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Cochran going to France

Track & Field

Newport Harbor discus thrower wins at World Youth Track and Field Trials to make the national team.

June 29, 2011|By Steve Virgen, steve.virgen@latimes.com
(Scott Smeltzer…)

Ethan Cochran went to Myrtle Beach, S.C. to win a trip to France. How did he do it?

The Newport Harbor High senior-to-be won the discus event at the World Youth Track and Field Trials Wednesday at Myrtle Beach High.

After winning, he was selected to represent the U.S. at the International Assn. of Athletics Federations World Youth Championships July 6 through 10 in Lille, France.

"It was relieving," Cochran, when reached by phone, said of being selected to Team USA. "I went back to the school at 6:30 to find out. I had a pretty good feeling I was going to make it though."

Cochran's winning mark was 58.16 meters, or 190 feet, 10 inches, as he won by nearly five meters. He said he battled a tailwind and humid conditions to win the event. He competed against athletes ages 16 and 17 (born in 1994 or 1995). Cochran said the top two in each event earned the right to be selected to make the national team.

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"The conditions don't really affect me," said the 17-year-old, who won the CIF state title in the discus and was also the Golden West Invitational champion this month. "I knew I wasn't going to get a [personal record] because of a really bad wind, so I just did my best."

Cochran was also the CIF Southern Section Division II and Sunset League champion in the discus.

Cochran said he has never been to France, so he is excited about the trip. He will leave for France on Saturday. Until then, he will train with the national team at Coastal Carolina University. Newport Harbor throws coach Tony Ciarelli was at the meet Wednesday and he is expected to go with Cochran to France.

Cochran said when he returns to Newport Beach after France he will shift to training with the football team. He is an outside linebacker for the Sailors.

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