amy Weissenbach — for the third consecutive time — in 2 minutes, 9.3 seconds.
Weissenbach won in 2:05.7, well below her national record of 2:02.04 that she set last year at the state meet.
“I’ve never really like the word runner-up, to be honest,” said Camacho, who has a full-ride scholarship to Oklahoma State. “It’s an honor to be running with (Weissenbach). She’s a great athlete. But I’m a competitor. I don’t like to lose. Luckily, I can turn that into a positive energy to help me with training, so I’ve learned to not let it get me down, which is good, but at the same time I wanna break past the runner-up barrier.”
Weinreich, who’s headed to Oregon State for football, wasn’t pleased with his performance. He wanted to do better, considering he was a few inches away from a state title — though he improved from his third-place finish in 2011.
“I was pretty consistent with my throws,” said Weinreich, who had another toss of 60-4 3⁄4 on his first try. He fouled four times. “It was the little things that could have made it 62, 63 feet. It just wasn’t my day.”
Jacobs was the closest to being the first county athlete to win a state title since former Mission Prep standout Jordan Hasay completed a four-year run in the girls 3,200 in 2009. Jacobs also could’ve been the first from Arroyo Grande since 2005, when Danny Rohr won the boys shot put.
Jacobs started the first round at 147-10 before fouling on her next two tries. But her fourth throw was her best, prompting the crowd to give her a round of applause. She then threw 148-8 but fouled on her final attempt.
With Mendivil graduating this year, Jacobs is happy she has one year remaining.
“There’s one person not there in the competition, and it makes me want to work even harder next year to make sure you do come out on top,” she said. “I know I still need to work hard to get to the same place. You’re not always guaranteed a good mark.”
Camacho leaves behind a hard-to-beat legacy at Templeton, with four state appearances that ended with three silver medals. In her 800 race, she maintained second after the first lap with runners behind her trying to make a last push.
“I’m glad I didn’t give up at the end, though,” Camacho said. “I could’ve lost second place really easily, so I’m glad I held on. I wish it could’ve gone better. I wish I could’ve PRed. It gives me something more to work for in the coming years. I’m confident that I’ll keep improving. I know this isn’t the end of my track season.”
In the girls 3,200, San Luis Obispo’s Christine Hoffmann finished 15th in 10:43.58. Simi Valley’s Sarah Baxter won in 10:12.
Hoffmann didn’t expect to be in the state meet, but she was glad she could end her high school career there before heading off to UC Davis on an athletic scholarship.
“I decided that I should definitely enjoy the moment instead of focusing on a time or a place so much,” she said. “I still had goals, of course. But it was better to come in and enjoy it.”