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Prep track and field: Trip to state on the line

Eight locals will race at Masters meet

Posted: May 25, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 25, 2012 1:55 a.m.

It’s too bad the CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet wasn’t last weekend.

Of the eight Foothill League athletes who qualified for today’s Masters Meet at Cerritos College, almost all of them posted times and marks last weekend that would have bested the at-large marks for the CIF State Track and Field Championships.

It’s hard to put together consistent standout performances from week to week in track and field. But it would also be unwise to bet against this group of locals.

Fresh off his pair of CIF-Southern Section Division III titles, Hart senior Tim White will compete in both the high jump and triple jump. The top five finishers in each event, which combines the top athletes from all four divisions in the Southern Section, will automatically qualify for state, but others can qualify as well if they beat the at-large qualifying standards.

White cleared 6 feet, 7 inches to win the high jump last weekend, and the at-large mark for state is 6-5. In the triple jump, he popped a Foothill League-record leap of 48-5 1/4 on his first and only attempt, which is well over the at-large mark of 46-6.

His teammate, senior distance runner Austin O’Neil, won the Southern Section Division III title in the 1,600 with a time of 4 minutes, 12.11 seconds. That was the second-fastest overall time from last Saturday, and it’s more than three seconds under the state at-large time of 4:15.79.

Canyon’s pair of Southern Section champions, seniors Taylor Thomas and Tiffini Stone, will both try to reach Clovis for the first time. Thomas ran a Foothill League-record time of 14.18 seconds in the 100 hurdles last weekend, the first time she’s run so fast, and she’ll need to do so again to beat the at-large time of 14.31 seconds.

Stone’s afternoon last Saturday started with a stunner and ended with a CIF medal. She went a school-record 18-5 3/4 in the Division II long jump, only to finish second when Cajon’s Ayana Gales went 18-10 on the second-to-last jump of the competition.

Later in the afternoon, she set another school record by going 38-5 1/2 to win the Division II triple jump.

Today, Stone will compete in both events at the Masters Meet. Ironically enough, her second-place long jump mark would have beaten the state qualifying mark of 18-2, while her winning triple jump mark would have been short of the state mark of 38-7.

Saugus senior Karis Frankian and West Ranch senior Ashley Welker are the only two locals who have been to the state meet before, and both have a good shot at returning. Frankian is a two-time state finalist in the 3,200, and her personal record of 10:35.90 from last Saturday is well below the state mark of 10:42.57.

Welker finished 10th in the state in the 800 last season, and she finished as the Division I runner-up last weekend with a time of 2:14.10. That’s about a half-second behind the state at-large mark of 2:13.62, but Welker has run faster than that before, including at last year’s Masters and state meets.

West Ranch senior Nick Bultman and Valencia senior Clint Gingrich round out the local contingent competing today. Bultman threw a school record of 57-5 in his last shot put attempt at the Division I finals, and he’s routinely thrown farther than the 55-1 state qualifying mark.

If Gingrich qualifies for state, it could be by the slimmest of margins of any Foothill League athlete. He set a school record in the long jump last weekend with a leap of 22-5 1/4, and he’ll need to go that far again, because the state at-large mark (22-5) is just a quarter of an inch shorter than his record.

The throws are scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. today, while the rest of the field events will start at 5:30 p.m. The track events will go off at 6 p.m.


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