San Marcos’ Schroeder is CIF State Champion in the 800

San Marcos sophomore Erica Schroeder wears the gold medal after winning the CIF State Championship in the girls 800 meters.

San Marcos sophomore Erica Schroeder wears the gold medal after winning the CIF State Championship in the girls 800 meters.

Erica Schroeder ran her race, and the San Marcos High sophomore’s game plan helped her win a CIF State Championship in the girls 800 meters.

Schroeder overcame the commotion of two runners being disqualified, including two-time defending state champion Mikaela Smith of Clovis North, and won the race in a personal best and school record of 2:07.08 on Saturday night at the CIF State Track and Field Championships at Buchanan High’s Veterans Stadium in Clovis.

With two less runners in the field, Schroeder stayed behind the remaining nine for most of the first lap. She started to make her move as she came out of the final turn of the first 400 meters.

Running on the outside, Schroeder gradually started picking off runners on the backstretch of the second lap and turned on the jets as she entered the curve. She caught leader Rylee Penn of Corona Centennial with about 30 meters to go, surged ahead and won a state championship. Her time is the fastest in California this season and the sixth best in the country. Penn was second in 2:07.43 and Jaquelyn Hill of Etiwanda was third in 2:08.55.

Schroeder told Time Warner Cable TV that Friday’s prelims helped her run a better race in the final. She ran 2:09.71 in a very fast heat and was the 11th qualifier.

“After seeing what happened last night — I went out a little fast — my coach had to reassure me ‘to trust your training and what we’ve been doing.’ So, I went out in my pace and not really worry about the pack as much on the first lap. And then the second lap I tried to take off and do as well as I could,” she said.

The start of the race was crazy. First, Cassie Durgy of Huntington Beach was disqualified for a false start. On the restart, Smith appeared to cut in early, was clipped by another runner and tumbled into the infield. As she was being treated by medical staff and trying to loosen up for a third start to the race, she was told she had been disqualified. Officials ruled she impeded the progress of another runner.

Schroeder, who was in the back of the pack when Smith went down 15 meters into the race, said she tried to stay relaxed and focused after all the craziness.

“It was a little hectic after two times,” she said. “You just got to let it go out of your mind and worry about what you’re doing.”

In results from other county athletes, Cabrillo’s Steven French finished eighth in the boys pole vault with a height of 15-3 and Lompoc’s Chrisshnay Brown placed ninth in the girls discus with a mark of 137-03.

800 Final

1 Erica Schroeder 10 San Marcos/ss 2:07.08

2 Rylee Penn 9 Cent.-Cor/ss 2:07.43

3 Jacquelyn Hill 10 Etiwanda/ss 2:08.59

4 Hannah Benoit 12 Buchanan/ce 2:08.81

5 Kiley McCarthy 10 Carlsbad/sd 2:08.85

6 Nia Akins 11 Rncho Bernrdo/sd 2:08.91

7 Bianca Bryant 12 Piedmnt H/Cc 2:09.65

8 Bianca Tinoco 11 Golden Valley/ss 2:11.94

9 Avi Perteete 10 St Mary's/nc 2:14.12
10 Heidi Fuhriman 11 Monte Vst/nc 2:18.19
Cassie Durgy 11 Hntng Bch/ss DQ, false start
Mikaela Smith 12 Clovis North DQ, Impeded