District athletes dream of capturing state crown

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."

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.

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