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SCV athletes adding to a storied track history

Posted: June 5, 2014 8:57 p.m.
Updated: June 5, 2014 8:57 p.m.
Canyon senior Brett Molster had a jump of 6 feet, 7 inches to qualify for the state meet. Canyon senior Brett Molster had a jump of 6 feet, 7 inches to qualify for the state meet.
Canyon senior Brett Molster had a jump of 6 feet, 7 inches to qualify for the state meet.

The road to the state meet was well paved for the remaining Santa Clarita Valley athletes this season.

Three locals are making the trip north to Buchanan High School in Clovis for the CIF State Track and Field Championships, which begin with today’s prelims.

Two of them — Canyon senior Brett Molster and Saugus junior Brian Zabilski — come from schools with storied histories in the sport.

The other one — West Ranch junior Nathan Bultman — comes from a strong family legacy.

All three of them could very easily end up on the podium in their events by the end of the weekend.

You have Bultman who has already thrown as far as 62 feet, 4 inches in the shot put, which is a school record and the state’s fourth best mark all season long.

Then there’s Zabilski fresh off his own school-record breaking performance at last week’s CIF-SS Masters Meet, which makes him the fifth seed among 27 runners competing in the 3,200-meter race on Saturday.

Molster’s qualifying high jump of 6-7 is only two inches behind the top seeded mark of 6-9 by his fellow competitors.

It isn’t out of the realm of possibility that one of these three athletes could pop a huge performance and become the Santa Clarita Valley’s ninth individual CIF state track and field champion.

“I’m nervous but at the same time I’m excited because I really have accomplished a lot and I made it to state and now I just really need to perform,” Bultman said. “My goal is to get in the top three.”

Any top six finish is considered a podium, or All-State finish.

Though West Ranch has had athletes reach the podium at the event before, few have gone into the event with as much momentum as Bultman.

The junior became the school’s first individual CIF champion on May 24 when he won the CIF-Southern Section Division I shot put title.

Now he can try to stake claim to West Ranch’s first state crown as well.

Bultman’s older brother, Nick, finished eighth in the state shot put final for West Ranch in 2012.

Nathan’s father, David, won the CIF state shot put title in 1987 with Royal High of Simi Valley. He’s now Nathan’s primary trainer.

There is one distinction that separates Nathan from his dad’s and brother’s accomplishments.

“The only difference is that I’m a junior and they both made it to state meet as seniors,” Nathan said.

The shot put prelims begin at 8 p.m. today. The top 12 performers from today will advance to Saturday’s finals at 8:30 p.m.

And Bultman isn’t the only sensational junior making the trip from the SCV up to Clovis.

Zabilski used an outstanding final lap to finish third place at last week’s Masters Meet in a time of 8 minutes, 59.98 seconds.

That beat out Darren Stonerock’s longheld Saugus record in the event of 9:02.03 recorded in 1986.

Zabilski’s mark isn’t far off the all-time SCV high school record of 8:58.38, which was a state title winning time recorded by Canyon’s Dave Hartman in 1991.

Coincidentally, that was the same year Saugus last had an individual state track and field champion — Rodney Bradshaw in the 300 hurdles.

“I know I’m up there and that I’ve got a chance at making that top six on the podium, but really I’m going in there trying to have the best race that I can,” said Zabilski, who was also an All-State cross country runner in the fall.

Saugus and Canyon seemingly place at least one athlete into the state finals each and every year.

Molster becomes the second straight Canyon high jumper to move on to the state meet, following Jeremy Kimmer last year.

Early this season, on March 8, Molster cleared the bar at 6-9 to tie Kimmer’s school record, though Molster has yet to match that mark since.

Depsite that fact, Molster says he’s coming into the weekend as relaxed as can be considering the UC San Diego-bound senior is already graduated and is finished with school for the summer.

“It’s the last meet I’ll ever compete in in high school so I’m just trying to peak at the right time,” Molster said.

Though he did add that, if nothing else, he wants to clear 6-10.

“It’s now or never,” he said.

Molster competes in today’s high jump prelim starting at 6:30 p.m. If he is among the 12 competitors to move on, he’ll take part in the final at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Zabilski is scheduled to race at 9:03 p.m. on Saturday in the 3,200 final. There is no prelim for the event.


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