Beau Allen had one last opportunity to represent the track and field team of San Marcos High before leaving this fall to compete at Duke University, coming at the CIF State Championships on Saturday night in Clovis.
Allen made the most of his last hurrah with the Royals, claiming the state championship in the boys high jump at Veterans Memorial Stadium, on the campus of Buchanan High in Clovis.
“It’s a great way to cap the season,” said the senior jumper. “To be able to represent San Marcos one last time, and come home with a state title, it’s incredible.”
Allen qualified for the finals with a single jump in Friday’s prelims. He then started the competition with a quick clearance at 6 feet, 5 inches, but then used a strategy of passing on alternating heights, with good reason.
“Earlier in the competition, a lot of the guys were complaining of fatigue because of all the jumping they were doing,” said Allen of a contest held in milder weather than usually hit Clovis on Championships weekend. “Since we were working up through heights that I’d already jumped, I just held out longer. It turned out well.”
His first struggle of the night came when the bar was set at 6-10, but he cleared it on his third attempt, putting him in a one-on-one battle with Canyons’ Tyler Cash, who also cleared 6-10 on his third attempt.
The big move came at 6-11, when Allen cleared the bar on his first attempt, but Cash missed on all three of his attempts.
“I was ecstatic (when I cleared the bar),” Allen said of his winning jump. “My eyes were watering a little bit. I looked over at my coaches, and they were jumping around, just amazing.”
With the title in hand, Allen tried to take a shot at a personal-best mark of 7-2, which would have been the top mark in the nation this year. Instead, he missed all three attempts, ending his day.
“It’s a little disappointing not to clear 7-2, but the consolation price’s really nice,” he said.
Allen wasn’t the only Royals competitor on hand at the event, as he had teammate Jaydn Mata on hand with him.
Mata finished seventh, clearing his opening height of 6-5, before missing on three straight attempts at 6-7.
UCSB’s Zach Smith stayed alive in the championship tournament at the Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Ark., shooting a 2-over 74 to move into a tie for 77th in the 154-player field.
The senior, playing as an individual, was 1-over on the front nine and back nine, giving him a two-day total of 78-74-152.
Smith’s round originally had him sitting 90th when he entered the clubhouse, but several in the field moved back behind him, putting him in a 13-way tie for 77th, 14 strokes behind leader Austin Eckroat of Oklahoma State (69-68-138). Only eight players are under par after 36 holes.
The third round begins today, with the top 85 players after 54 holes advancing to Monday’s final round.
COLLEGE TRACK AND FIELD
NAIA OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
Westmont rounded out its run at the Finals in Gulf Shores, Ala. with four more All-American honorees.
Emily Parks scored the best individual finish of the day with a fourth in the women’s 400-meter hurdles (1:01.14), missing out on a top-three finish by 0.004 of a second.
Casey Jensen took the eighth and final All-American berth in the women’s 1,500, while Michael Oldach claimed a fifth-place effort in the men’s 1,500 (3:55.95), rallying over the final 250 meters from eighth to fifth.
Jason Peterson claimed sixth in the men’s 800 (1:53.22) to give him an outdoor All-American to go along with the indoor honor he nabbed earlier this year.