Some athletes just love the big stage.
McKinleyville junior Kalyssa Claros upset the odds with a huge performance at the North Coast Section Meet of Champions at Dublin High on Saturday, placing fourth in the girls shot put.
Claros, who wasn’t even ranked in the event coming into the day, saved her best for last and smashed her previous top distance in the event in the biggest meet of her young career.
Claros threw 36 feet, 2.5 inches, easily outdistancing her old PR of 33-11.25 and leading the way for the entire H-DNL with the highest finish by any local athlete at the track and field championships.
The Mack standout fell just one place short of qualifying for the CIF state championships, but it was an outstanding showing nonetheless for the local league champ.
Other big performances at the MOC on Saturday included Eureka senior Josh Mahle, who placed fifth in the boys discus with a throw of 142-01, matching teammate Jamin Guilbert’s fifth-place finish in the boys shot put the previous day.
McKinleyville senior Rocco Previde also had a huge showing in the discus and placed just one spot behind Mahle with a throw of 140-05.
Eureka junior Joseph Gonzalez was 12th to round out a strong showing for the H-DNL in the event.
Also on Saturday, Eureka junior Ginny Brooks finished sixth in the 100 meter hurdles in a time of 16.14 seconds.
Arcata’s Quincy Collins also had a huge showing and placed seventh in the girls high jump, an outstanding finish for a freshman.
The Tigers standout set a new PR with a jump of 5-0.
Her teammate, senior Anneli Macdonald, also had a strong showing at the big meet and placed 13th in the girls 3,200m, while Eureka sophomore Emily Pesch placed 17th in the girls high jump, just one week after winning the event at the NCS Redwood Empire meet.
Del Norte sophomore Lily Sherman also competed in the high jump and placed 20th.