Only two Redwood Empire athletes advanced to the finals of the CIF State Track & Field Championships at Clovis, but the duo made the most of it. Both kids earned points Saturday, with Petaluma junior Allison Scranton finishing sixth in the discus and Maria Carrillo senior Dante Hay crossing seventh in the 800 meters.
Both rose to the level of competition, setting personal records that far outstripped their performances both at the North Coast Section Meet of Champions a week earlier and during Friday's preliminaries.
Scranton threw the discus 141 feet, 3 inches on her third and final attempt in the finals.
Hay completed the 800 in 1:52.36 while employing a new strategy.
At the MOC, he raced to the front of the pack and did his best to hold on, eventually finishing third. This time he hung back and saved energy before making his move.
"I was a bit further off the back than I would have liked," Hay admitted. "At the first turn I was like last place."
He advanced through the pack over the remainder of the race. It was a fitting end to Hay's high school running career. He is bound for Columbia University this fall.
"It's just a dream, really," Hay said. "I've already graduated, already know what school I'm going to. This was the most light-hearted I've been for a race. This was icing on the cake."
Six other Redwood Empire athletes — Ukiah 200-meter sprinter Hugh Pegan and discus thrower Allyson Milone, Maria Carrillo hurdler Alex Netherda, Rancho Cotate high jumper Justin Zinnerman, Santa Rosa high jumper Morgan Bertsch and Casa Grande 1600-meter runner Nicholas Rauch — competed at the state meet Friday but did not advance to Saturday's finals.