The last time Newport Harbor High sent a pole vaulter to the CIF Southern Section Masters girls' track and field meet, her first name was Allison.
Four years later, another Allison has a chance to reach Masters for the Sailors.
Meet Allison Krugman, who a couple of weeks ago hung out with Allison Stokke, the former standout at Newport Harbor. Krugman considered going to UC Berkeley, where Stokke is a senior.
Krugman had plenty of college options. That tends to be the case when you are one of the valedictorians at Harbor.
During her time in Berkeley, Krugman said Stokke showed her around.
"She didn't have that much time because she kind of had to work the pit and everything [during a meet]," said Krugman, adding that Stokke introduced her to one of the coaches.
"I had a really, really hard time deciding between UCLA, Berkeley and Claremont [McKenna College]. With Berkeley, it's a … [NCAA] Division I school. It was going to be really competitive. In the end, Claremont was just a better fit for me. The [Division III that Claremont is in] is way less competitive. I'm going to be kind of the top vaulter, whereas at Berkeley I would … struggle a lot."
There was a time not too long ago when Krugman struggled talking to Stokke.
Back then, Krugman was an eighth-grader at The Pegasus School in Huntington Beach. She had just picked up a pole and did not take the event seriously.
On the other hand, Stokke was a senior at Harbor and one of the elite pole vaulters in the state.
"I remember once that she came to [our Higher Flyers Pole Vault Club] practice and I saw her, and we're all like, 'That's Allison Stokke!' We worshipped her," Krugman said. "She was amazing. We were all intimidated. I didn't want to talk to her because I thought she was all [business]. I was so intimidated by her because I was a little eighth-grader and she was this big, top vaulter."
Krugman found out Stokke is just as nice as she is. Krugman has turned into quite the special pole vaulter as well.
She is not getting as high as Stokke did in high school. Krugman is about two feet behind Stokke's personal record of 13 feet, 7 inches she set while with the Sailors in 2007.
But Krugman has a shot Saturday to qualify out of the CIF Southern Section Division II finals at Cerritos College. Coach Fritz Howser said Krugman must finish in the top 12 to advance to Masters.
The pole vault event starts at 2 p.m., a good time to Krugman. In order to crack the top 12, she believes she has to clear 11-9. The mark is three inches above Krugman's best.
At the beginning of the year, Krugman said she set her PR of 11-6 at an invitational at Santa Margarita High. That was five inches better than her previous best, which came during her junior season.
That junior season ended on a bad note for Krugman. She failed to reach the stage she is on now, the section finals, after scratching at the section preliminaries.
Krugman did not clear the initial height.
Last week, she bounced back in a major way at the section prelims at Moorpark High. Krugman cleared the first height, 10-9, and the second height, 11-3, on her first attempts. She did not need to vault again. She did enough to move on to Saturday's section finals.
"I wish they hadn't cut it off because I was feeling really good," Krugman said. "I'm hoping I can continue that [Saturday]."