TORRANCE – Her Division 4 Girls shot put championship medal in hand Saturday, Santa Ynez senior Sarah Perkins sat and waited for three divisions of throwers to finish to find out whether or not she qualified for the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet.
She did — Easily.
The 40 feet, 10 inches Perkins put forth on her final throw at the CIF Southern Section Track and Field Divisional Finals at El Camino College qualified her fifth overall for the Masters Meet, the sectional qualifier for the CIF State Track and Field Championships.
It also won her the Division 4 title, the only divisional championship of the day for area athletes.
At press time, Perkins appeared to be the only area Masters qualifier.
The top six finishers in each event Saturday medaled.
The top 12 throwers, regardless of division, qualified for the Masters Meet, which will take place at El Camino Saturday night. The top six finishers in each event at the Masters Meet will qualify automatically for the state meet. Others will qualify if they meet pre-set at-large standards.
"Looking at the marks going in, I thought I had a chance to qualify for the Masters," said Perkins.
"I wasn't sure I had a chance to qualify fifth," for her first Masters Meet, the Santa Ynez senior said.
Perkins' career best is the 42-8.50 she threw earlier this year. "I wasn't happy with the mark (Saturday), but I'll take the (divisional) championship every time." said Perkins, a first-time divisional champion who said she is excited about her first trip to the Masters.
Perkins won her shot put title after a disappointing finish in the discus. Perkins, with a best of 130-3, was the favorite. She settled for third at 122-0.
It was not known at press time whether or not Perkins also qualified for the Masters in the discus, but it appeared unlikely she did.
St. Joseph junior Joseph Domingues opened up a lead on the last lap of the Division 4 Boys 1,600, but Colin Kirkpatrick of Ojai Thacher caught, and passed, Domingues with about 20 meters left. Kirkpatrick won in 4 minutes, 17.25 seconds to Domingues' 4:17.90.
Domingues also finished ninth in the Boys 800.
Other area runners-up included Casidy Cunningham of Lompoc (Division 3 Girls long jump) and Kimberly Deming of Cabrillo (Division 3 Girls pole vault).
Cunningham's best jump Saturday was 17-4.75.
"I would rather have had first place but I'll take second," said Cunningham who took home the silver in her farewell meet before she heads to Columbia University, where she will compete for the women's track and field team.
Deming cleared 11-0, one inch off her personal best of 11-1, with room to spare. She seemed hesitant in her run-ups during her tries at 11-6, fouling twice on her steps and hitting the bar on the way up on her other attempt.
"We switched to a different pole to try to get her ready to try clear the 11-6," said Cabrillo coach Russ French.
"This a very tough meet. There is a lot of pressure. People who have never participated in this meet don't understand how tough it is. Kimberly vaulted very well today. We're very proud of her."
French also expressed satisfaction with how his other vaulters fared. Stephanie Rodriguez finished fourth at 10-0 in the girls competition, and Izaac Williams also finished fourth, at 13-6, one inch off his personal best, in the Boys Division 3 competition.
Santa Ynez schoolmates Gio Giordani and Emily Donahue each finished a solid third in their Division 4 events, Giordani with a 12-6 in the Boys pole vault and Donahue with a 10:56.48 in the girls 3,200.
Nipomo senior Devin Diaz ended the area representation at the divisional championships on a high note. He came from last place on the last lap to pass four runners and medal with a fifth place in 9:44.42 in the Boys Division 4 3,200.
A big last 800 is Diaz's trademark, but he admitted afterward he thought he was in trouble when he trailed the back pack by about 20 meters after six laps.
"When I was still in last place going into the last lap, and being yelled at (by the Nipomo coaches), I figured I would just let it all go," said Diaz.
"Winning a medal (at the divisional finals) is a nice way to go into your senior year."
Here is a summary of how other area athletes fared.
Arroyo Grande's Justice Fair finished seventh at 21-1.75 in the boys long jump. Teammate Darius Jackson was eighth at 21-0.
Righetti freshman Rayann Booker finished eighth in 12.50 in the Girls open 100. Righetti's 4x100 relay team of Kailani Cabanting, Rayann Booker, Anna Greene and Reann Booker, struggled, finishing ninth in the nine-team field at 49.19.
Lompoc's Juan DeLuna medaled with a sixth-place finish at 142-1 in the Boys Discus. Ty Hernandez of Cabrillo also finished sixth, 40.37, in the Boys 300 hurdles.
Lompoc's Julia Shepherd and Ayziah Simmons finished seventh and ninth respectively. Shepherd posted a 34-1.75 in the shot put and Simmons had a best of 14-10 in the long jump.
The St. Joseph Boys 4x100 relay team of Michael Madrigal, Darien Langley, Devin Guggia and Joseph Miller finished fifth in 43.77.
Nipomo schoolmates Madelyn Witcher (fifth place, 109-7, Girls discus) and Cole Bajema (sixth, 50.96, Boys 400) both medaled. Quincy Valle of Santa Ynez finished seventh at 35-10 in the Girls shot put. Langley was eighth in 22.65 in the Boys 200.
These Southern Section divisional championships were the last ones, at least for the foreseeable future, for most area track and field teams. Cabrillo, Lompoc and Santa Ynez will stay in the CIF Southern Section for the next school year. Everyone else is moving to the Central Section.
BAKERSFIELD — Hancock College freshman Haleigh Batty finished third at 18 feet, 5.5 finches in the Women's long jump at this state meet at Bakersfield College, medaling and earning All-American status, though the jump was far off her career best, and school record, 19-10,25.