CIF-STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS - Boys and Girls Throws Preview

This is one article in a series of event group previews in advance of the CIF-State Track and Field Championships. 

The top 12 in both throws events during Friday's prelims advance to Saturday's finals. 


Discus Throw

State Meet record - 213-07, Bo Taylor (Newport Harbor/SS) 2006.

Current State Leader - 197-8, Brendon See (JSerra Catholic/SS).

Brendon See (JSerra Catholic/SS), a senior, will go after his second straight CIF State Meet discus title after winning in 2022 with a top mark of 203-10. He enters State as the leader again with a 197-8 throw earlier this season. Another State Meet returner is sophomore McKay Madsen (Clovis North/CS), whose top throw this postseason is 191-3. He was impressive last year, reaching the State final as a freshman and finishing ninth. Yet another State Meet veteran is senior Kai Deines (Redondo Union/SS), who finished third last year with a 198-11. Deines' best effort this season is 180-8. A few more State returners from 2022 are Tyler Knowles (Rancho Buena Vista/SD), a senior at 175-11, and Kyler Headley (Silver Creek/CC), a junior at 162-4. Top State Meet newcomers include seniors Mikel Udengwu (Glenn/SS) and Justice Mephors (J.W. North/SS) with top marks of 193-0 and 184-7, respectively, and juniors Zach Lewis (Pacifica-Garden Grove/SS) and Derek Smith (Buchanan/CS) at 180-4 and 179-1, respectively.

Shot put 

State Meet record - 74-04.75, Brent Noon (Fallbrook/SD), 1990.

Current State Leader - 65-10, Brendon See (JSerra Catholic/SS)

Brandon See (JSerra/SS) has both the state's leading shot put mark at 65-10 and comes to the State Meet having just thrown a 63-10 at the Southern Section Masters Meet this past week. But this is See's first State Meet appearance in the shot put. See, who is also the defending State champion in discus, has a chance to be the first State champion in both discus and shotput in the same season since 2016 by Bronson Osborn (Esperanza/SS). Senior Kai Deines (Redondo Union/SS) will be among a handful of State Meet returners looking to prevent that. Deines, who was fifth in the State shot put last year, went 62-4 at the SS-Masters Meet last week. Sophomore McKay Madsen (Clovis North/CS) was eighth in the State shot put finals last year as a freshman. His top throw this year so far is 63-4.5. Zach Lewis (Pacifica-Garden Grove), a junior who didn't advance out of the State prelims last year, is back and his best throw to date is a 60-5.5. A few newcomers to the State shot put are senior Jaylon Wells (Warren/SS) who has a top throw of 60-8 and senior Jose Soto (Tulare Western/CS) at 60-2.


Discus Throw 

State Meet record - 186-09, Anna Jelmini, (Shafter/CS) 2009.

Current State Leader - 167-8, Nailea Fields (Caruthers/CS).

Nailea Fields (Caruthers/CS) returns to the State Meet seeking to defend her title in the discus. She enters this year having already surpassed her 2022 State championship high mark by more than 10 feet (157-1). Her 167-8 career PR came at last week's Central Section Masters. She has won 13 of 15 events she has entered in discus this season. Seeking to dethrone Fields is senior April Fontenette (Notre Dame-Sherman Oaks), who had the top mark in the 2022 State prelims, but finished second to Fields with a 155-8. Fontenette, in just the past two weeks has thrown 162-8 in the SS-Division 3 final and went 162-5 in the SS-Masters Meet. Fontenette's teammate, sophomore Aja Johnson (Notre Dame/SS), brings a 149-7 PR into the State Meet. Siena Lambert (JSerra Catholic/SS) who reached the State Meet prelims in 2022, has a top 2023 mark of 147-3. Senior Galadriel Mellion (Weston Ranch/SJ) finished seventh in the State Meet Finals last year, and has a 148-0 mark to her credit this season. Another senior and State Meet returner is Loie Madsen (Clovis North/CS) whose best this season is a 147-8.

Shot put 

State Meet record - 53-08, Anna Jelmini (Shafter/CS), 2009.

Current State Leader - 46-10, Aja Johnson (Notre Dame-Sherman Oaks)

Only a sophomore, Aja Johnson (Notre Dame-Sherman Oaks/SS) returns to the State Meet after an impressive runner-up finish in the 2022 State Final. This year, she enters the competition having just thrown a state-leading mark of 46-10 at last week's Southern Section Masters Meet. That mark is already more than four feet better than her top State Finals mark (42-5.5). She is joined by seven other State Meet returners, including senior teammate April Fontenette (Notre Dame-Sherman Oaks/SS), who finished third in the finals, right behind Johnson. Fontenette's best is a 45-2. Other State Meet returners include Galadriel Mellion (Weston Ranch/SJ), who was sixth in the 2022 discus final and brings a 43-6 at last week's Sac-Joaquin Section Masters with her this time. Nailea Fields (Caruthers/CS) finished eighth with a 39-9.5 State finals throw, but has a 41-3.75 PR this season. Senior Mi'ah McNeal-Molette (Carson/LAC) was 12th in the State final last year. Her 2023 season best is a 41-10, an improvement of more than eight feet from her State final best (34-3). Sophomore Golda Demby (Hollister/CC) brings 43-4.5 mark to her first State Meet shot put appearance and senior Camryn Alo (Etiwanda/SS) has a 43-6.5 to her credit entering her first-ever State Meet.

Ryan Blystone is a freelance writer and an associate editor for MileSplitCA

Photos by Raymond Tran and Dan Tyree