DP’s Scarvelis aims to finish season as best in state

The moment has arrived for Dos Pueblos senior Nick Scarvelis.

The state-leader in the shot put looks to finish his high school career with a gold medal this weekend at the CIF Track and Field State Championships at Buchanan High in Clovis.

Scarvelis leads seven local athletes into the two-day competition at Veterans Stadium. The other competitors are DP pole vaulter Marina Plesons, Connor Reck of Santa Ynez in the 800 meters and the San Marcos group of Hannah McDaniel in the high jump, Elysia Hodges in the 300 hurdles and the girls 4×400 relay team of Kaylin Koopmans, Marie Brashears, McDaniel and Hodges.

The UCLA-bound Scarvelis has a best mark of 65-4, which he set three weeks ago at the CIF Division 2 Prelims at Moorpark High. He struggled a bit with a slippery ring at the divisional finals and Masters Meet at Cerritos College, but still finished as the class of the field with winning throws of over 63-8.75 and 63-3.6.

Scarvelis has been a model of consistency all season. He holds 13 of the top 14 marks thrown in the state this year.

He will be challenged by No. 2-ranked Jake Fraser of El Toro (season-best of 63-05), whom he beat at the Masters Meet, and Stephen Boals of Jesuit of Sacramento (62-2.50). Boals edged Scarvelis by a quarter-inch for fourth place at last year’s State Meet.

The last state champion from the Santa Barbara area is Carpinteria’s Noah Bryant in the shot put. He won in 2002 with a mark of 65-7.75.

Scarvelis also is competing in the discus. He is seeded seventh with a qualifying throw of 177-05. He has a season-best of 180-9. The top seed is Ryan Hunter-Simms of San Gorgonio at 192-05.

The Dartmouth-bound Plesons is one of seven vaulters who qualified at 11-9. Katie Zingheim of Granite Bay of the Sac-Joaquin Section is the leading qualifier at 13-1.

Reck is the 12th seed in a very fast 800-meter field. The Harvard-bound middle distance runner qualified at 1:54, but has a best time of 1:53.84. The top-seeded runner is San Jacinto’s Immanuel Hutchinson at 1:50.50.

The Cal Poly-bound McDaniel has cleared 5-8 in the high jump, and she’ll more than likely have to meet that height to have a chance at gold. In a wide-open field, the top three seeded jumpers qualified at 5-7 (Rachel McCoy of A.B. Miller, Joslyn Barnes of North Torrance and Danielle Bryan of San Diego-El Camino) while McDaniel is in a group of eight jumpers who advanced at 5-5. There are 26 jumpers in the field.

Hodges would love to break 43 seconds in the 300 hurdles. The Westmont recruit is seeded eighth at 43.08, two-hundreths of a second behind seventh-seeded Omhunique Brown of San Marino, who nipped her at the finish in the CIF-SS Division 3 final and finished ahead her by the same amount at the Masters Meet. The No. 1 seed is Melia Cox of Long Beach Poly, who has one of the fastest times in the nation at 40.94.

The Royals’ relay team of Koopmans, Brashears, McDaniel and Hodges is running in peak form. In the last three weeks, the quartet has lowered its time from 3:53.78 at the Division 3 Prelims to a state-qualifying mark of 3:47.2. The Royals are seeded fifth for the State Meet.

Qualifying is on Friday (3 p.m. for field events and 5 p.m. for running events) and the finals on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.

The nine competitors with the best marks in each event qualify for Saturday’s championships. In the pole vault and high jump, all jumpers who clear the same height as the ninth place athlete will also make it into the finals as long as the total number of athletes in the finals does not exceed 12. If more than 12 have cleared the height, the crossbar will be raised and normal tie breaking rules will be used to advance a maximum of 12 to the finals.

On Friday, each contestant in the shot put, discus, long jump and triple jump will be allowed three trials.

Friday’s marks do not carry over into the championships. On Saturday, all competitors will be given three trials and all competitors with a mark in the trials will be given an additional three final attempts.