By Michael Bower
Poway High’s Maddie Murray could not believe it. In fact, the sophomore had to do a double take to make sure she read her time in the 100-meter hurdle event correctly.
Indeed, she did.
Murray blew away her previous personal-best and the brutally-tough competition in the 100 hurdles, finishing in 15.21-seconds to capture the Palomar League title and advance to next week’s CIF San Diego Section championships along with the top two finishers in every event at Friday’s meet.
Murray had gone into the 100 hurdles hoping to run 15.50, but shocked herself and her competitors by posting an even faster time. She beat out Rancho Bernardo’s Jessica Garcia, who ran a personal-best 15.43 to finish second and teammate Larissa Johnson, who finished third in a personal-best 15.53.
“It is so exciting,” said Murray, who also qualified in the 300 hurdles with a second-place finish (46.25). “Running against all these girls helps me so much because they are all amazing. It definitely pushes me to get my goal and hopefully I push them, too.”
Garcia had an excellent meet, running her top times of the season in both the 100 and 300 hurdles. She captured the 300 title in 43.91 and said she is hoping to continue to lower her times all the way through the section championships.
“I am really happy,” she said. “I definitely feel like I am hitting my stride at the right time and I plan to continue dropping my times.”
Rancho Bernardo’s Brandi Walker claimed both the discus title and the shot put title for the second straight year. The senior, who is ranked No. 2 in the section in the shot put, had the winning mark of 37-feet, 6-inches. She won the discus in 107-5.
“It is a great feeling to double-medal again,” said Walker, who came straight from AP testing to compete on Friday. “It was the goal all year.”
The Broncos’ Katie Sammer broke the school record in the 800, finishing in first place with a time of 2:12.39.
Freshman Jackie Patterson captured the 100 title (12.63) and finished in second place in the 200 (25.69). She was also part of the Broncos 4x100-relay team, which finished in a personal-best 48.64 and in first place.
Other local first-place finishers were Rancho Bernardo’s Mimi Lian (pole vault) and Deanna Dunn (long jump).