Two local senior track and field athletes have vaulted their way to the 92nd annual CIF State Track and Field Championships in Clovis.
Both athletes, Michael Loschiavo of Huntington Beach, and Jeremy Kennedy of Marina, will be after the same individual title when they compete at Friday's preliminaries in the boys' pole vault. Both secured a spot at the State meet following strong performances Friday at the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet at Cerritos College in Norwalk.
The top five finishers in each event from Masters advance to the State prelims at Buchanan High.
The State finals are Saturday, also at Buchanan High.
Loschiavo enters the State prelims with a No. 7-seed and mark of 15 feet. Kennedy also enters with a mark of 15-0. They are two of five Orange County athletes entered in the event. Mater Dei senior Scott Cook is the No. 1-seed in the competition with a 16-0 mark.
"Michael is a coach's dream," Huntington Beach Coach Clim Moore said. "He loves what he is doing, he looks forward to training and the challenges he faces weekly. I just feel like Michael is in a good rhythm right now and has a good perspective of his chances to be a State champion."
At the Masters meet, both Kennedy and Loschiavo cleared 15 feet and tied for fifth place.
Both Loschiavo and Kennedy are competing at State for the first time. Last week marked the first Masters Meet appearance for Kennedy, as well. His personal best vault if 15 feet 7.
"This means a lot," said Kennedy. "I had the opportunity last year, but I got hurt, so it's a great feeling to accomplish this in my final year vaulting at Marina.
"My goal all season has been to clear 16 feet. If I hit that, it would just cap a great year. But I just want to have fun. We (vaulters) all know each other and are friends. It should be a great meet."
In addition to Loschiavo and Kennedy, two other local athletes competed at Masters, but did not advance.
Fountain Valley's Luis Morales ran the boys' 1,600 meters and finished ninth. The junior ran 4 minutes 18.68 seconds in an event won by Loyola junior Elias Gedyon (4:13.15).
Amy Loschiavo, sister of Michael, tied for 13th place in the girls' pole vault. It was the first Masters Meet appearance for the sophomore, who topped 10-9.