NORWALK Bret Harte High School's Krystal Thomson got a healthy dose of big-time experience during the preliminary round of the CIF State Track and Field Championships at Cerritos College on Friday.
Thomson, a junior, posted a mark of 127 feet, 3 inches in the girls' discus throw to tie for 15th out of 22 state qualifiers. She needed to make the top nine to qualify for Saturday's finals.
Chalk it up to a learning experience.
Bret Harte coach Hal Clements: "I said to her, 'You'll be back next year,' and she said, 'Yes, I will.' "
And with the meet to be held in Northern California, probably at Hughes Stadium in Sacramento, Thomson if she qualifies again won't have to make an 800-mile round trip to compete. Nor will she have to contend with the kind of horrendous traffic that made the last 20 miles of her trip to Cerritos last more than two hours.
Once she got to the stadium, Thomson managed one measurable throw in three attempts.
"She had one out of the (marked landing area) that was quite a bit further (than 127-3) and she foot-scratched on another," Clements said.
But one out of three wasn't all that bad.
"Some girls," Clements said, "came out there and scratched on all three throws."
Ah, the state pressure cooker.
Had Thomson equaled her season best of 134-7, she would have placed 10th in the preliminaries. The ninth and final qualifying mark was 141-2 by Laguna Creek of Elk Grove's Jessica Pressley, who finished second to Thomson's third a week earlier in the Sac-Joaquin Section Finals at the University of California at Davis.
Section champion Kristina Price of Merced qualified eighth at 143-2. In the finals, Pressley was seventh at 146-6 and Price eighth at 142-2.