California State Track and Field Meet: Running Events Preview

1600 Meters

Girls Favorite: Destiny Collins Great Oak (SS) 4:40.34
Leading Contenders: Amanda Gehrich Tesoro (SS) 4:42.92, Rylee Bowen Sonoma Acadmy (NCS) 4:43.92 & Marissa Williams Palisades (LA) 4:47.88
State Meet Record: Christine Babcock Woodbridge (SS) 4:33.82 2008

At last season's state final in this event, three runners tore away from the field only to have an unfortunate demolition derby type collision that resulted in Sarah Robinson of Gunn winning the state title in 4:44.25. Destiny Collins of Great Oak recovered from her fall and finished a very gutsy second. She will be the strong favorite this year with the fastest entry time. Amanda Gehrich of Tesoro gamely chased Collins at the SS Masters meet and will do the same here. The two runners that are within striking distance are freshman Rylee Bowen of Sonoma Academy who recorded her personal best time winning the NCS MOC meet and Marissa Williams of Palisades who ran her solo best time at her own section final.

Boys Favorite: Austin Tamagno Brea Olinda (SS) 4:06.26 mile
Leading Contenders: George Gleason Huntington Beach (SS) 4:09.02 & Eric Armes Coronado (SDS) 4:11.81
State Meet Record: German Fernandez Riverbank (SJS) 4:00.29

Last season, Austin Tamagno of Brea Olinda as a sophomore doubled at the CA state meet and finished in 2nd in the 1600 and a very solid 6th in the 3200. This year, Tamagno comes into this meet focusing on only the 1600 due to recent illness and it's first place or bust for him. George Gleason of Huntington Beach finished 2nd to Tamagno at the SS Masters meet and will aim to finish one spot higher at state. Other finalists who will keep Tamagno honest include San Diego Section champion Eric Armes of Coronado and Bonita sophomore Dillon Beckum and keep an eye on Central Coast Section champion Johain Ounadjela of Carlmont who won't be afraid to mix it up with the Southern runners and has a strong finish.

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