CIF-SS D2 Prelims: Murrieta Mesa, Mater Dei lead the way

Individually among the boys

Multi-talented junior Derek Pekar (Ventura), who was second in the decathlon at the Arcadia Multis in April, is the only returning Division 2 event champion with a chance to defend his title next week at the CIF-Southern Section all-division finals at El Camino College in Torrance. Pekar (Clark Kranz photo above from Arcadia) won the long jump last May (22-05/2.7) and is the No. 4 qualifier (22-11.50/nwi). Pekar, who was 5th in the pole vault last year, also moved on in that event (13-8). And, if that isn't enough, he is the No. 4 qualifier in the long jump (21-11.50/nwi) and the No. 6 qualifier in the 110 hurdles (14.91/1.4).

Simi Valley junior Riley Hunt has the top qualifying time in the 110 hurdles (14.27/1.4) and the No. 2 time in the 300 hurdles (38.82) with Jaden Ellis (Moreno Valley Vista del Lago) 2nd in the 110s (14.98) and 3rd in the 300s (38.89). 

West Ranch is another team to keep an eye on in the boys competition with a potential for big points in the distances and the throws. Timothy Sterkel is the top qualifier in the 1600 (4:16.58), Isaiah Seidman is No. 1 in the 3200 (9:22.87), and Danny Bryant posted the top marks in both the shot put (57-05.25) and the discus throw (172-09). West Ranch also has Evan Bates through in both distance races (he is the only qualifier in the 16 and the 32), Mya Davis through in the 300 hurdles.

(Elias Opsahl and Sterkel in Jeffrey Parenti photo above)

Other boys notes

  • Ventura junior Carlos Aviles, the top-ranked thrower in the state, qualified third in the discus (168-04) and fourth in the shot (54-00.25).
  • Dominique's younger brother Titan Ruotolo had the top mark in the triple jump (45-03.00/nwi) and the No. 8 mark in the long jump (21-5.50/nwi). 
  • Sophomore Lorenzo McMillan (San Bernardino San Gorgonio) has the No. 7 time in the 100 (10.93/1.9) and the No. 5 time in the 200m (21.89/2.2). McMillan was 3rd in both sprints as a freshman at last year's finals.
  • Kamari Maddox (Elsinore) has the top qualifying mark in the long jump (22-8.50/nwi), No. 3 in the 100 (11.07/-0.8), and No. 6 in the 200 (21.94/3.5)
  • Elias Opsahl (Redlands East Valley) runner-up in the 800 (1:56.30 and 4th in the 1600 (4:16.84) at last year's division final, is the No. 8 qualifier in the 800 (1:56.63) and No. 2 in the 1600 (4:17.21). Opsahl and Hickman are the only one in the division qualified in both the 8 and the 16.
  • Sam VanDorpe (Mater Dei), 6th in the 1600 last year (4:19.99), is focusing solely on the 800 this year. His 1:53.00 qualifying time to top the field is CA #4 and US #30. (Jeffrey Parenti photo below)