Track & Field: Local athletes ready for CIF-SS finals

Out of the 25 local high school athletes at the CIF Southern Section track and field divisional finals, only Corona del Mar's Matt Hurst has moved past this round.

The Harvard-bound senior, who is in three races, expects to qualify to the Masters meet again in the 400-meter event at Cerritos College in Norwalk on Saturday. Twenty-two other area athletes will try to vie for spots at next week's Masters meet, the precursor to the CIF State finals.

Corona del Mar is bringing the largest contingency with 11, six boys and five girls, to compete in the Division 3 finals. Newport Harbor has nine athletes (seven girls and two boys) in Division 2, while Estancia has two girls in Division 3, Sage Hill two boys in Division 4, and Costa Mesa one boy in Division 3.

The lone boy for the Mustangs is Quinton Bell, one of the fastest sprinters in the state. The senior has the ninth fastest time in the 100, running 10.71 seconds last month at the Orange County Championships.

Bell, who's bound for Texas Southern University, is slated for the 100 and 200 in the Division 3 finals. To reach Masters in either event, Bell has to record one of the nine fastest marks, regardless of division.

Only the top nine performances, regardless of division, in the sprints, hurdles and relays qualify for Masters, which will be at Cerritos College. The top 12 in the distance and field events earn berths to Masters.

CJ McCord is Sage Hill's best chance to move on.

McCord, a junior, made it to the Division 4 boys' finals with teammate Kavi Sakraney. McCord has recorded the state's eighth-best mark in the high jump at 6 feet, 9 inches.

Other standouts include Estancia's Persis William-Mensah, who's in the 100 and 200 in the Division 3 girls' finals. The UC Irvine-bound senior has run an 11.92, ranking No. 10 in the state for wind-aided marks.

If William-Mensah continues on, it most likely will be in the 100. Her teammate, Rebekah Lewis, is in the shotput and discus throw.

Newport Harbor has Will Fortier in the Division 2 boys' shotput. The senior has hit 57-4 1/2, No. 16 in the state. Stephen Mantei is in the discus.

The rest of the CdM boys are Spencer Keith (3,200), Alex Wilde (high jump), and Sutton Barbato, Barrett Barbato and Danny Giger are in the 4x100 relay with Hurst, who's also in the 200. The CdM girls are Asha Hardy (high jump), Emma Kratzberg (100 hurdles), and Erika Anderson, Emily Glenn, Elin Wolker and Kratzberg are part of the 4x400 relay.

For Newport Harbor's girls, Natalie Ward (300 hurdles), Rachelle A La Torre (discus) and Erin Barth (1,600) are in individual events. Hope Bender, Paige Fults, Natalie Ward and Lauren Loucks make up the Sailors' 4x400 relay.

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