Four locals qualify for state

Four local track and field athletes are moving on to the CIF State Meet on Friday in Clovis.

Huntington Beach junior Ramon Vargas finished fourth in the boys' 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.23 seconds and was fifth in the boys' 300 hurdles in 38.26 at the CIF Masters Meet on Friday at Cerritos College in Norwalk. Senior Hassan Ilyas of Fountain Valley was ninth in the 300 hurdles at 38.75.

The top five in each event automatically qualify for the State Meet. Other athletes can qualify for State by meeting an at-large time or field event mark requirement.

Another Oiler moving on to State is freshman Amanda Honn, who was seventh in the girls' 3,200. Honn ran 10:39.39 to hit a qualifying at-large time for the meet. Another Huntington athlete, junior Amy Loschiavo, tied for eighth in the girls' pole vault at 11 feet 3.

Karl Baranov of Marina also is going to Clovis. The senior finished sixth in the boys' 1,600 but his time of 4:13.65 qualified him as an at-large entry.

Baranov will be joined by fellow Viking Sara Van Dyke, who qualified in the girls' 800. The senior finished in a qualifying time of 2:11.83, good for eighth place.

Vargas, who recorded personal best times in both the 110 and 300 hurdles at the Masters Meets, said he has been gunning for the State Meet since the start of the season.

Friday will be his first trip to Clovis.

"It's something I've been looking forward to all year," he said. "I've put in so much time and effort preparing for the season and it's an incredible feeling to know that my hard work and dedication has paid off.

"As soon as I crossed the finish line in the 110 hurdles, I saw my dad and my coach (strength and conditioning and hurdles coach Jeff Rasmussen), I knew I was going to State. That was a great moment. I've had nothing but great support from my family, my teammates and my coaches, and everyone at Huntington Beach High School. It's great to be representing my school."

Vargas said he has the eighth-fastest time among the 110-meter hurdle athletes who are going to Clovis and is "around 14th," in the 300 hurdles.

"Just getting to there (State Meet) is my goal and if I can do more damage, that'd be awesome."

"This has been a wonderful season for Ramon," Huntington Beach boys' track and field Coach Clim Moore Jr. said. "He has worked extremely hard to get to this point along with his event coach Jeff Rasmussen.

"If I was writing a script to a movie the final scene would have him winning one or both of his events to become a champion. He is such a competitor and driven that he has a great opportunity to make that final scene a reality. The school, the community and I are all happy for him. The best part about all this is that he has one more season as a Oiler."

The CIF State Meet begins Friday at Buchanan High in Clovis with preliminary competition. The top nine in each event advance to Saturday's finals.

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