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Wagner qualifies for state meet

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Fallbrook High School senior Rose Wagner will be concluding her high school track and field career at the CIF state meet May 27-28.

Wagner cleared 12'3" in the girls pole vault at the CIF San Diego Section finals May 21 at Mount Carmel High School to qualify for the state meet at Buchanan High School in Clovis. The athletes from all three San Diego Section divisions combined who had the three best times or distances in each event qualified for the state meet as did any athlete who posted a state qualifying mark. The state qualifying distance for the girls pole vault was 12'3" and Wagner was one of seven girls to clear at least that height at the CIF finals.

"That's the goal I had when I came here and I accomplished that, so it felt great," Wagner said.

The athletes in each division preliminaries with the top nine times or distances in each event advanced to the CIF finals. The CIF Division II preliminaries took place May 14 at University City High School. Wagner was third in the girls pole vault with a height of 12'3". Fallbrook sophomore Maya Khoury cleared 9'9" for fifth place.

Four other Fallbrook girls, all sophomores, competed in the CIF preliminaries but did not advance to the finals. Sahara Khoury cleared 8'3" in the pole vault which gave her a three-way tie for 11th place. Lacy Fabry had a 400-meter time of 1:03.46 to place 15th among Division II girls. Abby Petersen had the 16th-place time of 5:34.52 in the 1,600-meter run and the 20th-place time of 2:32.00 in the 800-meter event. Brittany Fabry was 22nd among Division II girls in the 200-meter dash with a time of 27.81 seconds.

The pole vaulters with the 13 highest overall heights at the preliminaries competed in the "A" flight in the CIF finals and that included Wagner. The rest of the finals qualifiers including Maya Khoury were in the "B" flight. The pole vaulters were given three attempts at each height and misses at lower distances were used to break ties.

Khoury cleared 10'3" at the CIF finals before missing her 10'9" attempts. "She's really consistent and has really good focus when she's on the runway, and her takeoff is exceptionally good," said Jim Curran, who is Fallbrook's assistant coach for pole vaults.

The "A" flight began at 11'3", and Wagner cleared the bar on her first attempt. "I was pretty confident with my first jump," she said.

Wagner also cleared her first attempt at 11'9". "She was ready for it," said Fallbrook head coach Marco Arias.

Wagner also cleared her first attempt at 12'3", giving her entry into the state competition. "Everything went really well," she said.

"Very excited because we're going to the state meet," Curran said.

"She was due to make this," Arias said.

Last year Wagner cleared 10'0" in the Division II preliminaries to share fifth place. There was no 2021 state meet and the CIF finals were replaced by a CIF Open Championships meet in which Wagner did not participate. In Fallbrook's only 2020 meet before the coronavirus outbreak cancelled the season, Wagner cleared 11'8" to set a school record. She extended that school record to 12'2" in 2021, and her best height of the 2022 regular season was 13'0" March 3 in a non-league dual meet at Rancho Buena Vista.

"Just really excited that she put it together at 12'3" and made all of her bars going up to that height," Curran said.

Wagner knocked over the bar on her first two attempts at 12'9". "I'm really working on getting my knees back to my shoulder," she said.

A knee issue kept Wagner from clearing 12'9" on her third attempt. Because she placed her pole on the runway it counted as her final attempt even though she didn't jump. "It just started getting super sore and kind of gave out a little," she said. "I didn't get past the run."

Curran was not disappointed that Wagner met but did not exceed the state qualifying mark. "I'm actually thrilled for her," Curran said. Although 12'3" fell short of Wagner's season best, Curran noted that clearing 13 feet can't be taken for granted. "It's difficult to get there, so consistently jumping 12 all season is the consistency that we look for," he said.

Scripps Ranch senior Lexi Evans cleared 14'0" for the best height in all divisions as well as the superlative Division II distance. "That really was motivational," Wagner said. "It was a great day to be there."

State meet qualification is for all divisions combined, but team points and medals are by division. La Costa Canyon sophomore Iliana Downing was second among Division II vaulters at 12'9". Wagner placed third and Khoury was fourth.

"I just think today turned out pretty well," Wagner said. "I'm super happy with how today went."

The position points for Wagner and Khoury gave Fallbrook 11 team points, which placed the Warriors 17th among the 32 Division II schools.

"I'm extremely pleased as far as the overall development," Arias said.

Wagner didn't break her personal record – and the school record – at the CIF meet, but she will have that chance at the state meet. "I'm just happy that I qualified and I get another opportunity to PR," she said.


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