Corona del Mar High Coach Bill Sumner's Memorial Day plan is to train three girls. Sumner said he isn't missing the CIF State track and field finals next week for the third straight season.
Sumner's two long-distance runners and one thrower are his ticket to Clovis.
CdM seniors Marisa Cummings, Melanie Powers and Jaycee Olsen are three of seven local athletes competing today at the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet at Cerritos College for the opportunity to compete against the state's best the following week.
Cummings and Powers are in the 3,200-meter race tonight at 8. Olsen will throw the discus at 4:30.
Newport Harbor senior Jake Taylor is in the boys' shot put at 4:30, and junior teammates, Mark Sakioka and Max Van Bergh, are in the boys' pole vault an hour later.
Mater Dei senior Scott Cook, a Newport Beach resident, is also in the pole vault event.
The seven locals more than double the total that reached last season's Masters. For six of them, this is their debut.
Cummings returns in a different event. The Princeton-bound runner ran the 1,600 at the Masters last season and failed to qualify for state.
"Marisa has a better shot in the two-mile event," said Sumner, who saw Cummings and Powers finish in 10 minutes, 34.97 seconds and 10:36.61, respectively, at the CIF Southern Section Divisional finals last week on the same track.
The times turned in by Cummings and Powers are the eighth- and ninth-fastest in the state. If Cummings and Powers record similar times, they're bound for state.
The top five finishers in the 3,200 earn automatic berths to state, and anyone bettering the qualifying time of 10:45.62 advances as an at-large entry.
The other five locals can also make it to state without placing in their event.
The at-large mark in the girls' discus event is 135 feet. Olsen's best heave this season came at the Irvine Invitational on March 13. Olsen, who is bound for UCLA, hit 139-7 that day.
Taylor's personal best of 55-10 in the shot put surpasses the boys' at-large entry by six inches. Taylor recorded the mark last week, a sign to Newport Harbor Coach Tony Ciarelli that his thrower is peaking at the right time.
"He's throwing a lot better after going through a little slump," Ciarelli said. "The goal is just to qualify for state."
Cook is the area's best shot to get to state in the pole vault. The UCLA-bound Cook holds the state's No. 2 mark at 16-1, which he achieved at the Trinity League finals earlier this month. The mark isn't close to the 17-6 turned in by teammate Michael Woepse, the defending state champion.
With Woepse lost for the season due to an injury, Cook has a shot to win state.