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Cochran grabs top seed

High School Track & Field

Newport Harbor discus thrower qualifies first, Andrews fifth in shot put, while Sakioka surprisingly misses spot in state finals.

June 04, 2011

Newport Harbor High junior Ethan Cochran intended to go Saturday's school prom with a group of friends.

But he's OK telling them they can go without him. That's because Cochran qualified first in the discus at the CIF State Track and Field Championships at Buchanan High in Clovis Friday.

Cochran grabbed the top seed with a throw of 186 feet, 8 inches. His personal record is 195-4, achieved when he won the CIF Southern Section Division II title.

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Cochran enters the finals ahead of junior Ryan Hunter-Sims of San Gorgonio of San Bernardino. Hunter-Sims' mark was 183-10, and Nick Budincich of Loyola of Los Angeles qualified third at 182-9.

Newport Harbor senior Ryan Andrews qualified fifth in the shot put (59-1). Surprisingly, Sailors senior Mark Sakioka, who entered No. 2 in the state, did not qualify for the finals in the pole vault. Newport Harbor junior Steve Michaelsen also did not advance in the discus.

"I relaxed and I was confident," said Cochran, who noted he might go to the prom's after-party late Saturday night. "I went up [to Clovis] thinking I was going to miss my prom. Maybe next year I will go to the prom. But it's OK to miss this year."

Andrews was also fine with missing the prom. He is confident he can medal, as his PR is 59-9 3/4.

Nicholas Scarvelis of Dos Pueblos of Goleta qualified first in the shot put with a mark of 62-9 3/4.

"I'll be missing prom; I was expecting that," Andrews said. "I was going to take my girlfriend [Alicia Favela] if I didn't make it. But I made it, which is not a bad thing. I can't take her and she's a little sad, but I think it'll be OK."

Sakioka, whose PR is 16-3, cleared 14-9, but couldn't get over what was the qualifying mark of 15-3. He said he wasn't nervous. But the nerves kicked in before his third attempt on 15-3.

"It was quite a shock for me," said Sakioka, bound for UCLA. "I kept landing on the bar. It was just not my day."

Michaelsen finished his season 16th in the discus (157-4).

— From staff reports

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