THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
CLOVIS — With a monster toss, Allison Scranton left her mark on the Redwood Empire record books Saturday, besting the area discus record by more than four feet.
Then she did it again. This time, she topped her minutes-old record by another 11 inches.
“Once my first one was a (personal record), I was just like, ‘This is the best day ever and it can only go up from here,’ and it did,” she said.
And Scranton did it on high school track’s biggest stage.
The Petaluma High senior took fourth place at the CIF State Track & Field Championship in Clovis, surrounded by stellar competitors.
“The girl behind me who got fifth, got second last year,” Scranton said.
The winning toss was a Herculean 161 feet, 9 inches. Scranton’s best throw on the day was 149 feet, 4 inches.
But she’ll take it. And she’ll take the state medal that goes with it. And she’ll take the honor of being the greatest discus thrower in Empire history.
“It is really cool to be a part of this. There are so many amazing athletes here,” she said.
Scranton, who finished sixth at state last year, almost didn’t make it to the finals. An admittedly abysmal preliminary round Friday earned her a seventh seed coming into Saturday’s finals despite being well below her best effort.
“I told her, ‘Yesterday you were given a gift,’ ” her coach, Reggie Pearson, said.
But Pearson said Scranton, who will throw at Utah State next fall, had it in her to break out. He’s seen her go well past 149 feet in practice.
“I’ve been waiting for her to finally do it,” he said.
Had a spectator not known the standing Empire best in discus, there would be little to point out what an effort Scranton put in. Tucked behind a berm, well outside the massive stadium where more than 8,200 people roared for the track events, the discus tossers toiled in relative obscurity.
Scranton doesn’t mind.
“It’s a little weird being isolated but it’s kind of cool,” she said.
Good throws get a smattering of knowing applause, something like that heard in a golf gallery. Hollers are rare, encouragement is vaguely verboten. The athletes spin and toss in relative silence.
On one of Scranton’s terrific tosses, a distant roar erupted from the stadium. When asked about it, Scranton laughed.
“Obviously, they were yelling for me,” she said.
Scranton may not hear the roar of the crowd often, but she soaked up the limelight in Clovis on Saturday evening, the fourth best competitor in the state.
And no one in the Redwood Empire has ever thrown better. It’s Scranton’s name atop the record books.
That speaks louder than the most deafening roar.
RUNNERS CAN’T KEEP UP
It wasn’t a day for freshmen.
Sonoma Academy’s Rylee Bowen, who entered the 1600 meters with the seventh fastest time from Friday’s preliminaries at the CIF Track & Field Championships, finished 11th Saturday in 4:55.60. Her fastest time this season was 4:43.92 — the second fastest in Redwood Empire history.
“It felt like death,” she said.
“Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong,” she added. “It just didn’t feel good. I slowly saw everyone come by me, it was kind of sad.”
The first place finisher crossed the line in 4:39.33.
But Bowen being Bowen, she found the bright side somewhere in an uncharacteristically bad race.
“I’m honored to be a part of this race,” she said.
The other Redwood Empire freshman sensation, Santa Rosa’s Kirsten Carter, struggled mightily in the 400-meter contest — a race she has utterly dominated locally despite only taking it up in recent weeks. Her best time, 54.24, is the fastest ever in the Empire.
But Carter seemed to hit a wall 200 meters into the race and faded fast, finishing well off the back in last place. Her final time was 1:00.89. The winner finished in 53.13.
You can reach Staff Writer Kerry Benefield at 526-8671 or email@example.com, on Twitter @benefield and on Instagram at kerry.benefield.