Arguably, the toughest postseason round in the nation takes place this Saturday at Trabuco Hills High School with the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 Preliminaries.
Field events begin at 11 a.m., running at noon.
Only nine in each event will advance to the May 11 all-division finals at El Camino College.
Over the years, the Division 1 Prelims in the Southern Section has prematurely ended the postseason aspirations of many of California's best. The intense level of competition in some events makes advancing from this round TOUGHER than either of the next two!
Examples: Seven of the top 12 athletes in California qualified to line up for the Boys' 800 meters! Only nine will move on.
And -- AND -- 10 of the top 14 teams in the state in the boys 4x400 Relay are qualified at this meet, another extreme example of how this division can be ridiculous, relatively comparing to how there are still three weeks before the California State Meet.
Last year, a 9:09.50 did NOT advance for the Boys' 3200 meters!
One botched hand-off, flinch in the blocks or mistimed lean can be the difference on advancing or your season being over.
Keep in mind that the only nine -- NINE -- qualify for the divisional finals.
In the running events, all heat winners and the next fastest to bring the total to nine (9) will advance. In the field events, the top nine (9) marks earn a ticket to the all-division finals.
With that, enjoy this preview where you will find that every event is littered with those that are currently ranked in the top 10 for California!
In parenthesis, we've included the average qualifying mark needed to advance over the past three seasons.