Cochran captures crown

Ethan Cochran keeps throwing his name into the Newport Harbor High boys' track and field record book.

Two weeks ago, he became the first athlete from his school to win a CIF State title in the discus throw. He followed that up with another notable showing last week.

On Saturday, Cochran claimed the discus crown at the Golden West Invitational. He placed first with a 189-foot, seven-inch throw at Folsom High.

Teammate Ryan Andrews finished third in the shot put with a personal-best mark of 60-01/4.

In back-to-back weeks, Cochran has shined at two meets with rich histories.

Cochran also battled more than the competition at both meets. First, it was the rain at state in Clovis and then the winds at the Golden West Invitational in Folsom.

The conditions did not stop Cochran from reaching the top of the podium each time.

At state, on Cochran's first throw, he heaved the discus 185-9 and it stood up as the best in the final field.

At the Golden West Invitational, he was in last place after the first three tosses.

Half of his throws in the event did not count as Cochran fouled each one. The fourth try was a success, traveling 176-3 and putting Cochran in the lead, but the junior did not stop competing.

The mark was only 13 inches ahead of the nearest competitor. On his fifth throw, Cochran unleashed a 189-7 throw that proved to be too much for anyone to catch.

Cochran's throw was 14 feet, 5 inches better than the best one recorded by Nicholas Scarvelis, a senior from Dos Pueblos of Goleta, who placed second.

The past two weeks have been so remarkable for Cochran that he said he is considering throwing in college. Football is Cochran's favorite sport, but the best options on the next level might be in throwing.

Andrews might be able to offer Cochran advice. The senior decided to throw at UCLA as a walk-on, rather than pursue football at Army.

The decision appears to be the right one as Andrews has turned into one of the top athletes in the shot put. He hit 60 feet for the first time. Throws coach Tony Ciarelli knew Andrews had it in him.

Andrews is only getting better.

Cochran stood out in his first season with the varsity football team. The outside linebacker was awarded Daily Pilot Newport-Mesa Dream Team and second-team All-Sunset League recognition.

As impressive as those football honors are, how can they compare to making school history at two of the biggest track and field meets in the state?

— David Carrillo Peñaloza

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