Cochran, Percival win CIF track and field titles
WALNUT — Don’t get Ethan Cochran wrong. He was happy to win his second straight CIF Southern Section Division 2 title in the discus Saturday.
Excited? That’s a different story. The Newport Harbor High senior wants more. He’ll be excited for a second straight state championship.
For now, he’s OK with a Division 2 first-place medal.
“It’s not the most exciting thing because I won it last year,” said Cochran, who is bound for Cal. “The more exciting thing is winning state. But today is still a win and I’ll take it.”
Cochran was one of two Newport-Mesa athletes who captured a title Saturday at Mt. San Antonio College. Sage Hill School senior Jack Percival won the Division 4 title in the 800 meters in 1 minute, 55.85 seconds.
Corona del Mar senior Karleh Wilson took second place in the Division 3 girls’ shot put (42 feet 7) and discus (130-4). She’ll join Cochran, as well as Newport Harbor’s Steve Michaelsen (shot put, discus), Marty Taylor (shot put, discus) and Paige Tennison (3,200) at Friday’s Masters meet at Cerritos College.
The Corona del Mar 4x400-relay team of Ryan Rodrigues, John Swigert, Troy Hardy and Kyle Iverson lowered its school record by three seconds and advanced to Masters after finishing fourth in Division 2 in 3:17.80.
Cochran looks forward to the meet that serves as a qualifier for the state championships.
“I like throwing at Cerritos,” he said. “It’s a little slippery [at Mt. SAC]. I can throw better at Cerritos.”
Cochran was well short of his personal record of 209-8. He wants to break the state record, which is 213-11, set by Scott Moser of Huntington Beach in 1997. Cochran was bothered he didn’t break the Division 2 meet record, which is 213-7 from Newport Harbor’s Bo Taylor in 2006.
Tony Ciarelli, Newport’s throws coach, believes Cochran is capable of besting Moser.
“I think he’s capable,” Ciarelli said. “I think he has to do some things in practice that he hasn’t been doing now. Just a little bit more practice. He definitely has the capability to break the record. He has to bring the meet to the practice and bring the practice to the meet.”
Cochran is No. 1 in the state in the shot put and discus. He settled for second place in the shot put Saturday. Newport’s three talented throwers are moving on to the Masters meet in both events. The trio led Newport Harbor to a third-place finish among the boys’ teams in Division 2.
Marty Taylor set a personal record in the shot put (57-11 1/2) and finished third. He finished fifth in the discus (164-3). Michaelsen, a senior bound for Wake Forest, earned second in the discus (182-10) and fourth in the shot put (57-5).
Percival can relate to achieving a personal-best mark at the CIF meet. He closed out his season with a remarkable effort in the 800.
He became Sage Hill’s first individual CIF champion in track since Zach Chandy won the 200 and 400 six years ago.
Percival, who has battled throughout various injuries during his senior year, broke through with a personal-best by nearly three seconds (1 minute, 58.62 seconds). He was out for seven weeks during the soccer season after he suffered a two-inch vertical tear in his right quad, his father, Jim Percival said.
During the spring, he was bothered by a hamstring injury. Sage Hill Coach Nate Miller said he would have felt more confident in Jack coming into Saturday if they had more training. Usually, Miller is comfortable with six weeks of speed work. Jack only got two.
“For him to come out and run a personal-best and win the division was a bit of surprise, but I knew he had it in him,” Miller said.
“I was biting my own fingernails the last 100 meters. I really didn’t know for sure until the last five meters.”
Percival edged Villanova Prep’s Austin Robison. The Sage Hill senior, bound for Carlton College in Minnesota, was spent after the race. He lay on the grass and vomited by a tree.
He said he felt better after that and was satisfied that he won his first CIF title after reaching the finals in each of the last four seasons, the first two in the 4x100 relay and the final two in the 800.
Wilson broke her school record in the shot put by six inches. She said her adrenaline took over and she carried momentum from the discus onto the shot put.
Tennison finished fourth in the 3,200 in 10:36.07.
Newport Harbor junior Peri Howser finished fourth in the Division 2 girls’ pole vault, clearing 10-6.
CdM junior Alex Imani, the Pacific Coast League champion in the discus, finished fourth in Division 3 (152-6).
CdM senior Ashlee Powers finished fourth in the 3,200 in 11:09.41.
Estancia sophomore Persis Williams is one to watch for the future. She finished fourth in the 100 in 12.244, a personal record and No. 4 all-time at Estancia, Coach Charlie Appell said.
Costa Mesa senior Robert Blackwell finished sixth in the Division 3 800 in 1:56.79 and Rodrigues was behind him in seventh in 1:57.
CdM senior Thomas Testini finished sixth in the 200 in 22.26.
Testini, along with Cole Cottrell, Nick Willard and Lance Seger, finished fifth in the 4x100 relay in 42.31.
CdM sophomore Braden Brahs was tied for seventh in the high jump (6-1).