COSTA MESA — At Fairview Park, not too far from Estancia High's Jim Scott Stadium, a reenactment of the Civil War took place. Sounds of cannons and old-time shotguns went off, nearly throwing off some of the runners' starts at the CIF Southern Section Division III track and field preliminaries.
Yes, mini battles also ensued on the track and at the field events at Jim Scott Stadium Saturday. Athletes were fighting to get to next week's CIF finals.
One battle wrapped with intrigue could be seen at the discus competition. A Corona del Mar trio, Jaycee Olsen, Kyla Winkle and Jessica Imani, score points for the same team, yet, in a way, they were against one another, trying to advance. They've been pushing each other throughout the season. The pushing helped at the prelims.
The three girls advanced to the CIF finals, which are at Cerritos College Saturday. In addition to CdM, Estancia and Costa Mesa also competed at Jim Scott Stadium. There were no qualifiers for the Eagles and Mustangs.
CdM senior Melanie Powers, bound for Wake Forest, grabbed the top qualifying spot in the 3,200-meter race to highlight the locals' efforts, finishing in 10 minutes, 54.09 seconds.
Olsen, who was accepted into UCLA Thursday and is expected to compete for the Bruins, qualified for the CIF finals in three events, including the shot put and the 4x400 relay.
She was the Pacific Coast League champ in the shot put and discus and also qualified for the CIF prelims in the 200, but Coach Bill Sumner provided her with more of a challenge, putting her on the relay teams rather than the 200.
She didn't back down, qualifying third in the discus (128 feet) and eighth in the shot put (36-7). The relay team also featured Sarah Keddington, Katie Deveraian and Devon Hoppe.
"I was really intimidated, but I was excited and anxious to do it," Olsen said of competing in four events. "I'm not used to the 400, but I work well under pressure."
Winkle also showed she can rise when the stakes are high.
She qualified seventh in the discus with a personal-best 119-1. She said training and competing with Olsen and Imani has helped her improve.
"We're all friends, but we definitely have our competitive streak," said Winkle, who will attend Arizona State in the fall. "It's healthy. It's good competition."
Imani, saying she survived, qualified ninth (117-1).
CdM senior Marisa Cummings qualified in two events, fourth in the 1,600 in 5:03.00 and fourth in the 3,200 in 11:04.21.
The 1,600 was particularly quick, as Keddington, Powers and Hummelberg missed on finishing in the top nine to qualify.
Hummelberg and teammate Kristen Rivera qualified sixth and eighth, respectively in the 800. Hummelberg in 2:18.02 and Rivera in 2:18.78. They went 3-4 in their heat.
The CdM girls are aware they're not armed to win the CIF title, mainly due to late-season injuries, but that won't stop them from taking high spots individually next week.
The CdM quartet of Cole Cotrell, Jeff Condino, Thomas Testini and Brent Gray qualified ninth, the final spot, in the boys' 400 relay in 43.35.