The voters have spoken and first-round results are in from the Greatest Girls Distance Runner of the Decade poll tournament.
Runners from the top two ranking groups -- the top eight seeds -- all advanced. It was in the group of 9-12 that was beset by upsets with Sarah Baxter, Elena Denner and Sarah Robinson all being ousted. In the case of Baxter, the three-time State Meet 3200m champion from Simi Valley (SS), she was eliminated by 2021 Chino Hills star Jacqueline Duarte in the highest volume matchup of the 16 in the first round.
Duarte, the 2019 State 1600m champion, was the highest overall vote-getter -- 46 more than runner-up Meagen Lowe, also a first-round winner -- while Baxter ranked fifth in overall voting among the 32 athletes.
While Elena Denner, the 2018 State Meet 3200m champion, was knocked out, her twin sister Maddy -- a two-time State 1600m champion and 3200m runner-up -- was a 20-vote winner over three-time State 800m champion Amy Weissenbach.
The Maddy Denner-Amy Weissenbach matchup was one of six decided by 20 votes or fewer. The tightest race saw Anna Maxwell -- the 2016 State 1600m champion and the top-ranked 800m/1600m combo runner of the decade -- advance past two-time State 800m champion Alyssa Brewer by just seven votes!
While the Denner twins weren't able to advance to the second round together, the O'Keeffe sisters -- Fiona and Olivia -- were.
While two former Great Oak teammates, Destiny Collins and Haley Dorris, did advance, two former La Costa Canyon teammates, Kristin Fahy and McKenna Brown, did not move on together. Fahy, the 2019 State 3200m champion, was voted into the second round.
This tournament is designed to recognize the top combined distance runners on the track over the past decade. Be sure to follow along and vote for your favorites.
- Destiny Collins (Great Oak/SS/2016) defeated Chloe Curtis (Redondo Union/SS/2010), 84.17%-15.29%
- Nikki Hiltz (Aptos/CC/2013) defeated McKenna Brown (La Costa Canyon/SD/2018), 53.14%-46.86%
- Jacqueline Duarte (Chino Hills/SS/2021) defeated Sarah Baxter (Simi Valley/SS/2014), 64.27%-35.73%
- Olivia O'Keeffe (Davis/SJ/2018) defeated Erica Schroeder (San Marcos/SS/2017), 74.22%-25.78%
- Fiona O'Keeffe (Davis/SJ/2016) defeated Mia Barnett (Crescenta Valley*/SS/2021), 71.75%-28.25%
- Rylee Bowen (Sonoma Academy/NC/2018) defeated Laura Hollander (Marina/SS/2012), 54.67%-45.33%
- Alli Billmeyer (Torrey Pines/SD/2011) defeated Sarah Robinson (Gunn/CC/2014), 53.09%-46.91%
- Mariah Castillo (Saugus/SS/2018) defeated Marissa Williams (Palisades/LA/2015), 84.04%-15.96%
- Bethan Knights (Northwood/SS/2014) defeated Molly Grabill (Rancho Bernardo/S/2011), 60.29%-39.71%
- Amanda Gehrich (Tesoro/SS/2016) defeated Cami Chapus (Harvard Westlake/SS/2012), 54.37%-45.63%
- Haley Dorris (Great Oak/SS/2014) defeated Elena Denner (Oak Ridge/SJ/2018), 55.48%-44.52%
- Claudia Lane (Malibu/SS/2019) defeated Audrey Suarez (Mayfield/SS/2021) 84.4%-15.6%
- Anna Maxwell (San Lorenzo Valley/CC/2014) defeated Alyssa Brewer (California/NC/2018) 51.83%-48.17%
- Kristin Fahy (La Costa Canyon/SD/2019) defeated Haley Herberg (Capistrano Valley/SS/2018) 63.79%-36.21%
- Meagen Lowe (Buchanan/CS/2019) defeated Katherine Delaney (JSerra/SS/2011), 78.91%-21.09%
- Maddy Denner (Oak Ridge/SJ/2018) defeated Amy Weissenbach (Harvard Westlake/SS/2012), 54.9%-45.1%
*--Barnett attended Village Christian (SS) her first two years before transferring to Crescenta Valley for the spring of 2020.
- Collins vs. Hiltz
- Duarte vs. O. O'Keeffe
- F. O'Keeffe vs. Bowen
- Billmeyer vs. Castillo
- Knights vs. Gehrich
- Dorris vs. Lane
- Maxwell vs. Fahy
- Lowe vs. M.Denner