WALNUT — That little extra weight on the back shoulders of Glendale High junior Michael Davis was the collective aspirations and interest of a region at the CIF Southern Section Track and Field Championships at Mt. San Antonio College on Saturday.
When Davis finished second in the Division I boys' 200-meter dash in a time of 21.40 seconds, he earned advancement to Friday's Masters Meet at Cerritos College not just for himself, but for the collective La Cañada-Glendale-Burbank area, as Davis was the region's lone qualifier.
"I wasn't thinking about qualifying as much as doing my best," Davis said. "I wasn't happy with my time in the 100 and had to do better."
Davis' mark of 21.40 was an improvement upon his seeded time of 21.58 and was fifth-best overall in easily hitting the top-nine barrier to advance in track events.
Davis' motivation for the 200 was his third-place effort in the Division 1 boys' 100 race in which he finished in 10.76, but did not qualify as the mark was 12th overall.
Other than Davis, Saturday was indeed an elimination fest, impacting even some of the area's top athletes.
St. Francis senior James Knowles survived in neither his 110- or 300-meter hurdles competition.
Knowles entered with the fourth-best seeded time of 14.55 seconds in the Division III 110 hurdles, but struggled to a seventh-place finish in 15.11 and outside the final nine who moved onto Masters.
"I hit that first hurdle and I just had trouble getting back," a disappointed Knowles said. "There was a little bit of a tail wind, but this is frustrating because you work hard to get here and then this happens."
Knowles was unable to recover in the 300 hurdles, where with a 38.16, which also missed the cut.
Burroughs' Anthony Monroy, the reigning All-Area Boys' Cross-Country Runner of the Year, also missed the cut when he finished ninth in the Division I 3,200 in 9:37.79.
Despite the setbacks, there was some good local news in Division IV, where the brothers duo of Gareth and Barrett Weiss both broke personal bests in tying for a championship with vaults of 12 feet 9 inches.
"Any time you win, it's special," said Barrett, who entered with a personal-best mark of 12-6.
"I still can't really believe it, we were just trying to do our best and I didn't expect this," said Gareth, whose best prior was 12 feet.
Unfortunately, the mark of 12-9 did not qualify the duo for the Masters Meet.
Rebels junior West Nowotny continued a small, but strong day for the Flintridge Prep boys.
A week after hitting a personal-best throw of 48-11 at the Division IV prelims, Nowotny followed up with a respectable third-place toss of 47-10.
Flintridge Prep senior James Bradley was also sixth in the Division IV 800, running in a time of 1:59.10.
Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy's Caroline Treinen capped her senior season with a fifth-place finish in the Division IV pole vault with a leap of 9 feet, slightly behind her prelims effort of 9-6.
Saturday also marked the end of the road for Tologs' junior Noelle Niederhaus, who finished sixth (2:18.10) in the Division IV 800.
The Tologs' 1,600 relay team also finished fourth (3:57.26) in the Division IV competition.
Flintridge Prep's Kate Kennedy entered her Division III 300-meter hurdles event with the third-best time and finished fifth in 45.64.
Bell-Jeff's 400-meter relay foursome of London Webster, Jonathan Smith, Josh Martinez and Jalen Henry failed to finish in the Division IV final.
Likewise, Crescenta Valley senior Josh Strachewski also missed out when the Falcons' hurdler false-started in the Division I 110-meter hurdles and was disqualified.
In team competition, the Flintridge Prep boys earned fifth (27 points) in Division IV, the Glendale boys' tied for eighth (14 points) in Division I and Sacred Heart was 13th Division IV with 11 points.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun