ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Krista Armstead knew immediately there was a problem.
Just out of the blocks in Friday’s Class 3A 100-meter dash preliminary – her first event of the 2012 state track and field championships – Sandia Prep’s star senior sprinter felt an old and unwelcome sensation. The left hamstring pain that ruined her 2011 state meet had returned.
And, once again, it almost certainly has ended her championship weekend.
Though Armstead managed to get across the finish line in the 100 after pulling up early – in a last-place time of 16.34 seconds – she never made it to the blocks in her other two events, the 200 and 400 dashes. She had been the top seed in all three.
Unless something changed drastically overnight and she’s able to run today with a Sundevil relay team, her high school career is done.
“Of course I’d like to compete in my last state events, but it just didn’t work out that way,” a remarkably composed Armstead said outside Sandia Prep’s team tent Friday. “I can’t control that.”
It was a devastating replay of the 2011 state meet in which Armstead managed to get through the prelims but had to sit out the finals due to the nagging hamstring pain.
That was after a sensational sophomore season in which Armstead won the 100 and 200 dashes, and the 110 and 300 hurdles. Her qualifying times in the 200 and 300 hurdles were better than the 4A and 5A champs in both events, and her 200 is a Class 3A state record.
Armstead, who is headed to the University of Washington in the fall to run track, had taken care to ensure she stayed healthy this season, working with physical therapists and trainers. She hadn’t really yet gotten to full speed.
But she said she felt the sharp pain at the outset of Friday’s 100 and wanted to avoid further problems.
“It’s just better to stop than keep going,” she said.
— This article appeared on page C5 of the Albuquerque Journal