From the moment he stepped into the shotput ring Saturday afternoon, Matt Katnik was confident he could win the Elite Invitational competition at the 48th Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High.
The USC-bound senior from Bellflower St. John Bosco finished second by less than a foot last year and wanted to leave no doubt this time around. Entering the event as the national leader at 68 feet 9 inches, he threw 71-31/2 on his second attempt and had two other throws better than 69 feet.
Katnik fell three-quarters of an inch short of the meet record set by Fallbrook's Brett Noon in 1990, but he wasn't complaining.
"Warming up I felt really good, really centered, and that first throw [68-1] was the best throw I've had in weeks so it gave me a lot of confidence," said Katnik, who became only the third athlete in California to reach the 70-foot mark, and the first since 1997. "I felt even better on the second one. I knew it would be a good throw but I didn't know it would be a 71. I'm just happy to PR [personal record]."
Westlake Village Oaks Christian's Lauren Rain Williams won the girls Invitational 200 meters in 23.57 seconds, just off her own nation-leading time of 23.43. She also won the 100 in a wind-aided 11.42 and anchored the winning 400 relay team.
Vista Murrieta junior Michael Norman ran the Invitational 400 meters in a national-leading 45.91 seconds, breaking the meet record of 46.02 set by
Malik McMorris of Santa Ana Mater Dei won the discus in a personal-best 194-8 after placing third last year.
Harvard-Westlake's Courtney Corrin leaped 19-101/2 to win her second long jump title in three years.
Santa Margarita senior Kaitlyn Merritt captured her third Arcadia pole vault title with a height of 13-7.
Amanda Gehrich of Rancho Santa Margarita Tesoro was second in 4 minutes 47.66 seconds in the Invitational mile and City Section champion Marissa Williams of Palisades was fifth in a personal-best 4:49.23. Jordyn Colter of Cherry Creek, Colo., won in 4:45.24.
Temecula Great Oak won the girls' distance medley in 11:49.59 with the foursome of Kiyena Beatty, Taylor Lawson, Ally Talpash and Destiny Collins. Dana Hills' team of Mason Coppi, Diego Southard, Colin Stein and Jake Ogden won the boys' race in a national-leading time of 10:06.73.