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By Zach Cavanagh
The top athletes for the Dana Hills track and field team breezed through the CIF-SS Division 2 preliminaries at Ventura High School on Saturday, May 7.
Six Dolphin athletes and one relay team will compete in nine total events at the CIF-SS Finals on Saturday, May 14, at Moorpark High School. All CIF-SS division finals will take place at the same site.
After pulling off double golds at the South Coast League Finals, both senior Jai Dawson and junior Allura Markow qualified in their respective signature boys and girls distance runs.
Dawson finished first in each of his heats in both the 800-meter and 1,600-meter runs, and the New Zealand native will be the top seed in both events in the Finals. Dawson holds the top times in Division 2 in both events this season, the state’s fourth-best time in the 800 and the state’s fifth-best time in the 1,600. Dawson was the CIF-SS Division 2 runner-up in the 1,600 meters last season.
Markow is positioned to repeat as the CIF-SS Division 2 champion in the 3,200-meter run, as she won her preliminary heat and will be the top seed in the final. The junior finished second in her 1,600-meter heat and fourth overall heading into the final. Markow posted the ninth-best time in the state in her 1,600-meter heat, but she will be in the final against runners recording the state’s best and fifth-best times.
Freshman Annie Ivarsson will join Markow in the 1,600-meter final, as she finished second in her heat and eighth overall.
Senior sprinter Sienna Frederiksen nearly also qualified in two individual events for the Dolphins.
Frederiksen finished third in her heat and eighth overall in the 400-meter sprint to finish inside the qualifying top nine, but in the 200-meter sprint, she finished just 0.35 seconds behind ninth to come in 13th place overall in the event.
Frederiksen will still run in a second event as a member of Dana Hills’ 4×400-meter relay team. The Dolphins finished second in their heat and sixth overall in the event to qualify. The relay team consists of Frederiksen, fellow seniors Ava Podolski and Ana Moreno, and sophomore Christina Abrams.
In the pole vault, Dana Hills qualified one in both the boys and girls events.
Senior Brandon Chang cleared a personal-record mark of 13 feet, 3 inches to qualify in sixth place on the jump-attempts tiebreaker in the boys pole vault. Junior Allison Karner also advanced on the jumps tiebreaker in girls pole vault with an eighth-place finish.
If any athlete finishes with a top-nine performance across all four CIF-SS divisions, they will advance to the CIF-SS Masters Meet on Saturday, May 21, also at Moorpark High School. The exceptions are the 800 meters, 1,600 meters and 3,200 meters, where the top 12 overall performances advance. The top six finishers in each event at Masters will then qualify for the CIF State Championships on Friday and Saturday, May 27 and 28, at Buchanan High School in Clovis.
Zach Cavanagh is the sports editor for Picket Fence Media. Zach is multiple California Journalism Award winner and has covered sports in Orange County since 2013. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ZachCav and follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SouthOCSports. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.