Granite Bay's James Kinloch has the top discus mark in Northern California at 186 feet, 6 inches.
But the senior, who will compete next season for Sacramento State, figures he'll likely have to throw a personal best if he hopes to finish among the top three at the CIF State Track and Field championships Friday and Saturday in Clovis.
He knows from experience, having been to the state championships as a junior and a sophomore. He finished 17th last year and 18th in 2009.
"It definitely helps having that experience," Kinloch said. "My first year there I was stressed out. The key is to go in there with a good attitude and stay focused."
Kinloch's maturity showed at the Masters meet.
He started poorly. His first throws were 40 feet below his average. But he uncorked two excellent throws at the end, including the winning toss of 183-6, the No. 4 seeded mark entering the state meet.
"I just had to calm down, execute my plan and get into the zone," Kinloch said.
Kinloch has thrown over 180 feet at four major meets this season, including 182-7 at the Sacramento Meet of Champions and 182-6 at the Arcadia Invitational. His 186-6, set at the Halden Invitational April 23, ranks No. 6 in the state this year.
"What's exciting is that I've been consistently hitting 180s," Kinloch said. "Now I hope to go farther, get that 190 and, hopefully, place at state."