Tia Edwards is one of the leading 300 low hurdles runners in the Central Section, but the Edison senior will need someone to scratch to advance to the Masters May 18.
For all that went well for Edison’s girls Wednesday in the North Area track and field meet at Clovis East, the Tigers experienced one brutal break. And it looks worse today.
Edison senior Tia Edwards had built a substantial lead in the 300 low hurdles when she clipped the eighth and final hurdle and fell. She got to her feet and staggered to the line, finishing eighth at 48.74.
“She was on a 43-second pace,” Tigers coach Danny Alberty says.
Only Liberty-Bakersfield sophomore sensation Morganne Hill has performed in that range in the Central Section this season. She won Wednesday’s South Area 300 LH at 42.97.
Here’s where it gets worse for Edwards and Edison, which has a good shot at unseating defending champion Buchanan for the section girls team title May 18 in the Masters meet at the Bears’ Veterans Memorial Stadium:
The top three finishers in each event from four area meets, plus six at-large entries in each event, qualified for the Masters. That’s a total of 18 competitors in each event.
As it stands now — and no matter that Edwards was flying toward a 43-second time Wednesday and clocked a 45.33 two weeks ago — she’s the first alternate in the event for the Masters.
It also doesn’t matter, as another painful example, that the three automatic qualifying times out of the Sierra/Sequoia meet ran 47.48, 48.78 and 49.98.
So, ahead of Edwards are the seven who finished before her at the North Area meet; the three automatic qualifiers from the Central, South and Sierra/Sequoia meets; and two more at-large — the fourth- and fifth-place finishers from the South Area, Bakersfield’s Aleetia Miller (46.93) and West’s Raleigha Garcia (48.12).
Should one scratch, Edwards would be in.
“I could see her getting in,” Buchanan coach Brian Weaver says.
Who knows, that could the six, eight or 10 points that could be the difference for Edison vs. the Bears.
At the North Area, Edison produced five golds and a total of 11 top-three finishers; Buchanan produced three golds and a total of 12 top-three finishers.
“It could come down to the 1,600 relay,” Alberty says, referring to the Masters’ final girls event.
Wednesday, Edison (section-record 3:47.66) and Buchanan (school-record 3:50.91) delivered the Nos. 2 and 9 times in the state this season.