Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - April 11, 2014

Gunn's Robinson will pass on record run

Senior standout says no to possible historic race at Arcadia in favor of playing soccer with her club team this weekend

by Keith Peters

One of the expected highlights of this weekend's annual Arcadia Invitational track and field meet will be the girls' 3,200, where a talented field will take a run at the storied national record of 9:48.59 by Kim Mortenson in 1996.

Gunn senior Sarah Robinson had the opportunity to join in the memorable chase on Saturday night, but instead threw her allegiance to her club soccer team. Thus, instead of chasing history, she'll be chasing a soccer ball.

Gunn coach PattiSue Plumer understand's Robinson's decision, as difficult as it may be.

"She truly is missing the chance of a lifetime," said Plumer, "but I am sure her soccer coach believes that she has her best interest at heart, as well."

While Robinson won't be participating in what may be a race for the ages, she certainly hasn't been slacking off recently as she had a sensational two days at the Stanford Invitational last weekend.

Robinson gave up the 3,000 in order to run on the distance medley relay team on Friday. The foursome of sophomore Gillian Meeks, sophomore Maya Miklos, junior Emily Aiken and Robinson wound up winning in 11:56.68. Not only did the time improve upon their previous state lead of 12:06.81, but it was the fastest outdoor time in the nation this season.

The previous national outdoor best was 11:59.37 by Marcus High of Flower Mound, Texas. Davis High also was under the previous lead with a second place of 11:56.90. The time also broke the previous Gunn school record of 12:04 that featured a team with Robinson's sister, Erin.

"Our goal was to break 12:00," said Plumer, whose team missed the U.S. indoor lead of 11:43.9 by West High of Springfield, Va. In fact, there are six faster indoor times than Gunn's outdoor mark.

"I will take the OUTDOOR leading mark," Plumer said. "Did you feel the wind out there today? I am certain we would have run faster indoors!

"I think that's really exciting," said Robinson said of the national-leading time. She anchored the team with a 4:49 split for her 1,600 leg.

Robinson actually was overtaken coming off the final turn and had to turn it on over the final 100 meters.

"I got pushed," said Robinson. "When I run from behind I run my best. Today it definitely helped."

"I haven't seen her finish like that," said Plumer, who rarely sees Robinson ever trailing in a race. "I couldn't be happier . . . very pleased for her that she was able to do that."

On Saturday, Anna Maxwell of San Lorenzo Valley and Robinson ran two of the top three outdoor times in in the nation in the girls' mile.

Maxwell clocked a U.S.-leading 4:43.27 while Robinson ran the No. 3 time, a 4:48.77. The No. 2 time is a converted 4:47.50 by Hannah Long of Eureka, Mo. The nation's fastest time was clocked indoors, a 4:32.15 by Alexa Efraimson of Camas, Wash.

Maxwell's time also is No. 1 all-time in the Central Coast Section. Her converted time (mile to 1,600) of 4:41.63 surpassed the 4:42.45 run by Nikki Hiltz of Aptos while winning the 2012 CIF State Meet.

Robinson's time, which is faster than the 4:49.26 she ran at this meet last year, moved her to No. 9 all-time in the CCS (a converted 4:47.10) and lowered her own school record from 4:47.58 (converted from her '13 mile time). She's also No. 2 in the state behind Maxwell.

Also in the race Saturday was Meeks. She finished seventh overall in 4:59.79. That converts to 4:58.05 for 1,600 meters and ranks her No. 4 in school history.

Elsewhere on the weekend:

The Menlo-Atherton girls finished sixth overall in the distance medley relay with the team of senior Taylor Fortnam, senior Annie Harrier, sophomore Cat DuPuy and sophomore Annalisa Crowe clocking 12:44.36.

Gunn's Miklos, meanwhile, finished second overall in a field of 32 runners in the 400 hurdles as she clocked 1:01.63.

In the girls' 400, Menlo School senior Maddy Price made her outdoor season debut in her specialty a good one by winning in 55.22. She was more than 1 1/2 seconds ahead of second place.

Price's time ranks her No. 4 in the state. Price has run 54.69 indoors this season. Price came back later in the meet and finished second in the 100 in a season best of 12.23. Gunn sophomore Janae Pennywell was sixth in 12.41.

The boys' 400 also provided some fast times with Frank Kurtz of Heritage turning in a state-leading 47.58. Nick Sullivan of Palo Alto shook off some early season leg problems and finished fourth overall in a season best and Central Coast Section leading time of 49.18. Paly teammate Eli Givens also ran his season best, 49.53 for seventh, while Menlo-Atherton senior Zach Plante did likewise while finishing eighth in 49.69. Givens ranks No. 2 in CCS this season with that time while Plante, the former leader at 50.12, is now No. 3.

In the girls' 100 hurdles, Gunn's Robin Peter ran a personal best of 15.27 while taking sixth. That improved her No. 2 ranking on the Titans' all-time list, as well, and moved her to No. 4 in CCS this season. Caice Lanovaz of Los Gatos finished fifth in 15.05, fastest in the section.

In the boys' triple jump, Menlo School's Paul Tuoma leaped 45-5 3/4 to take third.

Helping wrap up the meet was the Palo Alto boys' 1,600 relay, which clocked a CCS-leading 3:26.40 while finishing seventh. The top three teams all ran under 3:24.00. Paly's team was Dami Bolarinwa, Jack Hansen, Givens and Sullivan.

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