The CIF Southern Section Masters Meet had provided more heartbreak than happiness for Huntington Beach High senior Jack Wiseman before Saturday.
In two previous appearances at the state-qualifying meet, Wiseman had been unsuccessful in his attempt to advance to the CIF State track and field championships. His sophomore year, he lost in a jump-off for the final berth.
A sense of optimism accompanied Wiseman, however, entering Saturday’s meet. A manageable at-large standard to qualify for the state meet was the source, as those competing in the boys’ high jump needed to clear the bar at six feet, four inches.
While detractors would say that the at-large standard meant that the event was down this year, the automatic qualifier did not define the competition at the Masters Meet.
Wiseman cleared a pair of lifetime-best bars, winning the Masters Meet title with a mark of 6-10 at El Camino College.
“I’m on another planet right now,” the UC San Diego-bound Wiseman said. “I can’t believe today even happened. To make state, even at 6-4, is such a great accomplishment.
“After three years at Masters, it was just such a huge deal for me to even make it at all.”
Coming into the meet, Wiseman had said that he might save his legs for state after he surpassed the automatic-qualifying bar. When his private coach, Troy Haines, told him that he looked good enough to get over 6-10, Wiseman figured Haines was too much of a straight shooter to not give it a try.
Wiseman needed all three of his attempts to get over 6-8, and he conquered the bar at 6-10 on his first attempt.
“After I cleared [6-8 for a new personal record], I got out of my head completely,” Wiseman said. “I just put all of my heart into it because I only wanted to take one attempt. I guess I just hit the perfect spot to take off, and it felt great over the bar.”
Edison senior Aiden Garnett, a two-time Masters qualifier in high jump, will also be going to the state meet for the first time.
“It was like a weight off of your chest, knowing that you made it to state,” said Garnett, who finished fifth with a mark of 6-6. “That’s great. Senior year, you can go out right. It feels great.”
The CIF State track and field championships will be held at Clovis Buchanan High from May 24-25.
Newport Harbor junior Aidan Elbettar became a dual state qualifier for the first time in his career. A reigning state medalist in boys’ shotput, Elbettar placed third in the event with a toss of 60-8.
Elbettar started his day by winning the boys’ discus throw at a distance of 189-10. It will be Elbettar’s first chance to compete in the event at state.
“It feels amazing, coming in and winning twice [in the CIF finals and the Masters Meet],” Elbettar said. “That puts a little bit of pressure on them, knowing that I’m more dominant in discus than they are, which makes them have to stress a little bit more to beat me. That’s always a great feeling.”
Corona del Mar’s Cole White also advanced in the boys’ shotput, producing a personal record of 55-7¾ (eighth) to meet the at-large standard of 55-3.
“I think it’s just getting to compete with all of the people that I enjoy competing with,” said White of what he is looking forward to most about the state meet. “I just get to be with all of my friends and throw as far as we can.
“Ever since we were kids, we’ve just been trying to throw things as far as we can for fun, from football or baseball or whatever. To get do it for a sport is awesome.”
Alexis Garcia, a senior distance runner for Newport Harbor, has qualified for state three times in cross-country. On Saturday, he advanced to state for the first time in track. He claimed the final automatic berth in the boys’ 3,200-meter run, placing sixth with a time of nine minutes 4.35 seconds.
Also advancing on the track was Laguna Beach senior Sebastian Fisher in the boys’ 1,600. He stayed with the lead pack throughout the race, ultimately taking fifth with a time of 4:13.13.
Marina senior boys’ pole vaulter Skyler Magula, a reigning state medalist in his own right, is headed back to the state meet after finishing in a tie for third place with a clearance of 15-3.
Making her second appearance at the Masters Meet, Vikings junior Alejandra Rosales just missed out on advancing to the state meet. She placed seventh in the girls’ discus throw with a mark of 135-11.
The top six placers in each event automatically qualified for state. After that, competitors had to achieve an at-large standard for their even to move on.
Edison’s Ryan Rivituso saw his season come to an end. The sophomore was the final qualifier for the Masters Meet in the boys’ 400, and he finished last in the state-qualifying race with a time of 49.11 seconds.
BOYS’ TRACK AND FIELD (Local Athletes)
CIF Southern Section Masters Meet
At El Camino College
*Denotes state qualifier
400 – 9. Rivituso (Edison) 49.11
1,600 – 5. Fisher (Laguna Beach) 4:13.13*
3,200 – 6. Garcia (Newport Harbor) 9:04.35*
HJ – 1. Wiseman (Huntington Beach) 6-10*; 5. Garnett (Edison) 6-6*
PV – 3T. Magula (Marina) 15-3J*
SP – 3. Elbettar (Newport Harbor) 60-8*; 8. White (Corona del Mar) 55-7¾*
DT – 1. Elbettar (Newport Harbor) 189-10*
GIRLS’ TRACK AND FIELD (Local Athletes)
CIF Southern Section Masters Meet
At El Camino College
DT – 7. Rosales (Marina) 135-11
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