CIF-SOUTHERN SECTION DIVISION PRELIMS
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Remaining on track to state is no easy feat for high school track and field athletes in California. The challenge of survive-and-advance is greatest in the Southern Section where qualifying starts at the league level and some athletes must endure five elimination meets over four weeks -- all others face four in as many weeks -- just to punch a ticket to the State Finals.
The Southern Section has already seen two of the nation's top distance runners opt out of the CIF post-season, in Newbury Park's Colin Sahlman and Lex Young. The state's top-ranked boys 4x100m relay team, St. John Bosco, was DQ'd at its league final. And on Saturday, we saw another national-level star, disqualified when Mira Costa senior Dalia Frias missed her heat in the 3200m and, although she was allowed to run in the second heat, she was subsequently DQed. (Frias had earlier qualified in the 1600m where she ranks No. 2 in state history at 4:33.54.)
Ventura freshman Sadie Engelhardt dropped the eight-lap race at the CIF-SS D-2 Prelims and with Frias now out, it means two of the top eight (Nos. 3 and 8 respectively) on CA's all-time list for 3200m will not compete for a state title.
Survive and advance. It ramps up significantly this week across the Golden State.
-- Jeffrey Parenti
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Below is Mark Gardner's detailed look at the Division 1 Prelims. In the pages that follow, we take an overview look at the other three division preliminaries. All in advance of Saturday's CIF-SS Division Finals at Moorpark HS (streamed live by MileSplit).
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