Tars' Cochran wins discus at Masters

High School Track & Field

Newport Harbor senior, who also makes shot put field, leads group of four who qualify for next week's State Meet.

May 25, 2012|By Steve Virgen
  • Newport Harbor High senior Ethan Cochran won the discus throw at the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet at Cerritos College on Friday.
Newport Harbor High senior Ethan Cochran won the discus… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

NORWALK — Ethan Cochran called Friday the worst competitive day of a stellar three-year run he's had while throwing for Newport Harbor High.

He was in a funk competing in the discus at the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet at Cerritos College. Cochran never appeared nervous with two throws remaining and without a qualifying mark for the State Meet.

The Newport senior qualified on his fifth throw and unleashed a mark of 197 feet, 10 inches on his final throw to become the Masters champion. It was his first Masters title.

He led a group of four Newport Harbor athletes who qualified for next week's CIF State Championships at Buchanan High in Clovis. Senior Steve Michaelsen (discus), junior Marty Taylor (shotput) and junior Paige Tennison (3,200 meters) also advanced to the State Meet.

When Cochran won the CIF Southern Section Division 2 title in the discus last week he said he was looking forward to competing at Cerritos College because he liked the ring there. But he struggled early on when it was time to throw.


"It's good to get it out of the way now," Cochran said. "It's good that I could come back from it and qualify and win. But it's bad that I had a day like that. I was pretty tight. My whole body was pretty tight. I just didn't have good technique."

Cochran, bound for Cal, will try to repeat as state champ starting Friday in Clovis. Last year he became the first Newport Harbor male thrower to win a state title in the discus. Now he wants to become the first one in school history to win both the shotput and discus at the State Meet. It would be a great accomplishment, he said, right up there with winning the silver medal in the discus at the World Youth Championships in France last year.

Tony Ciarelli believes Cochran can win two state titles.

"It's not going to be easy," Ciarelli said. "But it's like I've told him, if he can throw his best there's not anyone in the state that can beat him."

Cochran finished second in the shotput (61-71/4), behind Arroyo Grande's Garrett Weinreich (61-8).

Michaelsen, who said he has felt congested the past few days, finished fifth in the discus (177-9) to make a return trip to the state meet. He battled back from a rough showing in the shotput that saw him finish 12th (54-21/2).

"It feels really good to be going back," said Michaelsen, who is bound for Wake Forest. "Just being at the State Meet is great, to be among all those great athletes."

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