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Erica Schroeder, Natasha Feshbach Place 8th at CIF State Finals in Track & Field

Local duo puts up valiant effort at event at Clovis' Veterans Memorial Stadium

Erica Schroeder of San Marcos placed eighth in the 800 meter dash during Saturday’s CIF State Finals at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Clovis.
Erica Schroeder of San Marcos placed eighth in the 800 meter dash during Saturday’s CIF State Finals at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Clovis. (Noozhawk file photo)

Competing against the top athletes in the state on Saturday, Erica Schroeder of San Marcos High School and Santa Barbara High's Natasha Feshbach each embraced the challenge while coming away with eighth-place finishes in their final-round events at the CIF State Finals, held at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Clovis. 

“Making it to the State Meet is such an honor,” said San Marcos coach Marilyn Hantgin. “The competition is fierce and it is such a memorable experience for all that attend.”

Heading into the meet, Schroeder looked to defend her state title in the 800 meters.

However, contact at the start left her at the rear of the field on the outset.

The Royals junior moved up to the top five with 200 meters to go, but was boxed in and dropped to eighth in 2:09.74. 

“It's never easy defending your title, but in the end Erica had a wonderful season,” noted coach Hantgin. “I am so proud of her and all the preparation she put into her season.”

Early in the evening, Feshbach, a Dons senior, competed in the 100 meter hurdles, but could do no better than 19.20 seconds, good for eighth in the eight-entry field. 

Natasha Feshbach, seen here after the Aracdia Invitational, placed eighth in the CIF State Finals. Click to view larger
Natasha Feshbach, seen here after the Aracdia Invitational, placed eighth in the CIF State Finals. (Contributed photo)

After getting off to a solid start in the race, girls on both sides bumped into Feshbach, which caused her to fall on the seventh hurdle. 

“She's obviously disappointed,” commented Santa Barbara coach Olivia Perdices, “It's been a goal for a long time to make a state final and she's had such a great season in the hurdles especially.” 

During Friday’s prelims, both local competitors advanced in at least one event to send them to the Finals. 

Schroeder clinched her birth in the final meet by edging Centennial-Corona’s Rylee Penn to win her heat in the girls 800 meters, running a 2:09.04 to Penn’s 2:09.27.

That time made her the No. 2 overall qualifier, just behind the 2:08.00 of Alyssa Brewer of California-San Roman. 

She also joined the San Marcos 4x400 relay team that included Olivia Jones, Delaney Warner and Jenny Nnoli. The Royals’ quartet finishes fourth in their heat and 14th overall in 3:52.12, missing out on the finals.

“They were all very excited to be there and handled the pressure well,” coach Hantgin added. “This is only the second time our girls relay had been to the state meet and I’m very proud of them.”

The Yale-bound Feshbach, meanwhile, finished second in Heat 2 of the 100 meter hurdles in 14.17, advancing at the No. 7 overall entry into the finals.

She tried to qualify in the long jump, but her best effort of 18 feet 3 1/4 inches was good for 13th, missing a qualifying birth by one spot. 

“She’s had such a great season and I couldn't be prouder of her,” concluded coach Perdices. “This whole journey from a freshman who'd never put on a pair of spikes to one of the best hurdlers in California and one of the best heptatletes in the country has been a phenomenal one.”

— Noozhawk sports reporter Blake DeVine can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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