State Meet Preview: Division IV

Girls Division IV Preview

Skyler Wallace leads a Sage Creek team that is looking to defend its State Meet title while coming off a perfect score at the San Diego Section Championships. (Credit: Lizette Adams)


Individual Competition

Audrey Suarez (Mayfield) is the defending D4 state champion, and she will absolutely be in contention again this weekend. However, I am giving the nod to a pair of runners who have been dominant in their respective sections (and in major invitationals) all season. Allen, in fact, has not lost a single race this season, most recently clocking 17:27 at the NCS finals while winning by almost 40 seconds. Wallace, for her part, has been a force this fall, with her best race coming as she pushed herself to a 17:28 at Mt. SAC (4th best for the meet despite not going head-to-head with the top 3). Suarez was pushed by Brooke Secreto (Foothill Tech) in the Southern Section final but came away with the win in exactly the same time as last year, which could be a harbinger that she is ready to repeat. In addition to Secreto, keep your eye on Wallace's Sage Creek teammate Lavanya Pandey, who broke 17 for 3 Miles at Dana Hills. Anna Weirich (Harker) could be a sleeper candidate for a top 5 finish after running away with the CCS title on a tough Crystal Springs course, showing the ability to break 18 at Woodward this weekend. The Southern Section has its usual complement of podium contenders, starting with Diane Molina (Costa Mesa) and including Sophia Gutierrez (Orange Lutheran), among others. Another interesting athlete to watch: Covina's Katelyn Vuong, who has posted some huge times this season but seemed to have an off-day last weekend. If she rebounds well, she could make the top 10 while also helping her team contend for a top 5 finish.


Team competition

California has been blessed with an abundance of excellent D4 girls teams this year, which is great for fans but frustrating for some of the championship caliber squads out there. Orange Lutheran, for example, posted a dominant win the CIF-SS Finals last weekend, averaging 18:33 with a 1:11 1-5 split. Any other year, that would establish them as the favorite at the state meet! Menlo School has already run fast enough times to eclipse the marks of last year's state champion, putting up a 19:02 average at Crystal Springs with  miniscule 14-second 1-6 split (in what was clearly NOT an all-out effort by the team). Menlo is good enough not just to be considered a favorite in most years, but to actually be one of the better D4 teams in recent history! And yet, defending champion Sage Creek still looms as the favorite for the team title this year with a team that has its eyes on an NXN bid, which would be an enormous accomplishment for such a small school. The Bobcats just swept the top 7 spots in the San Diego Section final, with a ludicrous 18:23 team average (at Morley Field!) that shows they are well ahead of last year's 18:48 at the state meet.

As if the battle between the top 3 teams wasn't awesome enough, there are a number of challengers for the top 5 that bear watching. Laguna Beach, Covina, and Mayfield are all capable teams from the Southern Section, and you should not count out El Segundo or Foothill Technology (who were 2nd and 3rd, respectively, last year). Piedmont, a team that has been off the radar for many around the state this year, should also be in the hunt on Saturday after claiming the NCS title with a strong and deep performance. This is shaping up to be an outstanding two-tiered team race!


Inserted photo courtesy of Michelle Cox


State Girls 5K Individual Leaders in Division IV (Full list)

State Girls 5K Team Leaders in Division IV (Full list)

1Sage Creek (SD) (CA)49
1) Skyler Wallace17:56.302
2) Lavanya Pandey18:06.004
3) Stormy Wallace18:16.305
4) Malia Leupold18:21.608
5) Madeline Mack19:18.9030
Average Time: 18:23.82 Total Time: 1:31:59.10 1-5 Split: 1:22.60
6) Katya Sumwalt19:30.6043
7) Natalie Huestis19:37.5059
2Menlo School (CC) (CA)182
1) Kyra Pretre18:30.2010
2) Marisa Castagna19:22.0032
3) Katie Aufricht19:24.8034
4) Cameron Boom19:32.0045
5) Amanda Foster19:41.5061
Average Time: 19:18.10 Total Time: 1:36:30.50 1-5 Split: 1:11.30
6) Alexandra Mccusker20:47.43139
7) Grace Tang21:02.40162
3Orange Lutheran (SS) (CA)246
1) Sophia Gutierrez18:35.1013
2) Nicole Meyer19:15.6027
3) Sophia Gibson19:23.5033
4) Lauren Landrith19:52.2070
5) Ishani Hansji20:21.40103
Average Time: 19:29.56 Total Time: 1:37:27.80 1-5 Split: 1:46.30
6) Katrina Reta20:38.00125
7) Parker Para20:40.00128
4Mayfield (G) (SS) (CA)271
1) Audrey Suarez18:25.409
2) Emma Cadena19:16.4028
3) Cameron Gomez19:45.8064
4) Maggie Kiechler19:48.3068
5) Cecelia Kvochak20:21.00102
Average Time: 19:31.38 Total Time: 1:37:36.90 1-5 Split: 1:55.60
6) Sophia Serrano21:45.50237
7) Natalie Miera23:02.60389
5Piedmont High (NC) (CA)340
1) Sophia Zalewski18:34.1012
2) Margaret Black19:36.4055
3) Aya Troyer20:11.9087
4) Ellie Black20:14.3092
5) Adri Mcauliffe20:14.7094
Average Time: 19:46.28 Total Time: 1:38:51.40 1-5 Split: 1:40.60
6) Mara Lovric20:37.60123
7) Molly Mcweeny21:39.60225