Quartet going to state

High School Track & Field

Newport Harbor's Cochran, Michaelsen, Andrews, Sakioka qualify for state meet.

May 27, 2011|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza,
(Scott Smeltzer…)

NORWALK — Four athletes from Newport Harbor High started the school year on the same team.

Three earned the right to end it together next week on the same team in a different sport.

Since September, Ethan Cochran, Ryan Andrews, Steve Michaelsen and JB Salem had each other's back. The foursome started on defense for the football team.

When the football season ended in November, a month later the four went to work in track and field. Tony Ciarelli has been there since Day One, coaching the four as the defensive coordinator in football and then the throws coach in track and field.

Ciarelli led the four throwers to the CIF Southern Section Track and Field Masters meet for the first time Friday at Cerritos College. Ciarelli is now taking three of them to state next week.

Cochran and Michaelsen advanced in the discus throw. Cochran placed fourth with a heave of 182 feet, 11 inches and Michaelsen's 176-6 effort was almost seven feet better than the state qualifying mark.


Andrews qualified in the shot put with a mark of 58-7½, good for fourth place. His best friend, Salem, fell short in the shot put and he is not moving on to state at Buchanan High in Clovis.

"We hate leaving JB behind, but a bad day to have a bad day," Ciarelli said after Salem's best toss, a 53-9, was short of the 55-2 state qualifying mark. "But we all competed well and it's been a great season. We got one more week."

Cochran, Michaelsen and Andrews are giving up prom for next week. Competing at state will be just more memorable. This will be their first state appearance.

That will be the case for Newport Harbor pole vaulter Mark Sakioka. The senior is joining the three throwers at state after he placed third with a 15-8 clearance.

Two other local athletes not advancing to state were Newport Harbor's Fritz Howser in the pole vault (seventh place, 14-8) and Corona del Mar's Karlèh Wilson in the girls' shot put (eighth, 39-9¼). Only the top five in each event earned automatic berths to state, except if an athlete hit or bettered the state at-large standard.

The trip to state will be a special one for Ciarelli. The throwing contingent he will have at state is the most in his 17 years at Newport Harbor. The last time he had three throwers reach state, he said it was back when he was a coach at Edison in the late 1980s.

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