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Wilson peaks to finals

High School Track & Field

CdM junior grabs top qualifying spot in shot put and No. 2 in discus for next week's CIF section finals at Cerritos College.

May 14, 2011|By Steve Virgen,

COSTA MESA — Karlèh Wilson did her best to stay calm throughout Saturday morning at Jim Scott Stadium.

As the Corona del Mar High junior prepared to compete in the shot put at the CIF Southern Section Division III track and field preliminaries, she listened to reggae to soothe her spirits.

As the meet approached she stayed calm. She competed in the girls' 4x100 relay then went to warm up for the shot put.


The reggae beats continued to flow, but when she went up for her first throw, there was nothing calm or peaceful about it.

Wilson's personal record of 41 feet, 3 inches earned her the top qualifying spot to the CIF Southern Section finals Saturday at Cerritos College. Several local athletes from CdM, Costa Mesa and Estancia competed at Jim Scott Stadium vying to qualify for next week's meet. Wilson qualified second in the discus. CdM junior Ashlee Powers also qualified in two events, grabbing the sixth spot in the 1,600 meters in 5 minutes, 6.16 seconds and sixth in the 3,200 in 11:10.31.

Last week, Wilson won the Pacific Coast League title in the shot put with a mark of 39-2 1/2, her previous best. She also won the PCL title in the discus. She improved two feet on her personal best in the discus to grab the second qualifying spot Saturday after a 124-8 throw. Heather Hawes of Nipomo qualified first at 126-1.

"I just calmed myself down the whole morning and [Friday] I was very calm," Wilson said of competing in the shot put. "I didn't let the other girls psyche me out. When they were warming up they were going 40 [feet], but they were scratching. My very first throw was 41-3 and it was a relief. It felt like I was done and I could relax."

Isaias Morales, a CdM throws coach, said the calm approach has helped Wilson. But there are other aspects benefitting her, he said.

"Her speed helps," Morales said. "She's so fast and she's so powerful. We've been working in the weight room on her lifts. She's gotten to that point that she's not worrying about how far she can throw but just making sure she's doing it right."

Wilson said she's in her second year of competing in the shot put. She tried it a bit while in middle school when she went in Louisana, but got serious when she came to CdM last year. Her mother still lives in Louisana, in Hammond, near the flooding that has recently taken place. Wilson said her mother is fine. She spoke with her Friday and plans to share the good news about next week's meet soon.

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