Seniors Brandon Berguia and Garrett Weinreich’s journey to this year’s CIF State Track and Field Championships began in 2009, when they were freshman spectators.
They traveled together to Buchanan High in Clovis to watch Arroyo Grande High senior teammate Austin Field finish second in the shot put.
Feeling inspired, Berguia and Weinreich made a pact with each other to qualify for the state meet.
“It’s been a dream of ours to go together,” Berguia said. “It’s kinda cool now that it’s coming together.”
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The duo will get the chance to do just that today, when Berguia competes in the boys discus and Weinreich participates in both the discus and shot put at the same location where Austin placed at state. Joining them is Arroyo Grande junior teammate Madison Jacobs, who will compete in both the girls discus and shot put.
Weinreich, who, unlike his two teammates, is making his second trip to the state meet, is the top shot put thrower at 61 feet, 8 inches. He placed third in the event at last year’s state meet, making him the highest returning state qualifier. He is also seeded fifth in the discus at 179-11.
Jacobs is seeded second in the discus at 150-1, and 12th in the shot put at 41-6¾.
And Berguia had a personal-best discus throw of 174-4 at last week’s CIF-Southern Section Masters to qualify for state.
“They put themselves in a position where they can leave the state championships and be very, very happy,” said Arroyo Grande throws coach Stephen Field, who is also Austin’s older brother. “I just expect them to go out there and have fun and throw far. I’m not going to throw any specifics but I think they can do some really good things. They put themselves in that position, so if they go out and do what they can do, we’re going to come home happy.”
The qualifying rounds for the girls discus and shot put begin at 3 and 5:30 p.m. today, while the boys discus and shot put start at 5:30 and 8. The top nine throwers in each event advance to Saturday’s finals.
Weinreich, who’s headed to Oregon State on a football scholarship, senses some pressure for him to win a state title, which would be the first for an Arroyo Grande athlete since shot put competitor Danny Rohr in 2005.
“I was pretty nervous last year,” said Weinreich, who is just three-quarters of an inch ahead of Newport Harbor’s Ethan Cochran in the shot put. “I will definitely be calm and hopefully I’ll come out on top this time.”
Though only a junior, Jacobs isn’t taking her first try at the state meet lightly. She wants to win. And she might, considering she’s seeded as the second-best discus thrower behind Redwood’s Lissette Mendivil, who qualified at 155-1.
“I’m hoping I can show everybody I can win state,” Jacobs said. “I’m hoping to be at least runner-up, but I would really like to come first. I’m really just focusing more on me. I need to worry about how far I throw. If I did a (personal record), I’m going to be proud of myself. If I won state, I’d definitely be proud of myself. I’m just hoping to just PR or come close to winning or win.”
Berguia’s primary goal is to qualify for Saturday’s finals. He says he needs to achieve another personal best of 175 feet or higher in the discus for that to happen. After the state meet, he’s headed to Long Beach State as a walk-on athlete.
“It’s finally paying off,” said Berguia, who’s seeded ninth in the state. “I’m just going to go in and remember what I’ve done and doing what I’ve been doing all year and put it together.”
And he’s at this point because of a pact he made with Weinreich.