California State Track and Field preview (Field Events)

The girls' long jump as with most field events seems to be wide open and susceptible to athletes hitting a big mark at the right moment.  The favorite comes from the south at that is Courtney Corrin of Harvard Westlake who won the SS Masters meet and holds the season best mark for all long jumpers at 20'8.25".  She will be tested by SS rival Margaux Jones of Redlands who tied Corrin at the SS Masters meet (19'6") and holds a season best mark of 20'5.50".  The best jumper from the north based on section marks is Meghan Tucker of Placer who jumped a season best mark of 19'8" at her section meet.  Watch out for Michelle Norman of Vista Murrieta who has jumped a season best 19'10.5" and finished 3rd at the SS Masters meet behind the already mentioned SS jumpers.

The boys' long jump competition took an interesting turn a few weeks ago as the 2012 state meet champion, Adoree Jackson of Serra (SS) was disqualified for viewing electronic equipment.  He took his case to two different courts and was denied both times which means that his official high school competition season is now officially over.  The favorite to win the long jump will be Castro Valley's Nate Moore who was the 2013 state long jump champion.  He will seek to become the first long jump champion to repeat since Terry Prentice of Diamond Ranch won back to back LJ competitions in 2006 and 2007.  Moore should be tested by Joey Souza of Kingsburg (CS) who won his section easily and has a season best mark of 25'7"w.  Gregory Vann of Rio Mesa won the SS Masters meet at 24'0.5" and has a season best jump of 24'6".

If you are looking for one event that has been dominated by Northern California athletes, look no further than the girls' triple jump.  NorCal jumpers have won 10 out of the last 11 years in this event.  Jenna Prandini of Clovis won the event in 2010 although some claim that Fresno is part of the North.  The favorite will be Marisa Kwiatkowski of Wilcox (CCS) who is the top returning jumper from last year's state meet (4th placer).  She also has the best mark in CA in this event at 41'2.75" and dropped the long jump to solely focus here.  Her chief competition will come from Ashley Anderson of Carson (LA) who has the 2nd best jump at 41'2.5" and had the furthest jump of any section jumpers last week (40'4.5").

The boys' triple jump in California has a knack for securing at least one "50 footer" each season.  The clear favorite here will be Castro Valley's Nate Moore who will return to defend his state championship in this event.  If Moore wins both the LJ and TJ competitions again, he will become the first CA jumper to repeat as state champion in both events.  He holds the season best mark in TJ this year (50'4.5") and recorded the best mark at all the section meets (50'2.25").  One of his main competitors will be a familiar foe in Karsten Wethington of James Logan.  He recorded his best mark of the season last week at the NCS MOC (49'11.75").  The only other athlete over 50 feet this year is CJ Alumbres of Vista Murrieta who won the SS Masters meet and has a best jump of 50'1.25" this season.
The girls' high jump competition as always will be an interesting one and sub 6 foot effort could claim the state crown once again although the winner last year, Rachel McCoy, jumped 6'0.75".  That was the first jump over 6 feet since 1995.  The reason may be that Volleyball has claimed a lot of potential jumpers but that would be speculation on my part.  For now, the favorite will be Asia Chesley of Stockdale (CE) who had a season best mark of 5'10".  She will be challenged by SS Masters champ, Erinn Beattie of Buena, who leaped 5'9" to win the section final.  Savannah Miller of Redlands has a 5'11" jump this year and will be a dangerous threat if she can repeat her best performance.

The boys' high jump competition will be another wide open affair although the defending state meet champion, Eric Moore of Carter, will return to defend his crown.  He tied with Vincent Calhoun of LB Poly at 6'9" at the SS Masters meet.  He also holds the best jump in the state this year at 7'0".  He will have pleny of challengers at the state meet as a slew of jumpers also cleared 6'9" including Justin Zinnerman of Rancho Cotate (NCS), Daniel Onuoha of Santa Teresa (CCS), Tyler Arroyo of Westview (SS) and David Chukwu of American (NCS).

The girls' pole vault competition will have a strong CCS contention with 6 competitors (3 auto and 3 at-large) including the top mark that belongs to Greta Wagner of Los Gatos (photo courtesy William Gerth Photography).  She will have one less event to contend with at state although she will be busier than most vaulters with the 400m. relay and the 100m. events.  She jumped 12'8" at the section meet and has a season best of 12'10".  With the state leader, Kaitlyn Merritt of Santa Margarita, unable to advance to the state meet, Wagner will be the favorite.  Two vaulters with hopes of upsetting the CCS champ. Freshman McKenna Caskey of Mater Dei, who has jumped 12'9", was only able to negotiate 11'7" at the masters meet and Augusta Thomason of Rancho Bernardo cleared 12'1" with a season best of 12'7".  2012 state meet pole vault champion, Taylore Jaques of Presentation, cleared 12'4" at the CCS meet and could easily take this competition with some strong efforts.

The boys' pole vault competition will have 6-7 vaulters making their way to Clovis with dreams of winning a state pole vault title.  Luigi Colella of Thousand Oaks will certainly be one of the contenders as the defending state champion and one of two vaulters witha  jump over 17 feet this season (17'0.75").  The other 17 foot vaulter is Jake David of Ventura who has jumped just a little higher at 17'1".  Ryan Pust of Golden Valley (SJS) comes in with the best jump from all the section meets at 16'7".  August Kiles of Tamalpais finished in 2nd place last year and just won the NCS MOC meet at 16'0".  Carl Johansson of Orange Lutheran finished behind the two SS vaulters and has a best mark of 16'9.5" this season.

The girls' shot put competition will have a strong favorite in two-time defending state shot put champion, Stamatia Scarvelis of Dos Pueblos.  She is undefeated this year in both the shot put and discus and will attempt to become the second shot putter in CA state history to win the shot put three times since Natalie Kaaiawahia won the shot put 4 years in a row between 1980 and 1983.  Scarvelis will also attempt to break the CA state meet record of Kristin Heaston which stands at 53'8".  The only other thrower in this competition over 50 feet is fellow SS competitor, Mackenna Howard of Los Alamitos, who threw 50'2.5" at the SS Masters meet.

The boys' shot put competition will be between two section champions, Dotun Ogundeji of Madison (SDS) and Matt Katnik of St. John Bosco.  Both throwers enter the meet with the two best throws from last week's competition and have the two best marks in the state with Ogundeji at 65'5.50" and Katnik at 65'4".  The state champion will emerge from those two throwers and we will see if either thrower can challenge the mark of Nick Ponzio (Great Oak) from last year at 66'2.5". 

The girls' discus competition could end up being a one woman show.  Stamatia Scarvelis (picture above courtesy of arcadia invite website) is the favorite and will be seeking her first discus state title.  As mentioned before, she is undefeated in both throwing events but the discus is always an event that leads to more upsets than the more solid shot put event.  The battle here could be for second place and if that is the case, the contenders are as follows.  Kendall Mader of Newbury finished in 2nd place at the SS Masters meet with a throw of 147'10".  Mackenna Howard, a strong shot putter, could also be in the mix in the discus with a throw of 147'1".  Section champions Rae Blansett of Liberty (CS) and Hannah Chappell of Oakdale (SJS) will hope to break up the SS sweep.

The boys' discus event will feature Dotun Ogundeji of Madison who will attempt to sweep the throwing events.  He will need to get past a formidable foe in the shot put and will need to do the same in the discus with SS Masters champion, Malik McMorris of Mater Dei.  Both throwers stepped up their efforts at their respective section meet with Ogundeji winning with 194'5" and McMorris winning with 192'11".  They appear to be heads and shoulders above the rest of the field but when it comes to the discus, a sudden burst of wind can change the outcome and result in a surprise champion.