Taylor-made to shine

Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week: Taylor-made to shine

Newport Harbor senior will try to follow in brother's footsteps by advancing to CIF state meet.

May 28, 2010|By Matt Szabo

Jake Taylor knew he wanted to throw the shot put when he was in the eighth grade.

Not so coincidentally, this was about the time his older brother, Bo, was excelling in the event as a senior at Newport Harbor High. Jake tried it and liked it, able to throw the junior-sized eight-pound ball relatively far.

"Just watching Bo throw, I felt like, 'This is something that I can enjoy,' " Jake said.

Four years later, the ball is 12 pounds, and Jake Taylor is also of a significantly larger girth. He spent his senior year with the Sailors as a football left tackle, earning Daily Pilot Dream Team and Sunset League Co-Offensive Lineman of the Year honors.


But the goal in shot put, as it has always been, remains simple enough: to put the shot as far as you can.

Taylor did it Saturday at the CIF Southern Section Division II finals, saving the best for last as his final throw went a personal-best 55 feet, 10 inches. That placed him fourth in Division II and led him to today's Masters Meet back at Cerritos College.

Taylor, the Daily Pilot Athlete of the Week, needs to either finish in the top five or better the 55-4 at-large qualifying mark today to advance to his first CIF State Meet.

"That would be huge," Taylor said. "I'd be really disappointed if I didn't go to state. Basically all the work I've been putting in has been geared toward going to state."

It wasn't always the case for Taylor, who achieved his former personal record of 55-9 in March but has struggled over the past month or so. He wasn't even the first Sailors thrower to qualify in the shot. That would be junior Ryan Andrews, who placed seventh in Division II and didn't advance to Masters.

Newport Harbor throws coach Tony Ciarelli has had his share of talent this year, even without senior Cecil Whiteside, who is headed to Cal to play football. Whiteside finished third in the state in the discus last year but elected not to throw this year.

"It would have been good to have him on the team," Taylor said. "There would have been even more competition everyday."

Still, the Sailors have had crazy depth. It's what allowed them to have six throwers reach more than 50 feet in the shot put, at a dual meet against Edison last month.

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