For most of Friday, Quinton Bell said he made sure to stay off his feet and save any movement until the evening. But when his race came at the CIF State Track and Field Championships, the Costa Mesa High senior made sure to move his feet quickly at Buchanan High.
Bell finished fourth in his heat in the 100-meter race and advanced to Saturday's finals after finishing in a personal-best 10.58 seconds, breaking his own school record (10.63). The time was sixth in the preliminaries.
Bell, along with Sage Hill's CJ McCord (high jump) and Corona del Mar's Spencer Keith (3,200) will compete in Saturday's finals.
McCord was among the top three to clear 6 feet, 7 inches to advance to the finals.
"It feels amazing," Bell said during a phone interview, of advancing to the state finals. "The atmosphere here is great. I'm just holding it down for Costa Mesa, and for the city."
Bell, who is headed to Texas Southern University for football and track, said he is having his best track season because he focused more of his attention to the sport this spring. He said his goal before the season began was to qualify for the state meet. Once he got there he said he believed he was there for a reason, to perform at his best.
He tried to stay calm throughout Friday and listened to music, rap artists like Kendrick Lamar and Dom Kennedy. When he got to the starting line, Bell said he tried something new to try to help get a great start. Instead, he slipped.
"I'll need to work on that," Bell said. "But to still get a PR, I'm pretty proud of my performance."
McCord can also be proud to advance to the finals.
Keith had advanced to the finals by qualifying for the 3,200 out of the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet.
CdM's Matt Hurst and Asha Hardy did not make it to Saturday's finals at Buchanan.
Hurst finished third in his heat at 48.60 in the 400, and 12th overall. He needed to finish in the top nine to qualify for the finals.
Last week, Hurst, who is bound for Harvard, finished fourth in the 400 meters at Masters, where he set a school record finishing in 47.79.
Hardy, a CdM senior, finished 16th in the girls' high jump (5-3).
— Compiled by Steve Virgen