Long Beach Poly High's quest for a third consecutive girls' State track and field championship was dealt a severe blow Friday when All-American sprinter Andrea Anderson was injured.
Anderson, a junior, collapsed after finishing second in a preliminary heat in the 200 meters. She re-aggravated a left thigh injury and lay on the track for 10 minutes before being transported to a trainer's table.
"My season is through," said Anderson, who finished second in the 100 and third in the 200 at the State meet last year. "My thigh muscle tightened up on the curve, and I just hung in to finish the race."
The finals begin today at 4 p.m., and with Anderson out the team race is wide open.
Anderson, who first injured her thigh before the Moore League finals last month, was expected to be near the top in the 100 and 200. She also runs on the 1,600 relay team.
Before her injury, Anderson ran the third-fastest prep time in the nation this season in the 100, 11.57 seconds, and the seventh fastest in the 200, 23.74. Her times in Friday's preliminaries were 11.77 and 24.58.
"I've been worrying about this day for several weeks," said Don Norford, Poly's coach. "We've really been watching her injury and taking things easy. I thought it had been healing. It's unfortunate.
"It definitely changes the team race. We're certainly going to lose a lot of points."
Oakland Bishop O'Dowd, Oakland Skyline and Long Beach Wilson are among the leading challengers for the girls' title.
Anderson's misfortune ended what had been an exciting day in the sprints.
Bryan Howard of Moreno Valley Canyon Springs started it in the 100 with a 10.32-second timing, the nation's fastest prep run this season. An hour later, he ran a 20.94 in the 200, his third time under 21 in the past three weeks.
Aminah Haddad of Long Beach Poly eased her team's pain by running the fastest qualifying time in the 200, 23.72.
Pasadena Muir, the boys' team favorite, had few disappointments. Ken Haslip had the fastest qualifying time in the 300 intermediate hurdles and third fastest in the 110 high hurdles. The Mustangs also qualified 400 and 1,600 relay teams.