AJ’s Emily Rutkowski Takes 7th in Girls’ 300-Meter Hurdles
By Daniel Dullum
After a disastrous 100-meter hurdles race on May 4, Apache Junction junior Emily Rutkowski reached the 300-meter hurdles final one day later, placing seventh overall at the AIA Division III State Track & Field Meet at Mesa Community College.
Emily finished the 300 hurdles in 48.81 seconds (and the Prospectors’ only two team points), but for her, a disappointment after finishing in 48.05 in the prelims. She finished seventh a year ago with a time of 48.63.
“I’ve ran a better time than that plenty of times,” Emily Rutkowski said. “But it got in my head when I was in one of the slower lanes, and the moment I got up there, I usually say to myself, ‘you got this.’ But for some reason, I got in my own head that I was in one of the slower lanes. That affected me, and I am such a better runner than that, and I let it get to me.
“But I dropped my time from 50 last year, and improved two seconds from last year. I know for a fact I could have been on that podium, but it slipped from me,” she continued. “I plan on doing some extra track this following year, so I’ll be conditioning all season. Next year, I’ll be on that podium. I have to work for it.”
On the first day of competition, Emily took a tumble after hitting a hurdle in the 100-meter hurdle prelims, and wound up placing 24th in 20.25.
“I screwed up my knee,” Emily explained. “The 100 usually isn’t my best race, but I barely qualified for it. Usually I four-step, but I tried a three-step and I was landing wrong.
“When I ran my 300 after the 100, I could feel (the knee injury) a little, but I managed to get to the finals, which was my goal. Then I ran the 4×4 relay, and today I was kind of tired. I could have done a lot better than I did, but next year, I’ll get it.”
The Prospector girls’ 4×400-meter relay team of SeAnna Brennan, Britney Davis, Faith Rutkowski and Emily Rutkowski finished 14th in prelims Friday, finishing in 4:27.98.
Elsewhere for AJHS in the state meet:
Junior Myka Adams failed to clear the opening height in the high jump after clearing 4 feet, 8 inches last year.
In girls javelin, Gabriella Martinez finished 15th with a throw of 95-01, McKayla Adams was 28th at 78-01, and Myka Adams placed 30th with a throw of 73-03.
The AJHS boys qualified three athletes for the javelin. Sophomore Chris Lohman finished 24th with a throw of 126-04, Ethan Wright was 28th at 119-00, and Asadawut Soh was 29th at 118-02.
Photo above: AJHS’s Emily Rutkowski expresses her disappointment in finishing seventh in the 300-meter hurdles at the Divisiion III State Track Meet on May 5. (Photo by Daniel Dullum)