California's Girls Track and Field Team of the Year

As most California teams approached the league championship seasons, several girls' teams were deemed as contenders to win the coveted state team title.

The first contending team was not as a surprise as they have won a record 15 state team titles on the girls side with their last one in 2017. They have also won 10 boys state team titles to boot which is also a state record. With seven state titles during the past 10 years, Long Beach Poly was definitely a factor once again this season.

Calabasas was the second team mentioned among the contenders and most prognosticators picked them as the heavy favorites to claim their first state team crown.  Unfortunately, Calabasas had two athletes as well as their state-leading 4x100 relay team disqualified at their league championship meet which put a huge dent in their chase.

The third team mentioned among the favorites was ironically the team that hosts the California State Track and Field Championship meet, Buchanan. With the suddenly depleted Calabasas team, Buchanan rose as the slight favorite and needed a near perfect State Meet to also claim their first state team title.


  • TRIVIA QUESTION: Without looking, what Central Section school won the last girls' state team title? (answer below)

At the State Meet, the trials were fairly uneventful for most of the contenders. The finals started well for the host team as they finished in 2nd place in the 4x100 relay with a time of 46.75. Following that relay, senior Meagen Lowe roared to a personal best of 4:43.61 to finish in 2nd place and score eight important team points. Out on the field, senior Haley Abirached sailed past 40 feet on her final attempt in the triple jump with a personal-record leap of 40-03.25 to finish in 2nd place.

The stunning moment for Buchanan was the 200 meters. Senior Shelby Daniele (photo below courtesy of Alta Sierra) was among the top sprinters in the state but may not have been considered among the favorites to win either of the sprint races. Following a strong start, Daniele came off the turn with the leaders and eventually surged away from the field for the win. The Buchanan contingent on the infield erupted to celebrate the improbable victory.

Then junior Corie Smith and Lowe finished in 2nd and 3rd, respectively, in the 3200 meters as Buchanan locked up the team title with 50 points.

For their amazing State Meet performance, the Buchanan girls are without a doubt, our 2019 California Girls Team of the Year.


TRIVIA ANSWER: Bakersfield HS was the last Central Section team to win the state title way back in 1990.


Inserted photo above: Buchanan coach Brian Weaver hugs Shelby Daniele following her 200m victory. (Kirby Lee/Image of Sport)