Livingston High shot putter Albert Millan believes this week's CIF State Meet can provide the foundation for a memorable senior year.
"It's my first time to state, so it's a bonus for everything I've been able to accomplish," said Millan, a junior who hit a personal record of 54 feet, 3 inches, two weeks ago. "I want a strong finish so I'll be fired up up for next season."
Winning a state title is little more than a dream for Millan — as well as the seven other Stanislaus District athletes competing at Buchanan High in Clovis — but there's more to the meet than just medals.
"I'm sure it feels a lot different than a (Sac-Joaquin) Section meet," Millan said. "It's got the best athletes from the state, so it will be exciting."
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While Millan has another shot at state next year, five of the district's entries are seniors and will say goodbye after they run, jump or throw.
"The last two years, I made the Masters and didn't worry too much when I didn't make state, because I knew I'd have another chance," Modesto triple jumper Stephanie Stavrianoudakis said. "This year, I realized "You better get there now. It's your last chance."
The district's best shot at a medal — the top six get one — is Buhach Colony sophomore Rebecca Hammar. The No. 4 seed in the discus, after winning the Masters at 140 feet 10 inches, she is just three inches behind the No. 3 seed.
Winning the event, though, would require a hugh upset: The top seed is Anna Jelmini, who set a national high school record of 190-3 in May, breaking the record of 188-4, set in 1994 by Downey's Suzy Powell.