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Defending CIF champion succeeding despite pressure

April 16, 2002|By ERIC GALVAN

Sports Writer

As the defending CIF San Diego Section Division III shot put champion, Brawley Union High School's Cynthia Flores shouldn't be feeling much pressure to compete at the highest level.

After all, she's already reached the pinnacle of the section and is continuing to perform at a championship level.

But ask her how she thinks she's performed this year, and she'll tell you she can still improve in her events — the shot put and discus — and that she still gets nervous before each event.

Despite feeling like everything was working against her, last week she had one of her best weeks this season as she not only won the shot put and discus in Brawley's tri-meet against Holtville and Imperial but led the Wildcat shot putters and discus throwers to first and second places, respectively, at Saturday's Poway Invitational.


"In that tri-meet, I was happy with what I did in the shot because I broke my own record. Last year my best was 37 feet and at that meet I got a 38," said the 18-year-old senior. "But I was not happy at all with what I did at Poway. I went from a 38 on Wednesday to a 35."

While her put was three feet short of her personal best, she still led the Brawley shot putters to first place with a combined put of 38 feet, 4 inches.

Her coming up short in the shot put is all part of the pressure she feels when she competes.

"I don't know what it is, I just choke, especially in big meets like that. I feel a lot of pressure on me, I think that's why I choke," said Flores. "I think having won CIF last year, I feel more pressure."

Even with the pressure, Flores has continued to excel and said she'll be looking to turn around things at some of the bigger meets and in defending her shot put title.

"Hopefully I'll be able to win CIF again and make it to state," said Flores. "I know that I still can get better and what I'm shooting for is a 42 in the shot. And I think if I keep working on it, I'm pretty sure I can get better and accomplish the goals I've set for myself."

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