All Nicole Warwick wants is something to remember.
The 99th CIF State Track and Field Championships will convene Friday as Warwick, the Crusaders’ talented multi-sport athlete, ends a brilliant career. It will be her third appearance at Clovis’ Buchanan High but the first time she’s qualified in two events. Add the 100-meter hurdles to her signature long jump.
“I’m very excited and hope I can end with a bang,” said Warwick, who will join twin Meagan in the long jump. “It’s been a pretty awesome year.”
Nicole topped the 20-foot milestone two weeks ago, then improved to 20-1/4 – the third-longest jump in section history – for her first Sac-Joaquin Section Masters title last Friday at Elk Grove.
She’s ranked third in the state behind Rodriguez’s Katherine Jackson (20-1 1/2), who Warwick beat last week, and Agoura’s prolific Tara Davis.
Davis, bound for Georgia, enters the state meet as one of its elite athletes. She’s totaled nine Southern Section titles in the long jump, triple jump, and 100 hurdles. That ties the record set by Marion Jones (1990-’93). Davis long jumped 22-3 3/4 at section divisionals on May 20 and, in February, set the indoor prep national record (21-11).
Warwick, who didn’t qualify for the state finals as a sophomore and placed seventh last year, has competed against Davis several times.
“I try not to think about it (Davis) and focus on what I can do,” said Warwick, who will continue at Azusa Pacific. “If she jumps 27 feet, she jumps 27 feet. I want to get a PR or get on the podium (top six for a medal).”
But first things first. All athletes, except the field in the 3,200, must compete Friday for a berth in Saturday’s finals.
Warwick’s goal is a spot in the top 12 Friday in the field of 26. The long jump begins at 3 p.m., long before the 100 hurdles heats which start at 6:02. Warwick, with a best of 14.0, could reach the hurdles finals.
20-1/4 Nicole Warwick’s personal best in the long jump
Warwick leads 19 Stanislaus District athletes in 22 events at state. Five won Section Masters titles last week: Downey senior Anne Stuart in the high jump (5-4), Central Catholic senior DaRon Bland in the long jump (23-7), Sierra senior Bikram Thiara in the 300 hurdles (37.27), El Capitan junior Dominique Navarrette in the discus (166-5) and Warwick.
The 37.27 by Thiara, sixth in the state last year, is ninth-best overall. Kimball’s Deion Lightfoot, second in the state in the 110 hurdles last year, is ranked fifth in the 300 hurdles (36.95).
Golden Valley senior Shawn Bettencourt, who also leads the Cougars’ 4x100 relay at Clovis, is ranked fifth in the 110 hurdles (14.0). He ran in the relay last week with Isaiah Montenez, Rodney Evans and Alexander Salas. Kayla Commons of Golden Valley has qualified in both the long jump and triple jump.
Enochs senior Claire Seymour, the 2016 Masters champion who placed third last week in the 400, returns to state for the second straight year. She failed to reach the finals in 2016.
Lathrop senior Isaias Hunter, ninth at state in the high jump last year, has cleared 6-8 this season. Only four others in the state, including Masters champion Jake Grimsman of Vista del Lago (6-10), have gone higher than 6-8.
The rest of the state qualifiers include Central Catholic’s Jahi Corbin in the high jump, Cameron Goldman of Gregori in the long jump, Naomi Chappell of Gregori in the long jump, Jasmine Blair of Calaveras in the discus, Jalin Wiggins of El Capitan in the triple jump and Whitney Barnes of Pitman in the shot put.