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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

Taylor, who finished fourth at Sunset League finals and plans to continue his career at Princeton, was the only senior among that group. He is also the last Newport thrower still competing, getting more publicity than during the football season, when as a tackle he mostly stayed out of the spotlight after starting at center his junior year.

"He was the one who had kind of lost his way for a few weeks, but he's pulled himself out of it," Ciarelli said. "I think he's ready to go far. I think his chances of making it [to the state meet] are very good."

Taylor is hoping it runs in the family. Bo Taylor went on to UCLA, where he has fought injuries but finished seventh in the Pac-10 in the discus last month. As a high school senior, he was more dominant, finishing second at the 2006 CIF State Meet in both the shot put (63-11 1/4 ) and discus (201-5).

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No Newport-Mesa athlete has advanced to state in the shot put since.

There's one more Taylor in the pipeline, too. The youngest Taylor, Marty, is a freshman at Newport Harbor and plays football and throws. Jake's other older brother, Griffin, is a sophomore at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

The football and track combination works for the Taylor clan. The sports can be similar, Jake Taylor said.

"If you break it down play by play in football, it's like every play is a new play," he said. "It's like, 'This is where I'm going to do my best, right now.' That's like every throw. In football, you get a few more plays to do your best, but it's a similar mind-set."

Today at the Masters Meet, he will get six throws. Taylor knows that even if he can't finish in the top five, he has a good shot to make the at-large mark that he was already six inches beyond at divisional championships.

He's still working on perfecting his craft. Specifically, Taylor said his biggest key has been getting into the middle of the ring on his throws.

"I usually come up short," he said. "Instead of getting the full rotation into the middle, I stop, so that shuts down the rotation and I can't turn through the middle."

Ciarelli doesn't expect Taylor to come up short today, though, when the athletes' distances are measured. His thrower also has plenty of confidence that he can move on to state.

"That's the goal, and it's close," Taylor said. "It's within reach right now."

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