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Isabella Garcia of Pinckney missed the state track and field meet in the 3,200-meter run by 0.03 seconds last year. She qualified Friday with a school-record time of 11:01.18 in the regional at Milford.
Bill Khan

MILFORD — In everyday life, not much of significance can happen in three-hundredths of a second.

On the track, however, that tiny fraction of time can have enormous implications.

It can rob a runner of her dreams, as was the case for Pinckney’s Isabella Garcia last season.

It can also become a powerful motivational force moving forward.

Garcia channeled her disappointment over missing the state meet by 0.03 seconds in the 3,200-meter run last season into a school-record 11:01.18 at regionals Friday night to qualify for the Division 1 finals June 3 at East Kentwood.

Garcia finished fourth behind three runners from distance powerhouse Northville, but easily cleared the additional qualifying standard of 11:14. When the standard was 11:17 last year, Garcia ran her previous personal record of 11:17.03 at regionals.

“I’m so happy,” Garcia said. “I have no words.

“Ever since I found out I didn’t make it by .03, that’s been my motivation.”

Garcia stayed in a pack with Northville’s Olivia Harp (10:56.20), Ana Barrott (11:00.54) and Cayla Eckenroth (11:00.83) throughout the race, going through the 1,600 mark in 5:30. Harp broke away on the final lap.

“I’m actually pretty intimidated with the Northville girls, because they’ve been good forever,” said Garcia, who broke the school mark of 11:11.6 set by Callie Clark in 2011.

“I was really happy I was able to keep up with them and they were able to push me to the time I got.”

It was the second school record Garcia helped take down Friday.