Last year, only one athlete from the Santa Clarita Valley advanced to the CIF state meet. This year, five will be making the trip to Buchanan High of Clovis today. “It’s always good to have familiar faces because you know that it’s going to be an uncomfortable atmosphere,” said Canyon’s Gabby Sanchez. Canyon High’s Gabby Sanchez will compete in discus as a No. 11 seed. She’s coming off of a fifth-place finish at the Masters Meet thanks to a 137 foot, 1-inch throw. “I think spending extra time on my technique has really helped me through the postseason because it’s truly helped me get into the mechanics of everything,” she said.
Natalie Ramirez, a West Ranch sophomore, will be in both shot put and discus. At the CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet, she came in fifth in shot put and seventh in discus. Ramirez is seeded ninth in shot put and 14th in discus. “I just try to not to put too much pressure on it,” she said. “I’m a sophomore and I’m just excited to have the experience and grateful to have the experience this year.” The lone boys thrower to make the trip, Gabriel Coronado will represent Golden Valley in discus. Coronado had the best finish of all SCV throwers at the Masters Meet, coming in third place with a 176-4 throw for a spot as the No. 8 seed. “My throwing coach said it’s just like another meet,” he said. “Just try to stay focused and relaxed like you’ve done better. You know what you’re ability is. Just do the best you can do.” Solomon Strader of Trinity Classical Academy will run in the 400-meter dash. His 48.45 time at Masters earned him a No. 11 seed out of 27 runners. “I’m honored to go, there’s a lot of people saying good job, good luck, but at the same time I want to make it to Saturday,” Strader said. Kevin Wilkinson, a Stevenson Ranch resident who attends Bishop Alemany High of Mission Hills, will also run in the 800 at the state meet. He finished fourth at the Masters Meet. Each athlete will compete in the prelims, which take place today. Stadium gates will open for spectators at 2 p.m. Finals will be on Saturday with gates opening at 3:30 p.m.