On a day of upsets and surprises, when many state leaders and favorites were tasting defeat, Dave Bultman of Royal High was quenching his thirst for victory at the state track and field championships at Sacramento's Hughes Stadium.
Bultman, a transfer from Independence High in San Jose, won the shotput and the discus, as expected.
His effort in the discus (193-6) was his second-longest throw of the year and his 67 feet in the shotput destroyed his personal best (62-0) and the field as well.
In the process, Bultman achieved three of the four goals he set at the start of the season.
The six-foot, 240-pound Highlander wanted to win the shotput and the discus at the state meet and throw 66 feet in the shot and 200 in the discus.
He hasn't thrown 200 yet in the discus but Bultman wasn't concerned about that Saturday. He was too busy savoring his performance in the shot.
"The shot PR (personal record) was long overdo," he said. "I knew I had it in me. I've been working hard all year and it paid off this weekend."
Bultman's effort in the shotput moves him to third on the national high school list. In discus qualifying Friday, Bultman upped his personal best to 196-10, sixth on the national list.
Bultman became the third shotput/discus winner in state meet history. Dave Porath of Atwater (1978) and Brian Blutreich of Capistrano Valley (1985) are the others.
Led by Bultman, Royal tied Taft for third in the team standings with 20 points. Hawthorne won it's fourth state title in the last five years with 34 points. Muir finished second with 27.
Taft received its 20 points from Quincy Watts, who won the 100 (10.49) and 200 meters (20.99).
The Toreadors entered the meet with the state's fastest time in the 400 relay. But Taft's Sean Roberts and David Flores dropped the baton on the second exchange as well as any chance at a second straight state title.
Watts didn't let it bother him, running down fast-starting Calvin Holmes of Carson in the 100, 10.49-10.50. In the 200, Watts surged past Corey Ealy of Muir (21.16) in the final 40 meters.
"I'm happy with victories," Watts said. "I felt a little tired after running so many races. I think that's why my times weren't faster."
It was Watts' second straight title in the 200 and his first in the 100.
Taft Coach Tom Stevenson was philosophical about the relay mishap.
"Those things happen," he said. "You can't fault the kids for trying. They were so hyped up for the relay that our marks weren't really valid.
"Ninety-nine times out of 100 we make that pass. But today we didn't."
The performances of Bultman and Watts overshadowed some outstanding efforts by other Valley-area athletes.
Crespi sophomore Russell White placed second in the triple jump with a personal best of 49-7. White's effort is a Valley-area record as well.
Notre Dame's Tom Parker and Poly's Jeff La Monica placed second and third in the pole vault, both clearing 15 feet, six inches, the same height as winner Steve Slocum of Foothill. Slocum won the event because he cleared the winning height on his first attempt. It took Parker two attempts and La Monica three.
Brent Burns of Alcalanes High in Lafayette, the national leader at 17-5 1/2, was the pre-meet favorite but failed to clear a height. Burns, the 1984 state champion entered the competition when the bar was raised to 16-2.
Parker's second place was no surprise, he has cleared 15 feet or better in 15 meets, but La Monica's third place was.
The Poly senior entered the meet with a best of 15 feet but only vaulted 13 feet at the City Section championships a week ago.
"After clearing 15 yesterday, I was looking for 15-2," La Monica said. "But 15-6 surprised me. When I was coming down the runway and looked at the sign (which read 15-6 3/8), I said to myself, 'What the hell am I'm doing here.' "
The Simi Valley 1,600-meter relay team had no such reservations. The Pioneers' quartet of Kevin Hatcher, Danny Cross, Ron Bradley and Robert Harris placed third with a school record of 3:13.65.
Agoura's Jenny Whelchel won the shotput to highlight performances by Valley-area athletes in the girls meet.
Whelchel, a junior who placed fifth in the state championships in 1986, threw a personal best of 43-9 1/2 in the second round to win. She also had a 43-5 effort in the first round, which would have won the competition also. Dawn Dumble of Bakersfield placed second (43-1 1/2).
Sharon Manship of Thousand Oaks didn't win any events but she did turn in a fine double in the triple jump and the 300-meter low hurdles.
Manship, who recently signed a letter of intent with UCLA, bounded a personal best of 39-0 to place third in the triple jump and placed fifth in the 300-meter low hurdles with a 42.95 clocking.
Manship has improved tremendously in the triple jump in the last month. Prior to the Marmonte League championships, Manship hadn't jumped over 37 feet this season. Now, she's the Valley-area record-holder.
Manship's teammate, Staci Leach, placed sixth in the 100-meter low hurdles (13.8); as did Newbury Park's Melissa Sutton in the 1,600 meters.
Sutton ended her superb high school career with a 4:57.56 effort. The three-time Southern Section 4-A champion in cross-country, Sutton placed fifth in the 3,200 meters last year.