Andrews a natural

Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week

Newport Harbor senior breaks through in shot put, placing third at Arcadia Invitational.

April 14, 2011|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza,
(Kent Treptow / Daily…)

The first time Ryan Andrews picked up the shot and spun around to throw it, he said he felt awkward. It was just him and a ball inside the ring.

He went to Newport Harbor High to play football. The throwing, he thought that was what quarterbacks do.

All Andrews wanted to do was block as a fullback and tackle as a linebacker.

Then he met Tony Ciarelli. The football program's longtime defensive coordinator introduced Andrews to throwing in track and field. Three years later, carrying a 12-pound ball feels as normal as carrying books on campus for Andrews.

The senior is now one of the state's top throwers in the shot put. Andrews thanks Ciarelli for turning him into one of the best.

Last week at the 44th annual Arcadia Invitational, Andrews showed how far he could launch the ball. He recorded a personal-best mark of 59 feet, eight inches, good for third place at the prestigious event at Arcadia High.


The trip to Arcadia was Andrews' second and most productive. He said he arrived more focused and comfortable. The result was a throw that topped his previous best by 2½ inches and now ranks fifth in the state.

The best were in Arcadia, giving Andrews the chance to measure up to the likes of Nicholas Scarvelis of Goleta Dos Pueblos and Stephen Boals of Carmichael Jesuit. Scarvelis and Boals are the state's top two throwers and they finished ahead of Andrews in Arcadia, finishing with marks of 64-1¾ and 59-9, respectively.

While it is unlikely Andrews can throw with Scarvelis, he is not too far behind Boals.

"I went to a prior meet and I threw bad against him," said Andrews, referring to the Stanford Invitational on March 26, when Andrews placed third with a throw of 52-11¾, almost seven feet behind Boals' first-place mark.

Andrews redeemed himself in Arcadia. He was two inches short of surpassing Boals.

An advantage Andrews has is that he has one of the top throws coaches in the country in Ciarelli. It also benefits Andrews that he gets to work out with four other strong throwers.

On a daily basis, there is a throwing meet at Newport Harbor. Andrews competes with junior Steve Michaelsen, senior JB Salem, senior Trevor Lawrence and junior Ethan Cochran. They push one another.

"It helps a lot just knowing the guys that you will compete against are the guys you work out with," said Andrews, who saw Salem place ninth and Michaelsen 13th in the shot put in Arcadia. "It is a close race between almost all the guys."

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