Eagle Invitational, Buchanan Distance Carnival Dominate the Rankings: Weekend 1 Rundown

The Weekend Rundown is a look at the previous Saturday's action in each section, recognizing the performances that most jumped out to me. Depending on the slate of meets the previous weekend, some sections may not be covered every week. This article is not meant to catch every strong performance - that's what the Week in Review is for - but only to relay my impressions as I go through the weekend's results.

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Central Section | Central Coast Section | Los Angeles City Section

North Coast Section | Northern Section | Oakland Section | Sac-Joaguin Section

San Diego Section | San Francisco Section | Southern Section

Central Section Highlights:

Connor Morello (Clovis) threw us a bit of a curveball at the Buchanan Distance Carnival: after focusing heavily on the 800 last spring, he opened with a strong 1600, clocking 4:18.49. Kasey Knevelbaard (Immanuel) also moved up one event from the distance he ran at the 2014 state meet, posting a 9:24.26 in the 3200 (only 12 seconds off last year's PR). It was Hannah Benoit (Buchanan) that was the meet's biggest star, however, and she didn't have to choose between her favorite event and an alternative. Instead she ran both, knocking out a 2:15.54 in the 800 to go with a 5:00.37 in the 1600. That's a monster double for a meet on the last day of February, and it signals what could be a tremendous season from Benoit. Jacob Wilson (Buchanan) also represented the host school weel in throwing the discus 165' 4.5".

Elsewhere in the section, Kyle Lawson (Clovis) ran a state-leading 39.57 in the 300 Hurdles at the Bobbie Bass Sprint Carnival.

Los Angeles City Section Highlights:

It seems like the throwers got off to a great start all around the state on Saturday. The one eye-catching performance out of this section was Darrin Paulo's good day: the Grant senior threw the discus 168' 5" and the put the shot 58' 8.5" at the Grant Ice Breaker.

North Coast Section Highlights:

The Skyline Invitational drew together teams from at least 4 different sections, and produced some excellent results from all the competition. For example, Chloe Jenkins (St. Mary's College) clocked 2:18.65 in the 800, and you can see below for a few more top marks from this meet.

Artearra Coffey (Deer Valley) ran 45.53 in the 300 Hurdles at Joe Stocking Super 7 Invitational.

Sac-Joaquin Section Highlights:

In addition to Jenkins' 800 mentioned above, Jurnee Woodward (Vacaville) posted a very impressive 43.86 in her first 300 Hurdles race of the season, at Skyline. At the same meet, Ron Smith (St. Mary's College) stood out with a 47' 1" effort in the triple jump, a full 2 feet farther than anyone else in the state at this point.

San Diego Section Highlights:

Sarah Abrahamson (La Costa Canyon) took a trip up the coast to the Laguna Beach Invitational, and came away with an 11:16.66 in the 3200 (after running 5:07 a week earlier at an all-comers meet, no less).

Southern Section Highlights:

The Eagle Invitational always seems to deliver big throws, and this year may have taken the cake. Matt Katnik (St. John Bosco) posted a massive 66' 8.5" shot put mark that would be US #2 indoors right now, and Malik McMorris (Mater Dei) tossed the discus 189 feet. That's not far from his 192' 11" last spring, which is the 3rd-best returning mark in the nation. The Notre Dame boys had a big meet in the sprints, racing to 42.01 in the 4x100 and 3:22.76 int he 4x400, while Trevor Reid pulled off a 10.83/22.08 double win. Finally, Kaitlyn Merritt (Santa Margarita Catholic) started off her spring with a 13' clearance in the pole vault.

The Saddle Up Invite also sported some strong performances, especially by girls named Claire. Claire Crowley (Redlands) ran 2:17.49 in the 800, while Claire Graves (Citrus Valley) clocked 10:54 in the 3200. Courtne Davis (Eleanor Roosevelt) ran 57.80 in the 400.

Ciynamon Stephenson (Great Oak) began her season with a 40' 2.5" triple jump at the Corona Relays, and she wasn't the only outstanding performer in the field events there, as Bria Palmer (John W. North) cleared 5' 6" in the high jump.

Elsewhere, Kyra Anderson (St. Mary's Academy) set the bar for the rest of the state in the 100 Hurdles, running 14.25 at the Lawndale Relays. In the boys' high hurdles, Tomi Adegoke (Los Osos) was the only athlete in California to break 15, as he posted a 14.80 at the Ontario Relays