High School Track & Field: Quartet continues at Masters

Three local boys and one girl will try to throw, run, hurdle and vault their way into the CIF State Track and Field Championships on Friday.

Out of the Newport-Mesa foursome, only Newport Harbor High thrower Marty Taylor has reached state in the past.

Taylor looks to return to Clovis for a second straight year, while Corona del Mar 400-meter sprinter Matt Hurst, CdM's 300-meter hurdler Troy Hardy and Newport Harbor's pole vaulter Peri Howser will get a chance to qualify for state at the CIF Southern Section Masters meet at Cerritos College in Norwalk.

The top six in each event earn berths to state at Buchanan High in Clovis next week. There are also at-large qualifying marks for the 16 events.

Taylor made it to state last year as an at-large entry with a standard qualifying mark in the boys' shotput. On Friday, the senior is expected to easily advance, as he's a contender in the discus and shotput at Masters.

The UCLA-bound Taylor is ranked No. 2 (190 feet, 4 1/2 inches) and No. 3 (62-5) in the state in the discus and shotput events, respectively. The discus will be Taylor's first event on Friday at 4:30 p.m., followed by the shotput.

He won Division 2 titles in both events last week, when he was first overall in the discus and third overall in the shotput.

"Hopefully he's not peaking yet," said Tony Ciarelli, Newport Harbor's throws coach. "We're planning on peaking [at state]."

Hurst is coming off a record-breaking performance at the CIF Southern Section Divisional finals at Mt. San Antonio College.

The junior's time of 48.08 seconds in the boys' 400 set a CdM school record. The time is also the 14th best in the state this year.

"He has to repeat this performance to get to state," said CdM Coach Bill Sumner, who will watch Hurst run at 7:02 p.m. "If he runs the same time, he's in."

The state's at-large qualifying time in the 400 is 48.59.

Sumner's second athlete at Masters is Hardy, a UC Santa Barbara-bound senior.

Hardy also set a CdM school record in the boys' 300 hurdles, running a 38.28 at the CIF Southern Section Divisional finals last week. In the Southern Section rankings, Hardy's time is the eighth fastest this year.

Hardy's 300 hurdles race at Masters is slated for 7:45 p.m. The state's at-large qualifying time is 38.10.

Howser, the lone Newport-Mesa girl at Masters, is ranked 13th in the Southern Section in the pole vault with an 11-7, a mark she recorded at the Arcadia Invitational in April. The state's at-large qualifying mark is 11-9.

Howser, a senior, will be the first local to compete at Masters, as her event opens the meet at 3:30 p.m.

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