GLENDALE — Seven local athletes across four divisions of the CIF Southern Section will take part in today’s CIF Southern Section Track and Field Division Finals at Cerritos College in Norwalk.
Only a select few of the multitude competing on Saturday will walk away with CIF titles, but many more will simply be trying to keep their seasons going by qualifying for the CIF Masters Meet on Friday.
The top 12 finishers, regardless of division, in the 800-, 1,600-, 3,200-meter races and field events and the top nine finishers in the sprints and hurdles advance to the Masters.
The area athlete with the strongest chance to win a CIF title today, as well as move on to the Masters, is Crescenta Valley High senior Zack Torres, who will compete in the Division I 3,200 at approximately 5:35 p.m.
Torres finished fourth overall in 9 minutes 20.93 seconds in the 3,200 at the CIF Division I prelims at Trabuco Hills High on May 16. He also qualified for the 1,600 with an eighth-best finish in 4:15.94, but will only compete in the 3,200 today.
“He could go in and qualify in both races, I think,” Falcons Coach Mark Evans said, “but his better event is probably the 3,200 and that’s where he wants to put all his focus.”
Last season, Torres took fourth overall in the 3,200 at the CIF finals in 9:21.60. He will look to better his time, while targeting a title.
“He’s going into the race with the idea that he would like to win the race,” Evans said. “If you go in to win the race, the time will take care of itself. ...It wouldn’t surprise me if his time was sub 9:05.”
In Division II, Harold Tabora of Hoover will be competing in the 400 and teammate Joseph Roach will run in the 300 intermediate hurdles.
Tabora, whose race will begin at approximately 3:10 p.m., placed third overall in the 400 in 49.8 seconds in the Division II prelims on May 16 at Moorpark High. He has stated that his goal is to come in under 49 seconds, as he did with a personal-best 48.88 at the Pacific League finals.
“He wants whatever it takes for him to qualify [for Masters],” Hoover Coach Jack Sallakian said of Tabora, a senior. “He’s shooting for [a time under 49 seconds] at CIF finals.”
Roach, a senior, was ninth-best overall in the prelims with a time of 39.74 and will run the 300 intermediate hurdles at approximately 4:25 p.m. today.
Sallakian said Roach’s objective for the finals is to duplicate his Pacific League title-winning time of 39.26.
Glendale resident Christina Lucas of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, a senior, will compete in the Division III 1,600 and 3,200 at approximately 1:35 p.m. and 5:20 p.m., respectively.
St. Francis’ Luther Walker will also look to advance out of Division III when he competes in the triple jump at approximately 12 p.m.
“It’s absolutely exciting, he’s been doing great all year and I’m really happy it’s finally paid off for him,” St. Francis Coach Pat Donovan said of Walker, who placed fourth in the triple jump with a leap of 44 feet 6 1/4 inches at the Division III prelims on May 16 at Estancia High. “He’s in a very good position to finish well and he’s right on the borderline of qualifying for Masters.”
In Division IV, Flintridge Prep junior Dot Silverman is registered in two events, the 1,600 (1:35 p.m.) and the 800 (3:50 p.m.).
“We would like for her to place,” Prep Coach Kenny Fisher said. “Hopefully she’ll have a good race and get the experience of it and we want her to be in the top six.”
Silverman finished ninth in both the 1,600 (2:23.56) and 3,200 (5:20.85) on May 16 at the Division IV prelims at Carpinteria High.
“She’s looking forward to the opportunity and I think she’ll have a good race,” Fisher said. “She’s gone about five seconds faster than she did at prelims and we think she’ll do at least that.”
Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy freshman Drew Washington will compete in the Division IV 400 at approximately 2:55 p.m.
“She’s PRd every week, so we’re just hoping to run faster than last time,” Sacred Heart Coach Eddie Gorton said of Washington, who was ninth at the prelims in 59.96. “I’m looking at a low 59, high 58.
“It will be amazing if she qualifies, but this is the type of experience she’s going to need to carry her out for the next three years, so she’ll be comfortable in this environment.”