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CIF track and field: CIF titles in sight

Foothill League has 31 participants in today’s CIF-SS finals

Posted: May 19, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 19, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Canyon runner Taylor Thomas wins the 100-meter hurdles during the CIF-Southern Prelims on May 12 at Moorpark High. Canyon runner Taylor Thomas wins the 100-meter hurdles during the CIF-Southern Prelims on May 12 at Moorpark High.
Canyon runner Taylor Thomas wins the 100-meter hurdles during the CIF-Southern Prelims on May 12 at Moorpark High.

Of all the Foothill League track and field athletes taking part in today’s CIF-Southern Section finals, nobody knows the stage better than Canyon’s Tiffini Stone and Taylor Thomas and Saugus’ Karis Frankian.


Stone and Thomas each have four top-five Southern Section finishes in their career, while Frankian has three.


They are part of the local contingent of 31 athletes making the trip to Mt. San Antonio College today in search of a Southern Section title and a berth in next Friday’s Masters Meet.


Stone will take part in the Division II long and triple jumps, and the senior has three Southern Section runner-up finishes on her resume, having been second in the long jump the last two years and second in the triple jump last season. She also finished third in the long jump as a freshman.


Thomas, meanwhile will take part in the Division II 100- and 300-meter hurdles races. Undefeated in the Foothill League over her four-year varsity career, Thomas was third in the Southern Section in both races last season, and she was fifth in both as a sophomore.


The top 12 performances, regardless of division, qualify for the Masters Meet in the 800, 1,600, 3,200 and field events, while the top nine performances qualify in the rest of the events.


As for Frankian, she’s been fourth in the Division II 3,200 the past two seasons after finishing third as a freshman. The senior will run at the Southern Section finals for the last time today, and she faces the monumental challenge of unseating Simi Valley supergirl Sarah Baxter, the reigning state champion whose times have been 10-15 seconds ahead of the pack all season.


West Ranch’s Ashley Welker, who finished 10th in the state last season in the 800, will try to win her first Southern Section title in the event at today’s Division I finals, while teammate Nick Bultman will make his Southern Section finals debut in both the shot put and discus after dominating the Foothill League in both events the past two seasons.


Besides Frankian and Welker, the Foothill League has sent a typically robust contingent of distance runners to this stage of the postseason. Golden Valley has three athletes running today, with Kristian Martinez competing in the Division II 800 and 1,600, Juan David Garcia competing in the Division II 3,200 and Chelsey Totten running the Division II 1,600.


Hart’s distance studs Austin O’Neil and Sam Peckham will both run the Division III 1,600 and 3,200, while Canyon’s Joel Estrada went from fourth in the Foothill League to CIF-Southern Section Division II finalist in the 800.


Saugus junior A.J. Yarnall will join Garcia in the Division II boys 3,200.


The field events will be chock-full of Foothill athletes, not just Stone. Tim White will take part in the Division III high jump, leading a trio of Indians in the event that also includes Gabe Robinson and Ryan Zielinski.


White will also long jump in Division III, while Valencia’s Clint Gingrich will take part in the Division I long jump.


Canyon has a pair of boys athletes in the field events, including Brett Molster in the Division II high jump and Robert Wolfe in the Division II pole vault. Wolfe was the final qualifier for the Southern Section finals in the pole vault, and he found out about it via the stadium PA system last Saturday at Moorpark High School.


A pair of local girls 400 runners, Valencia freshman star Chanel Rogers and West Ranch’s Xiomara Perkins, will take part in the Division I championship race.


Several local relay teams also qualified for the finals, including three in the girls 4x400 races. West Ranch’s team of Perkins, Welker, Amy Falahat and Lauren Ross will run the Division I race, while Canyon and Golden Valley both qualified in the Division II race.


Canyon’s team will consist of Thomas, Erica Anunwah, Kendall Bietsch and Ahlexhys Hixon, while Golden Valley’s team will feature Totten, Alexandra Fernandez, Jada Selexman and Imani Dixon.


Valencia’s boys 4x100 team of Gingrich, James Berkley, Nick Jones and Michael Kojin will vie for a Division I title in that event.


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