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Prep track and field: Foothill League track and field athletes to compete in CIF state meet

Santa Clarita athletes positioned to medal at CIF championships

Posted: June 1, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 1, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Hart’s Tim White competes in the triple jump during the CIF-Southern Section track and field finals May 19 at Mt San Antonio College. White will compete today at the state meet in Clovis.

Three track athletes, three field athletes, all with one goal — become the first individual state champion from the Santa Clarita Valley in three years.

Six different athletes from four different schools will take part in the CIF State Track and Field Championships, which begin today at Buchanan High School in Clovis.

With the exception of the 3,200-meter race, in which Saugus senior Karis Frankian will take part, all events today are preliminary with the finals to be staged on Saturday.

The top nine marks in each field event will qualify for the finals, while on the track, the heat winners will qualify along with the next-fastest times until nine total finalists are accumulated. The exceptions are the 1,600, which takes 12 finalists, and the 3,200.

Frankian and West Ranch senior Ashley Welker are both returning to the state meet. Frankian made the state meet last season and also as a freshman in 2009, when Valencia’s Aly Drake won the 800 state title.

Frankian finished 15th in the 3,200 that season and 20th last year, and she enters this weekend’s finals with the eighth-best seed time of 10 minutes, 31.44 seconds, recorded at last Saturday’s CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet.

Simi Valley sophomore phenom Sarah Baxter is the defending champion in the race, and she has the fastest seed time by almost 10 seconds, so it will take a Herculean effort by Frankian to dethrone her.

Welker, meanwhile, missed the state finals in the 800 last season by less than a tenth of a second. She owns the 12th-fastest seed time of 2:13.05 this season, though like Frankian, she faces a monumental challenge in unseating Harvard-Westlake senior Amy Weissenbach, who set the national record of 2:02.04 at last year’s state meet and has vowed to go under two minutes before her prep career ends.

The Foothill League’s top seed mark belongs to Hart senior Tim White, who went 48 feet, 1 1/2 inches in the triple jump the CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet. White will challenge Claremont’s Klyvens Delunay, Central High of Fresno’s Willie Alexander and Bakersfield’s Scotty Newton for the crown.

White has a good shot at a podium finish, as the top six athletes in each event reach the podium at state.

West Ranch senior Nick Bultman has set new personal records in the shot put each of the past three weeks, and he’ll look to parlay that momentum into a successful state meet debut. He owns the fifth-best seed mark of 59-10 1/2, and the four throwers ahead of him have all gone 60 feet or farther.

Three of those throwers compete in the Southern Section, including Newport Harbor’s Ethan Cochran, Great Oak’s Nick Ponzio and Arroyo Grande’s Garrett Weinreich, who owns the top seed mark of 61-8. Ryan Donnahoe of Gridley High in the Northern Section has also eclipsed 60 feet.

Hart senior Austin O’Neil will compete in today’s 1,600 prelims, and he comes in with the 12th-fastest seed time of 4:13.39. O’Neil led most of the race at the Masters Meet before tiring out over the final 200 meters, but he’s already raced most of the other top contenders because most of them hail from the Southern Section.

O’Neil has a strong shot at a podium finish at least, with less than three seconds separating his personal record of 4:10.54 from the 4:07.72 seed mark of Cody Brazeal, a Buchanan High junior from the Central Section who’ll be running on his home track.

The Foothill League contingent is rounded out by Canyon senior Tiffini Stone, who will take part in the long jump. Stone qualified with a seed mark of 18-4 1/4, just shy of her personal record of 18-5 3/4.

Stone should challenge for a podium spot, although the top two seed marks are well over 19 feet. Jasmine Gibbs of El Camino High in the San Diego Section owns the top mark at 19-6 1/4, while Redlands freshman Margaux Jones went 19-4 1/2 at the Masters Meet.

White and Stone will be the first athletes to compete this weekend, as their events are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. today. O’Neil is scheduled to run his race at 5:48 p.m. today, and Welker will run at 7:34 p.m.

Bultman isn’t scheduled to compete until 8 p.m. today, and Frankian will take part in the third 3,200 finals of her career at 8:46 p.m. Saturday.


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