Mid-season showcase set for Clovis Invitational


Buchanan's Corie Smith and Great Oak's Tori Gaitan ran together for a bit at the '18 Clovis Invitational before Gaitan pulled away to win. Smith, third last fall, looms as the runner to beat in '19. (Credit: DeAnna Turner)

The girls home course advantage clearly goes to Buchanan senior Corie Smith, who could be looking to put some demons to rest when she takes the line on Saturday.

Smith has been second and third each of the last two years at the Clovis Invitational. Following her runner-up finish as a sophomore, where she ran what remains her 5K PR of 17:05.30, she went on to win the State Division I title. But last year, after placing third at Clovis, health kept her from taking the line in defense of her State Meet crown. 

Smith, as we now know, was dealing with an iron deficiency issue that was discovered and resolved in plenty of time for her to win the 3200-meter State title on the track last May.

So far in the fall of 2019, Smith ran away with the victory at Woodbridge in 16:04.80, which sits as CA No. 2 and U.S. No. 3, and cruised to a 17:22.01 at the Douglas P. Rudolf 5K that sits CA No. 2. 

While Smith will clearly be in it to win it, will she get enough push to challenge Amber Trotter's 2001 meet record of 16:55. Ummm, most definitely!

Carlie Dorostkar, a senior at Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego, who was 10th here last year (17:56.20), has exhibited tremendous year-over-year improvement and currently ranks U.S. No. 1 for 3 miles following her stunning 15:57.50 on a fast and familiar layout at Dana Hills. 

Riley Chamberlain, a sophomore at Loomis Del Oro (SJ), was second at Clovis last year (17:12.70, 5K PR) and followed that a month and a half later by winning the State Meet Division III title in 17:18.60. So far in 2019, Chamberlain was off the lead at Woodbridge, placing 16th while running a 3-mile PR of 16:52.90, and finished second on the 5K layout at the Capital Cross Challenge in 17:29.10. 

The surprising winner that day in Sacramento was Folsom Vista del Lago sophomore Alexandra Klos, a newcomer to the sport, who blazed the 5K in a 17:20.70 time that ranks CA No. 1 heading into Clovis. 

Great Oak senior Tori Gaitan, who won here last fall in 17:09.70, subsequently lost her junior year track season because of growth-spurt related issues and, although she's still running No. 1 for the Wolfpack, Coach Soles said she's not yet 100 percent back. Still, Gaitan ran 18:08.60 for 18th on the WakeMed Soccer Complex 5K course at Great American and 16:59.70 for 20th on the 3-mile layout for Woodbridge at SilverLakes. 

With Gaitan running lead, Great Oak responded from a disappointing third at Woodbridge (won by Buchanan on a sixth-runner tiebreaker) to do what its boys did at Great American, and knock off nationally ranked teams like Loudoun Valley and Fort Lauderdale (FL) Pine Crest

For record purposes, the team time course record for girls is 89:13 set by Great Oak at the 2015 State Meet and the Clovis Invitational meet standard is 89:43 set by Great Oak in 2014. 

Here's a look at Clovis Invitational Championship Race team and individual entries (plus some notes used by the guest on MileSplit Live! this week)

Time:8:55 AM9:30 AM
Brea OlindaBuchanan 
Buchanan - Corie Smith (17:22.01)Burbank 
Burbank SSCalifornia (Whittier)

Canyon Crest Academy - Carlie Dorostkar (17:42.70 / '18 State (5th))Capistrano Valley
Capistrano Valley - Carly Corsinita (17:59.90 / '18 State (7th))Clovis North - Isaiah Galindo (15:12.60)
Carlmont - Kaimei Gescuk (17:56.30 / '18 State (10th))Clovis West
Clovis WestCrescenta Valley
El ToroDana Hills - 

Foothill TechnologyDavis
Granada Hills - Sofia Abrego 18:22.30 at Nike PortlandDublin - Christopher Middleton-Pearson (15:14.40 '18 State)
Great Oak - Tori Gaitan (18:08.60 / 17:09.70 pr for 1st '18 Clovis)   - Audrey Dang (18:14.80) - Aishling Fabian (18:18.80) - Kelli Gaffney (18:20.10)El Toro
Laguna BeachFoothill Tech
Mayfield - Audrey Suarez (17:44.70 / '18 State (1st D-IV))Great Oak - Chris Verdugo (15:10.20) - Cole Sawires Yager (15:15.50) - Gabe Abbes (15:17.40) - John Worthy (15:22.10) - Aric Reza (15:24.60) 

Mission ViejoHighland (Palmdale)
Newbury Park - Fiona Hawkins (18:28.80 '18 Clovis)Jesuit - Matt Strangio (14:39.90/US No. 8; 15:04.50 '18 State/ 1st D-I)
Palos Verdes - Savannah Scriven (16:28.90, 6th Woodbridge)Maria Carrillo
Quartz HillNewbury Park - Nico Young 14:59.20 ('18 State/ 1st D-II); -Jace Aschbrenner 14:04.80-  Nick Goldstein 
14:25.60 -
Serrano - Tiani Goeson (18:04.80 '18 Clovis); Maribel Aguilar (18:18.60)Quartz Hill

Simi ValleyRidgeview - '18 State D-III team champs; Alex Cuevas 15:30.00 ('18 CI)
St Francis (Mt View)Royal
St. Francis (Sac) - Isabella Fauria (18:05.60 / '18 State (10th) - Cate Joaquin (18:13.80 / '18 State (15th))San Clemente
Vista Del Lago - Alexandra Klos (17:20.70); '18 State D-III team champsSt Francis (Mt View)
West RanchTorrey Pines

West (Torrance) Joshua Murray 14:32.10 for 3m
Anni Salz - Torrey PinesAmir Barka - Sir Francis Drake
Carissa Buchholz - South TahoeAnthony Grover - J Serra - 15:17.80 ('18 Clovis)

Hana Catsimanes - San Clemente (18:07.80 '18 State; 16:44.90 fo 3M at DH)
Caleb Niednagel - La Costa Canyon -15:07.30 ('18 State)
Harper McClain-St Helena - 16:23.90 3m, CA No. 3Dylan Gatua - West Ranch 15:23.70 at '18 State
Lauren Soobian - Los Altos (17:49.30) No. 1 Frosh CA for 5KIsaiah Givens - Pasadena
Riley Chamberlain - Del Oro (17:29.10/ 17:12.70 pr 2nd '18 Clovis)Jake Richardson - Point Loma
Erika Nyberg - Clovis EastLeo Daschbach-Highland AZ - U.S. No. 1 (14:14.26) 

Miliana Perez - Clovis NorthLyle Rumon-Marin Catholic
Montana Montgomery - Tahoe Truckee

All inserted photos from the 2018 Clovis Invitational by DeAnna Turner.