Stanford, 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 / Pics / MileSplitCA Interview with Elena Bruckner