Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Bruckner & Stone 1-2 Finish in Discus Highlight Warriors at Arcadia Invitational

IMG_2884Arcadia, CA - The Arcadia Invitational is dubbed one of the elite athletic competitions in America for good reason: by the event's close there were twenty-one national leading marks on the day. In a meet of this magnitude it is rare to see a 1-2 finish in the elite invitational division from the same team, let alone an athlete win two events. By the day's end the Warriors had both.

Last year Ronna Stone and Elena Bruckner did not even qualify to compete in the discus, this year they entered as some of the favorites. Both have blossomed in the event that they are still learning.

Stone immediately raised the stakes with an opening throw in the discus that sailed well over the 140 foot marker but just outside the sector. The tone was set: she was here to compete.  The next one was down the middle and 153 feet, 8 inches away. That throw bettered her pervious lifetime best by nearly ten feet and took the lead into the finals. Starting the fourth round Bruckner responded with a big throw of her own, this one just two inches ahead of her teammate at 153-10. Remarkably within four throws Bruckner and Stone moved to #2 and #3 in California and were sitting 1-2 with just two throws remaining.

Teammates push each other to be better and that is no different today. It is clear that this is a title fight separated by literally inches. Round five and Stone let one sail, by far her best of the day landing near the 160 mark but just outside of the right sector. The throws would stand through the final round ending in an emotional 1-2 finish for Stone and Bruckner.

Riding the emotional high and excitement it was time to enjoy the moment but also turn their attention to the Shot Put. A short 30 min turn around there wasn't much down time. Bruckner entered the meet ranked #1 in the U.S., Stone ranked #6 in the State. Bruckner opened round one with a 48 foot statement that you would expect from the favorite. The biggest throw of the evening came in the fifth round in which Bruckner launched one hitting the 50 foot line, but also knicked the sector line as well. Her first throw stood as she won her second title of the day. Stone also had a strong performance finishing eleventh with a mark of 42-1, respectably.

Four Warriors qualified to compete in the Arcadia Invitational. In addition to Bruckner and Stone, Lydia Sum competed in the 100 meter hurdles and Ronika Stone in the High Jump. Sum is the defending WCAL Champion and returned to Arcadia determined to have her senior year be the best. She did not leave disappointed finishing a medalist running 15.48 seconds for third place. Stone also had a solid showing. The junior is just finishing her sits month of Track & Field. It has been quite the explosion of performances this season, Stone is currently ranked #1 in WCAL and broke the school record jumping 5' 5" the week prior. Here at Arcadia she cleared 5'3 finishing sixth in the Friday night meet.

The Warriors return to action Wednesday hosting Saint Ignatius in WCAL action.

Links: Results / Pics / SJMN Article 


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Bruckner Wins Shot Put & Discus Titles at Stanford Invitational

IMG_2473Stanford, CA - The ground is wet from the early morning dew and the throwers are gathered together at the ring listening to instructions from the official. Elena Bruckner is entering the Stanford Invitational undefeated but the big meets begin today. The competition will be some of the toughest she has faced this season but that seems to be of little worry, after all she gets pushed by one of the best throwers in the State daily in practice.

For Bruckner and Stone their improvement over the past 12 months is nothing short of remarkable. Both showed promise as freshman, remarkably finishing their freshman year with the exact same mark of 36-2. Both missed CCS as a freshman, both qualified for State as sophomores. Both broke 40 feet for the first time last season. Both have seen huge breakthroughs improving upwards of 50 feet in the discus and over 10 feet in the shot put.

The warm-ups begin and regardless of the early morning start time the body is forced to respond. No one is handing out wins for past improvement or the current rankings. As two of the best throwers in the nation each and every time they have to deliver. That pressure is something they are prepared for and work on in practice. Quality throws and dissecting their technique is a part of the daily routine. Stone and Bruckner push one another and make the other better. They will do so again today as they have done all season.

Competition begins and Coach Rolle is in game mode. Standing off to the side he is quiet but observant, dissecting and giving feedback often in signals from afar helping his athletes find those extra inches. Both Bruckner and Stone moved through to the finals, Bruckner leading but receiving some pressure after a 47 foot though from a competitor. Bruckner responds with a fourth round throw extending her lead to 48-8 which would stand as the winning mark on the day, Stone finishing sixth.

It was a solid day, not their best admittedly but it is was now time to move on to the discus. Through the first three rounds Bruckner was sitting in third and came back in the finals to win her second event of the day.

Links: Results / PicsMileSplitCA Interview with Elena Bruckner