NORWALK — Each of them seniors, San Luis Obispo High’s Vivien Devaney, Atascadero’s Markita Hinton and Arroyo Grande’s Danielle Lauinger have seen a lot of each other at various track and field meets over the years.
Now, all three will be traveling to next week’s CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet to compete for the right to move on to the state championships in the girls discus throw.
Regardless of division, all three placed in the overall top 10 Saturday at the Southern Section Divisional Championships at Cerritos College, which were open to the section’s 576 schools.
“We all go way back, especially because we’re all seniors,” Devaney said. “So we want each other to do well, but at the same time (in competition), we’re kind of rooting against (each other).
“It’s a love-hate relationship,” she quipped.
The top 12 overall performers in each field event, regardless of divisional classification, qualified for Masters, which will be held at the same site Friday. On the track, the top nine overall placers moved on (with the exception of the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters, which also take 12). Those to then finish in the top five of their respective events at Masters will advance to the state meet in Clovis on June 4-5.
Devaney, who recently signed with Notre Dame, led the San Luis Obispo County contingent Saturday, winning the Division 3 title with a mark of 137 feet, 2 inches — the meet’s No. 2 overall effort.
“I knew this was a great facility, and I’ve thrown well here before,” Devaney said. “I’m perfectly happy with what I threw.”
Hinton, a Sacramento State signee, was sixth overall (third in Division 3) at 130-6, followed by the 10th-place performance (124-11, third in Division 2) of Lauinger, a Cal Poly recruit.
“I hope the other girls can do well (at Masters), too, so I can be with them,” Devaney said. “Obviously, having three girls at state from the PAC 7 would be awesome.”
Hinton went on to easily win the Division 3 girls shot put at 43-3½, good enough for fourth regardless of division.Devaney’s Tigers came up just short in their bid to win a third straight Division 3 girls team title, finishing third with 59 points behind Oak Park (63) and Harvard-Westlake (60).
San Luis Obispo’s Elena Clarke will also head to Masters as a No. 2 seed, as she was the Division 3 champion in the girls pole vault at 12 feet. In the girls long jump, teammate Abrianna Torres was second not only in Division 3 but also overall at 19-4 – three-quarters of an inch off first.
“I’m just excited,” Torres said of moving on. “I just need a day like today (at Masters).”
Torres was also the Division 3 runner-up and fourth meet-wide in the girls triple jump, bounding 38-8¼. Despite battling what she described as a surge of back pain, Torres added another divisional second-place showing in the 300 hurdles at 44.23 seconds, while teammate Alessa Moscoso was fourth at 44.63. Torres was also fourth in the divisional 100 hurdles at 14.45 seconds.
Templeton’s Savannah Camacho was also a local standout on the girls side. Camacho began the day fairly sick, she said, and opened by losing a sizable lead in the 1,600 to finish with a Division 4 second-place time of 4 minutes, 58.75 seconds that secured a No. 1 Masters alternate spot at 13th overall.
Soon after, however, she handily won the divisional 800 at 2:11.68, placing fifth regardless of division.
“It was one of those races where everything just felt right,” Camacho said of the 800. “If I could map out an ideal race, that’s what it would be.”
Arroyo Grande’s Rachel Murphy tied for third in the Division 2 girls pole vault at 11-6, punching her own Masters ticket with a meet-wide sixth-place standing. Tess Rountree of Paso Robles finished as the No. 1 Masters alternate in the high jump at 5-4 – third in Division 3.
On the boys side, one of the county’s banner days belonged to Paso Robles’ Aleksander Koch, who placed third in the Division 3 high jump at 6-4, tying for sixth overall. The Bearcats’ boys also got a Division 3 second-place performance in the discus from Matt Sepulveda (at 158-3), and a fourth-place divisional showing in the triple jump from Devin Upson (44-1).
Meanwhile, Morro Bay’s Kyle Foster and Templeton’s Matt Foss were second and third, respectively, in the Division 4 boys pole vault, at 13-6 and 13-0. Templeton’s Kory Dearie finished fourth in the Division 4 boys 300 hurdles at 41.01 seconds.
Additionally, divisional fifth-place finishes were turned in by Nipomo’s Heather Hawes (36-9¾ in the Division 3 girls shot put), Kelsie Jarratt (11 feet in the Division 3 girls pole vault) and Jake Ryan (51-3½ in the Division 3 boys shot put); Arroyo Grande’s Alexandra Mero (5-4 in the Division 2 girls high jump) and its Division 2 girls 400 relay squad (which finished in 48.89 seconds); Morro Bay’s James Shipe (4:27.41 in the Division 4 boys 1,600); and Atascadero’s Mimi Peterson (a school-record 11:05.22 in the Division 3 girls 3,200).