By MARK GARDNER
Many of California's best Track & Field athletes will once again convene upon the Trabuco Hills High campus this Saturday for the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 Prelims. With the Southern Section currently under a four divisional format, the largest high schools are allocated here.
Considering how the California State Championships are still three weeks away, this is the toughest elimination round in the United States, relatively speaking. With limited spots* moving forward to next weekend's Division 1 Finals, the top athletes need to be at their best in moving forward.
Which individuals and relay teams that survive this round could have serious team scoring implications as both Great Oak squads go in as favorites. The Wolfpack boys come into the postseason as heavy favorites and project to score over 80 points at next week's finals.
Meanwhile Trabuco Hills, Long Beach Poly and Roosevelt will fight for that runner-up plaque. On the girls' side, anticipate a much closer battle that will include Great Oak and Upland while the Long Beach Poly girls look to defend their title. Roosevelt's girls could also break into that top three but will need some help.
*Qualifying for Divisional Finals (May 19 at El Camino College)
The nine (9) competitors with the best marks in each field event will qualify for the Finals. In the running events, qualifying will be each heat winner plus the next fastest time to total nine (9) competitors advancing to the finals.