73rd Easter Relays lines up a potent field of athletes

Dos Pueblos senior Nick Scarvelis is the leading shot putter in the state with a mark of 62-6. (Photo by Alexandra Scarvelis)

Some of the top prep track and field athletes in the state will gather at City College’s La Playa Stadium on Saturday for the 73rd annual Easter Relays.

The all-day competition, featuring 30 schools and some athletes from British Columbia, Canada, kicks off at 9 a.m. with the 3000-meter run.

This is a particularly strong year for track and field in the area, with several athletes considered solid contenders for CIF and State championships.

At the top of the list is Dos Pueblos shot putter and discus thrower Nicholas Scarvelis. He currently holds the top shot put mark in the state at 62-6, which he set at a dual meet at Ventura. The mark broke the Larrabee Stadium record, which was held by former Santa Barbara High, USC and NFL star Sam Cunningham.

The UCLA-bound Scarvelis owns the Easter Relays’ frosh-soph shot put record of 55-5.5, set in 2009. He’ll be shooting for the varsity record of 64-0, established by Noah Bryant of Carpinteria in 2002. Bryant went on to USC, where he won indoor and outdoor NCAA national championships.

In the discus, Scarvelis holds the seventh best throw in the state at 174-3.

San Marcos’ Hannah McDaniel is tied for the best high jump mark in the state at 5-6. The Easter Relays meet record is 5-9, set by Denise Yamada of Dos Pueblos in 1983. McDaniel has the frosh-soph mark of 5-3.

Other local athletes who rank in the top 15 (by Dyestat ESPN-RISE) in their events in the state include: DP’s Jacob Bartholomew, eighth in the 800 at 1:56.30; Elysia Hodges, of San Marcos, 11th in the girls 300 hurdles at 46.11; Tristan Lake, of San Marcos, 12th in the boys 300 hurdles at 39.16; DP freshman Stamatia Scarvelis, 11th in the girls shot put at 39-11; Shane Rowan, of San Marcos, 12th in the triple jump with a wind-aided 44-10.

In relay events, the San Marcos girls 4×400 team has the ninth best time in the state at 3:59.97, and the Dos Pueblos boys distance medley quartet is ranked 13th at 10:39.62.

Other standout athletes from the county to watch include triple and long jumper Rebecka Miranda of Cabrillo, who’s gone 35-3 this year in the triple; Santa Maria’s Steve DeComamond, who has a wind-aided time of 14.94 in the 110 high hurdles; sprinter Marcell Blow of Lompoc.

The local athletes will be going against some outstanding talent from throughout the state.

Ventura’s Alexandra Morgan is the No. 1 girls discus thrower (148-9) and No. 2-ranked shot putter (42-6) in the state right now.

Oaks Christian has a pair of speedsters in Vinnie Saucer and Niko DiMartino. Saucer, who won the 100 last year as a freshman, has run 10.82 this season (seventh best in the state) and has a wind-aided 200 time of 22.0. He also is considered one of the top sophomore football players in CIF.

Oaks Christian’s boys 4×200 relay team is ranked 15th in the state with a time of 1:31.47.

St. Mary’s Academy looks to have enough talent to be a serious challenger for a CIF section and state team championship this season.

Individually, Gianna Woodruff has the sixth fastest time in the 300 hurdles at 45.19 and Sierra Peterson is ranked seventh in the 200 at 25.04; Tatiana Coleman has a wind-aided 37-0.25 mark in the triple jump.

In relays, St. Mary’s has four teams with top-five rankings: the 800 sprint is No. 1 (1:46.05), 4×400 is No. 2 (3:53.27), 4×200 ranked third (1:41.86) and the 4×100 is third at 47.55.

Centennial of Bakersfield has a fast bunch, led by 100-meter guys Shawn Johnson (11.19) and Zachary Clatyon (11.4). Thomas Grimes (22.5 in the 200) is another speedster.

Bakersfield High has a strong sprinter in Walter Hunt (10.94 last year) and top long jumper in Ethan Horsey (22-5).

Elsinore High is bringing pole vaulter Richard Leverson, who is tied for the No. 1mark in the state with a vault at 16 feet.

From St. Bonaventure, Amber Panapa has the seventh best girls discus mark in the state at 131-7.

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