TORRANCE – After barely qualifying in discus for the CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet, Hart’s CJ McMullen knew he had something more to offer.
With a good week of practice free of school distractions, the recent grad was well-prepared heading into the Masters Meet at El Camino College in Torrance on Saturday.
That preparation got him a throw of 184 feet, 6 inches – a throw that was good for first place and a new PR.
“All of last week and at CIF prelims I had come in last, second to last. I barely qualified, so I knew I was due for a big throw today,” said McMullen.
The NAU commit was followed by Christian Lavalle of Mission Viejo in second place (180-09) and Carlos Aviles of Ventura in third (180-04).
It was McMullen’s first appearance at Masters, meaning next week will be his debut at the CIF state meet as well. He was also the only athlete from Hart to make it to the Masters Meet.
He’s embraced the competition that’s come with the postseason.
“I think being around more good competition motivates me,” McMullen said. “When there were days where the next best thrower was throwing at 120, I didn’t have much motivation to go far. So being around a bunch of other good throws is very helpful.”
He also credited some of his success to working with throws coach Mike Torie. The two began training together prior to this season and increased the number of training sessions in the week leading up to the Masters Meet.
“He’s been crisping everything up and this last week in practice, he was doing some throws in training about 175 and I knew if he just lined it up, he’d hit one today,” Torie said.
“And he had favorable conditions too. He had a nice like, headwind today so if he hit the nose of the plate, go down a punch it like he did, it’s going to go and that’s exactly what he did.”
McMullen will continue his postseason at the CIF state meet, which will be held at Buchanan High School in Clovis on Friday and Saturday.
NOTES: West Ranch thrower Danny Bryant qualified for the CIF state meet in shot put. The Wildcat threw 55-0.50 on his first throw before injuring his finger to end his afternoon at the Masters Meet.