Weekend Recap: CA Standouts Represent Across U.S.


Tiani Goeson (1) from Phelan Serrano HS competed in the Freshman 2-Mile Run at the New Balance National Outdoor meet in Greensboro, NC. (Mary Ann Magnant photo)


This article has been updated to add the CA Hammer Championships


Boston to Seattle, Greensboro to Escondido and elsewhere, California high school standouts represented the Golden State well this weekend, three weeks removed from the CIF-State Track and Field Championships. 

Let's start in Boston where three girls distance standouts took to the streets in the adidas Dream Mile as part of the Boost Boston Games. 

adidas Boost Boston Games

Audrey Suarez, a sophomore at Pasadena Mayfield (SS) placed third in the 10-runner field (4:48.88) that also included Temecula Great Oak (SS) 2019 graduate Fatima Cortes and Sun Valley Village Christian (SS) sophomore Mia Barnett

According to results splits provided by the event, Cortes, who is headed to Cal, led after the first lap, opening with a 1:09.2 and was still in front at 3:37.1 at the bell. But her 1:14.2 final lap was no match for winner Heidi Nelson's 1:07.5 final lap to win in 4:46.4. 

Cortes' time of 4:51.18 represented a PR and the No. 5 time in CA for the distance. 

Suarez moved up four places after a 1:15.0 second lap and was in second place at the bell. She closed in 1:10.7 and finished third in 4:51.88. Suarez was coming of a 4:45.00 PR for 1600m and a third-place medal at the CIF-State Meet. Her mile time at Boston ranks CA No. 3.

Barnett, coming off a 4:46.12 PR for fourth place in the 1600m final at State, crossed ninth in 5:02.82.  

Brooks PR Invitational 

New California leaders in the 2-mile run were set at the event at Husky Outdoor Stadium at the University of Washington in Seattle. 

Meagen Lowe, a 2019 graduate of Clovis Buchanan (CS) headed to Oregon State, was a double-distance medalist at the State Meet on her home track. She concluded her stellar high school career in Seattle with a sixth-place time of 10:34.05 that tops the state rankings in the 2 mile. 

Matt Strangio, a junior at Sacramento Jesuit (SJ), set the state's season best in the boys 2 mile, running 8:51.00 for fifth place. This 2 mile, a distance rarely run during the outdoor season, produced nine of the 10 fastest times in the U.S. for 2019.

Strangio, one of four juniors in the top five, had previously won the CIF-State title in the 1600 and placed third for 3200. (Pat Rhames file photo)

Two CIF-State champions took the line in the 1 mile run. State 3200 champion Kristin Fahy of La Costa Canyon (SD) placed 11th in 4:51.40 and State 1600 champion Jacqueline Duarte of Chino Hills (SS) was 12th in 4:52.35. Both of those girls had gone faster during the season. Lowe's 4:46.85 from the Mt. SAC Relays remains the CA leader.

Other Californians at Brooks:

  • Jazmyne Frost, a graduate of Gardena Serra (SS) headed to USC, was fourth in the 100 (11.74). A year ago, Frost ran 12.12 here for fifth place.
  • Noah Hibbard, a graduate of El Monte Arroyo who ran the state's fastest 1 mile time of 4:08.69 at the APU Distance Meet of Champions in March, took on the distance for only the second time this year and placed 11th (4:25.76).
  • Solomon Strader, a junior at West Ranch (SS), was second in the 400 46.59, his first time under 47 seconds and the second-fastest time among CA runners this season. That time ranks U.S. No. 10 overall and U.S. No. 6 among boys in the class of 2020. Strader had flirted with 47 low throughout the CIF post-season where he went 47.04 to win SS Masters, 47.11 to win the SS Division 1 and 47.10 for third at State.

  • Ismail Turner, a graduate of Hemet West Valley, was fifth in the 400 (48.04). Turner went 46.74 to win the SS Division 3 title and placed second at Masters.
  • Bella Witt, a sophomore at Calabasas (SS) placed fourth in the 100 hurdles (14.06). Witt's 13.63 wind-legal from Arcadia is the No. 3 overall time in the state this year, best among wind-legal marks, and ranks U.S. No. 3 among wind-legal marks in the class of 2021.

New Balance Nationals Outdoor

There were nearly 30 California athletes IDed among the entries for the massive meet at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro.

Among the standouts:

  • Tiani Goeson, a freshman from Phelan Serrano (SS), placed fourth in the Freshman Girls 2-Mile Run (11:06.26). That time ranks CA No. 1 in the class and U.S. No. 9 in the class.
  • Aidan Elbettar, a junior at Newport Harbor (SS), placed fourth in the discus throw (188-08) and sixth in the shot put with a 63-02 PR. Elbettar's shot put mark ranks CA No. 4 and U.S. No. 6 among boys in the 2020 class. His 193-03 from the SS Division Finals, already ranks as the best discus throw in the U.S. in the class.
  • On the topic of nationally ranked returning throwers, Bakersfield Liberty 2021 Faith Bender placed third in the shot put with a 47-07.25 PR and fourth in the discus (153-02). He shot mark ranks U.S. No. 13 overall and U.S. No. 1 in the class by 2.25 inches. Her PR in the discus of 168-06 ranks U.S. No. 1 in the class. 
  • Jacob Rice, a 2019 graduate of Rancho Bernardo (SD), was eighth in the pole vault with a top clearance of 16-01.25. Rice, second at the State Meet with a PR 16-05, exceed 16 feet in eight of his last nine meets of significance.
  • Justice Fair, a 2019 graduate of Arroyo Grande (CS), placed 12th in the decathlon with 5717 points. 
  • Nick Gammal, a 2019 graduate of Union City James Logan (NC), placed 15th in decathlon with 5407 points.
  • Moorea Mitchell, a junior at Palo Alto Castilleja (CC), won the Emerging Elite Girls hammer throw with a best of 155-11. That mark ranks U.S. No. 7 in the 2020 class. 
  • Warren Williams, a 2019 graduate of Tracy Merrill West (SJ), placed third in the 110 hurdles (13.65/0.5). 
  • Caleb Niednagel, a junior from La Costa Canyon (SD), placed 11th in the 2-mile (9:18.27).

AAU Region 23

At the two-day meet at Orange Glen High in Escondido, a couple of young standouts from the past high school track season were among those qualifying for the AAU Junior Olympic Games later this summer. 

Sofia Abrego, a freshman at Granada Hills Charter (LA) who swept all three distance events at the LA CIty Championships and then ran at the 1600 and 3200 meter finals at the State Meet, took on the 2,000 meter steeplechase here. She said it was just her second time running the race -- albeit this one was without a water jump. She dropped about 14 seconds despite running as the only competitor in the race, crossing in 7:12.87.

Aysha Shaheed, a sophomore at San Diego Madison (SD), who medaled in both the 100 and 200 at State, looked relaxed in breezing to a 100m victory in 12.24. Her 11.57 from winning her second consecutive San Diego Section title, is the top 100m time among returners in the state. 

(Abrego is pictured competing in the steeplechase in the inserted Jeffrey Parenti photo)

California State Hammer Championships

Per the report from www.hmmrmedia.com, this event was held in a dual-site format, aka 'postal meet,' at Delta College in the northern part of the state and Cerritos College in the southern half. 

Christian Johnson, a 2019 graduate of Clovis Buchanan (CS) who has signed with Texas, won the boys competition at 220-03 with Oakdale (SJ) junior Benjamin Chappell second (179-05) and Temecula Great Oak (SS) sophomore James Wright third (172-09) among 22 competitors.

Johnson, who placed second at the State Meet in the discus throw and sixth in the shot put, now ranks CA No. 1 and U.S. No. 6 in the hammer. His mark is equal to the No. 6 throw in state history. 

In the girls competition, a trio of 2019 graduates topped the results of 22 competitors, led by Emma Robbins of Anaheim Esperanza (SS)  won the event with a best of 172-07. Earlier in the spring, she threw 179-07, which ranks U.S. No. 4.

Jocelynn Budwig of Fowler (CS), the state champion in the shot put and discus throw, was second (155-04) and Madison King of Pitman (SJ) was third (144-03). 

(Johnson is pictured in the inserted DeAnna Turner file photo)