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Mission Viejo’s Jada Gatlin, Dana Hills’ Jai Dawson have strong first day at CIF State meet

Day One of the CIF State Track and Field Championships in Clovis was a good day for many of Orange County’s athletes.

Mission Viejo junior Jada Gatlin had the day’s best mark in the girls triple jump prelims that determined who advanced to Saturday’s finals at Buchanan High School. Gatlin’s jump of 40 feet, 9 inches is the best in Orange County this season, the second best in the state this season, and the fourth-best in county history. Michele Sanford of Woodbridge set the county record of 43-4 ½ in 2001.

Los Alamitos’ Mackenzie Kirk also qualified Friday for the triple jump at 38-1¾.

Another Mission Viejo jumper, Emily Psarras, advanced to the girls long jump finals with a mark of 18 feet, 8¾ inches.

The state meet Saturday with the finals for track and field events. The first field event is the girls discus at 4:30 p.m. The first running event is the girls 4×100 relay at 6 p.m.

The top 12 finishers in Friday’s qualifying advanced to the finals. Medals are awarded to the top six finishers in each event.

Ashlynn Viramontes of Katella and JSerra’s Ashlee Gallegos qualified for Saturday’s girls 1,600 meters final. Viramontes had the day’s third-best time at 2 minutes, 12.08 seconds, with Gallegos right there at 2:12.14.

Dana Hills senior Jai Dawson continued his excellent season with the second-best time in the boys 800 (1:51.95). Dawson was the Orange County cross country runner of the year this past fall.

Servite senior Max Thomas moved on in the 100 meters. He ran it in 10.43 seconds (wind-aided), the fifth-best qualifying time Friday. Long Beach Jordan sophomore  Jordan Washington had the best time in the boys 100, a wind-aided 10.31. Serra’s Rodrick Pleasant, who blazed to a 10.14 last week in the CIF-SS Masters Meet, ran a wind-aided 10.38.

Los Alamitos freshman Devin Bragg missed qualifying for Saturday’s 100 final by a tiny margin. His 10.61 was just shy of the 12th and final qualifying time of 10.59.

The Los Alamitos boys 4×100 relay team qualified at 41.33 seconds, the best time in Orange County this season.

Corona del Mar’s Jason Plumb reached 24 feet, 1¼ inches in the boys long jump for the third-best mark of the day.

In the boys high jump, Mater Dei freshman Brandon Gorski continued to impress by clearing the qualifying measurement of 6 feet, 4 inches. Gorski’s 6-8 earlier this season is the second-best clearance in the state in 2022.

JSerra’s Brendon See threw the discus 191 feet, 3 inches for the days second-best distance. Crean Lutheran multisport standout Jack Fairchild (football, basketball, track) qualified in the triple jump with a leap of 45 feet, 4½ inches.

Caroline Hawkes of San Clemente advanced in the girls 400 at 55.48, the fourth-best time of Friday’s qualifiers.

Trabuco Hills had two standouts in the girls unified shot put. Rylyn Shields had a throw of 29 feet, 9¼ inches and Karina Barrios’s best throw was 16-½ .

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