With a 2011 trip to the state meet denied and a school record mark not reached, Karlèh Wilson entered this track and field season with some unfinished business.
As she approaches Friday's CIF Southern Section Masters Meet at Cerritos College she is one step away from completing her mission.
Wilson, the standout senior and Daily Pilot Athlete of the Week, owns the school record in the shotput. Now she's trying to qualify for the state meet, which is June 1 at Buchanan High in Clovis.
She earned second place in the shotput and discus at last week's CIF Southern Section Championships in Division 3 at Mt. San Antonio College.
She didn't repeat as Division 3 champ in the shot, but she was happy to advance to give herself another opportunity to reach state. She must finish in the top five to move on to the final meet in the Central Valley.
Last year, she finished eighth in the shot put at Masters.
"My goal was just to get to Masters," Wilson said after finishing second in the shotput at Mt. SAC. "I got first in shotput last year. I got fifth in discus. I made Masters for shotput but didn't make state."
She's hoping to change that this year. She can also qualify for the state meet if she hits or betters the state standard of 41 feet, 5 inches. That mark is a familiar one for Wilson. It was the school record set by Joan Tsai in 1980.
Wilson broke it and then surpassed her own record twice, including last week when she posted a 42-7, six inches better than her previous best set the week before at Jim Scott Stadium.
"I had momentum from throw to throw," Wilson said. "I let go of all the butterflies and did what I knew I could do."
Wilson said she spent more time in the weight room earlier in the season than she did at any time at CdM.
Jim Driscoll, a CdM throws coach, said Wilson has had more energy during the postseason and that has led to more power.
Breaking school records had always been motivation for Wilson, but there was a great driving force.
"The real goal was 'I just want to get better all the time,'" Driscoll said. "If the records and distances come that's great."
Wilson is also going after the school record in the discus, which is 139-7 set by Jaycee Olsen in 2010. Wilson threw 134-8 two weeks ago.
But more than anything she wants to qualify for the state meet in both events. Driscoll believes she is capable.
"She's very smart," Driscoll said of Wilson, who will compete at Yale next year. "But that doesn't always mean you are a very good competitor if you're smart. She's both. It is helpful if you are both smart and mentally tough. She is."
Wilson has improved each year at CdM. She played basketball in the winter and was named Daily Pilot Player of the Year, as the top player in the Newport-Mesa area.
Driscoll remains excited for her future.
"She's only scratching the surface in what she can do in the shot," he said. "She played basketball this year which is fabulous. But if she dedicates more time there's the likelihood she'll get better in the shotput and discus. Also, she'll be throwing the hammer next year. She's got some really good tools to start with to be great in the hammer."
Friday at Cerritos College
Field events begin at 4:30 p.m.; track events begin at 6 p.m.
Ticket prices: General admission, $8; High school student with ID, $5; Children 5-13, $5; Parking, $5
Newport-Mesa athletes competing
Ethan Cochran (shotput, discus)
Steve Michaelsen (shotput, discus)
Marty Taylor (shotput, discus)
Paige Tennison (3,200 meters)
Corona del Mar
Karleh Wilson (shotput, discus)
4x400-meter relay team – Ryan Rodrigues, John Swigert, Troy Hardy and Kyle Iverson