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Three locals move on to CIF State championships

Canyon's Molster, West Ranch's Bultman and Saugus' Zabilski will compete in track and field meet

Posted: May 30, 2014 10:26 p.m.
Updated: May 30, 2014 10:26 p.m.

West Ranch's Nathan Bultman competes in the shot put on Friday at Cerritos College during the CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet.

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NORWALK — Winning wasn’t the priority on Friday.

And that’s why, despite no locals finishing No. 1 in their events, plenty of them were smiling at the CIF-Southern

Section Track and Field Masters Meet at Cerritos College.

Seven Foothill League athletes made the return to the college, which also held last week’s CIF-SS divisional finals, and three of them qualified for the CIF State Track and Field Championships.

Those who moved on from the Masters Meet, which is used as a state meet qualifier, included Saugus junior Brian Zabilski in the 3,200 meters, Canyon senior Brett Molster in the high jump and West Ranch junior Nathan

Bultman in the shot put.

All three of them will be making their first appearances at the state meet, which takes place on Friday and Saturday at Buchanan High School in Clovis.

“That the greatest feeling man,” said Molster, who reached 6 feet, 7 inches to advance in the high jump. “Finally, senior year, go to state. It will be interesting. Seriously it’s just surreal. It’s the best feeling.”

Athletes who finished top six in their events or reached a designated at-large benchmark advanced through Friday’s meet onto state.

Zabilski qualified with style points, running a school-record 8 minutes, 59.98 seconds to take third place in the 3,200.

The time broke Daren Stonerock’s previous Saugus High all-time best time of 9:02.03 from 1986.

It was also 13 seconds faster than what he ran on the same track the week before at CIF finals, where he made it through to the Masters Meet as the 12th and final qualifier.

“I came in here last qualifiers and I didn’t know if I was going to make it or not,” Zabilski said. “People were making plans (as) if you were going to make it to state, but now it’s definite and that’s just amazing.”

Molster cleared the at-large mark of 6-7 on his third and final attempt, which put him tied for the second best jump of the day. The top qualifiers reached 6-9.

“I was getting nervous,” Molster said. “Missed my first attempt, missed the second and I was like, alright, it needs to be now or never.”

Bultman’s day was much less stressful.

He threw past the needed state qualifying distance on his first toss of the day, then proceeded to improve on that mark with his best throw of 61-3 3/4 for third place overall.

That was even better than his mark of 60-11 1/4 last week, which gave him the CIF-SS Division I championship.

“I feel like I did good because these last three meets that I’ve had I’ve been consistently up in the numbers, around 60 feet or exceeding 60 feet. And honestly it’s good to be consistent because then I know when it comes to the bigger meets that I can definitely pull it off,” Bultman said.

There were four others representing Foothill League schools on Friday who did not move on.
In the girls 3,200 race, Canyon senior Natalie Rodriguez ran a personal-best time of 10:42.38 for ninth place.

Had she finished seven seconds earlier, she’d be headed to Clovis.

Rodriguez was one of three seniors who saw strong high school careers come to an end on Friday.

There was also Valencia’s Briana Pica, a stellar four-year pole vaulter who was competing in her second straight Masters Meet.

On the day of Valencia’s graduation ceremony, she finished tied for eighth with a vault of 11-1, but failed to clear the needed 11-7 to advance.

Even so, Pica was just fine with missing graduation for a chance at state.

“I would have rather been here,” she said. “I wouldn’t have missed it.”

Golden Valley had two athletes in action, but neither qualified for state.

One of them was senior Samiyah Hawkins, who ended her school record-breaking year in the discus. She fouled on all four of her throws on Friday.

Fellow Golden Valley thrower and junior sensation Nikaela Harris was a couple of feet short of moving on in the shot put, but she ultimately wound up in 11th place with a distance of 39-6 1/4.

It was the first time Golden Valley ever had two athletes competing at the same Masters Meet.


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