Scarvelis is county’s first female back-to-back state champion

Stamatia Scarvelis made history when she won her second straight state shot put title on Saturday at the CIF State Track and Field Championships in Clovis.

When Scarvelis won with a throw of 50 feet, 7.75 inches, she became the first female prep athlete in Santa Barbara County to win back-to-back state meet championships.

Twila Sims of Lompoc won two state titles in the 300 low hurdles but they came three years apart. She won as a freshman in 1989 and as a senior in 1992.

George Porter of Cabrillo is the only male in the country to win consecutive state meet titles. He captured the 300 hurdles in 1984-85.

Saturday’s second straight state title for Stamatia was actually the third in a row for the Scarvelis family. In 2011, Stamatia’s brother, Nicolas, won the boys shot put gold medal.

Both of Stamatia’s older brothers, Nicolas and Steven, were in Clovis cheering for her.

“It just means the world,” Stamatia said of the support from her brothers. “They come to everything, the support everything. They really mean a lot.”

The girls shot put was the final event completed on Saturday night, so when Stamatia stepped on the podium to receive her medal there was a fireworks show going on.

“It was a real amazing experience,” she said. “What I wanted to do was just take it all in (because) last year was just a blur. Hopefully, I have one more year to do that, too.”

Stamatia said she felt more relaxed this time. It showed in Friday’s qualifying as she opened with a throw of 49 feet and uncorked a career-best 51-11, exceeding her previous national-leading mark of 51-9.25, which she set at the CIF-SS Masters Meet.

“It felt great,” she said.

In the finals, she had a slip-up and opened with a throw of 42-10.

“The first one was kind of a mistake, I just rushed it,” she said. “We really didn’t worry about it too much. My coach wasn’t freaking out or anything. It was just a slip-up and I knew I could get it on my next throw. That was kind of a throwaway throw. I wasn’t really worried after the first throw, but (the other competitors) really did bring it. That was a fun comp (competition). I think that was probably one of the all-time best comps as far as the top five girls’ marks.”

Stamatia placed third in the discus with a throw of 149-6.

“I really would have liked to throw farther,” she said. “Podium-wise I was happy but distance-wise I wasn’t so happy.”

She credited her coach Kent Pagel and his wife Ramona (the American record holder in the shot put) and her family for helping her achieve success.

“I wouldn’t be here without them,” she said of the Pagels. “Ramona is an incredible mentor. It’s so incredible to work with them. They’re so caring … they’ve completely taking me in and made me the athlete that I am. Then you take my family side, my mom and dad (Alexandra and George) are just amazing; they sacrifice so much. And, having my brothers there, too, for a lot of my meets … We’ve always been close, so having them there is awesome.”

Stamatia is back in action in the shot put on Saturday at the Golden West Invitational in Berkeley. She will later compete at the USA Junior Nationals at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa at the end of the month.