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West Ranch thrower Natalie Ramirez knew she had a new personal record in discus at the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 prelims at Trabuco Hills High School.

But what she didn’t realize was that Saturday’s 148 foot, 2 inch toss was also a new Foothill League record.

“My initial reaction to my PR was I was ecstatic and then when my coach told me it was also the record I was like, ‘Whoa.’ I was just shocked,” Ramirez said.

“I had no idea how I would do in discus this year so to do that, I was just like, ‘Wow,’” she said.

Ramirez’s throw, obviously, is the best of any Foothill Leaguer this season, but Canyon’s Gabby Sanchez posted the second-best mark of the year at the Division 2 prelims Saturday, setting a new school record in with a 136-1.

COACH’S CORNER: West Ranch track & field’s Sara Soltani

Ramirez came in second in discus and in third in shot put with a finals-qualifying throw of 41-08.75.

Last season, Ramirez and the Wildcats competed in Division 2 and the thrower didn’t surpass the finals in either event.

This time around, the sophomore has returned a more experienced, calm athlete.

“I’ve learned ever since I broke my PR in shot put (in the regular season) that just being smooth and relaxed throughout competition is just so helpful,” said Ramirez.

“I brought that knowledge from the meet to prelims and it helped so much and it is so much easier to perform in both events relaxed than it is to perform under pressure.”

Her teammate Adaugo Oguejiofor is moving on to finals in high jump, clearing 5-03.00 for a third-place finish.

For the Division 1 boys, Valencia’s Sam Pica advances in the long jump and the 400, the latter of which he set a new PR.

Pica was also part of the Vikings 4 x 400 meter relay team. He, Tanner Berney, Joshua Pikes and Kai Wingo set a new school record, coming in at 3:19.03 and ranked third to move on.

Pikes will compete in the 200-meter run in the finals as well.

For West Ranch, Preston Pope will run in the 3200 finals after clocking a qualifying time of 9:13.75.

Division 2

Twelve athletes in individual events and three relay teams made it through the Division 2 prelims, which were held at Moorpark High on Saturday.

Saugus High’s Mariah Castillo came in seventh in the 1600-meter run (5:02.26) and ninth in the 3200 (11:04.99).

Shyann Franklin of Golden Valley placed second in shot, throwing 41-02.00, and fourth in discus at 126-02.

Sanchez’s school record-setting throw in discus earned her second.

Fellow Cowboy Seanna Nalbandyan clocked 45.39 in the 300-meter hurdles, while the Grizzlies’ Alexxys Banuelos jumped 17-07.25 in long jump.

The Hart boys had two relay teams qualify for the finals.

In the 4×100, Gabe Halekakis, Chris Sorensen, Joe Hylton and Henry Sojico came in third and in the 4×400, Halekakis, Sorenson, Hylton and Blake Bruner were fifth.

Canyon’s 4×400 relay team came in sixth, with Quinn Melssen, Taylor Tepesano, Jeremiah Finley and Kevin Stone all running.

For Golden Valley, Gabriel Coronado threw 55-02.50 for third in shot and 175-08 for second in discus. Saugus’ Blake Walkowiak threw 172-02 for third in discus.

Steven Arrington ranked fourth in the 200-meter dash at 21.84 for Canyon. Jake Rockford of Saugus moves on in the 800 and Hart’s John Campbell continues in pole vault.

Division 4

Trinity Classical Academy freshman Solomon Strader will compete in the 200 and 400 at finals.

He ranked fourth in the former at 22.43 and second in the latter at 49.36 at Carpinteria High School.

Finals for all divisions will be at Cerritos College on Saturday.

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Haley Sawyer
A Pennsylvania native, Haley Sawyer has covered sports across the country. She is a graduate of Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh and primarily covers Football, boys basketball, girls soccer and girls golf for The Signal.
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