Senior State Championship: Northern Section Championships

Seniors-Only Northern Section Championships Highlights

100 Dash

On the boys' side, Dante Jackson (Pleasant Valley) runs away with the title, clocking a wind-legal sub-10.9 time. The girls' race, however, is a real barn burner: Melody Wu (Foothill Palo Cedro) is closing hard on quick-starting Alisha McFall (Yreka) until Wu runs out of real estate, finishing second.

200 Dash

The positions switch in this race, with Jackson under pressure from Damon Uribe (University Preparatory) the whole race. Uribe lost out on the lone qualifying spot to the state meet by 0.01 seconds in 2019, and he has been training for the rematch ever since. The two battle through the curve and down the stretch as Uribe's sheer determination allows him to edge out his rival and take the win. Meanwhile, Zoey Bishop (Foothill Palo Cedro) has this event on lock down as she breaks 25 to claim the crown, with teammate Wu the closest challenger. 

400 Dash

If anything, Bishop is even more dominant in this race than in the 200: she posts a solid 58 while easing up at the end, keeping her a full second ahead of second-place Mary Blaugh (Chico). Tyler Carey (Foothill Palo Cedro) is pushed for much of the race by Jacob Weldon (Paradise) before pulling away over the final 40 meters to win the title. 

800 Run

This race is a tale of two commanding wins, as Nahkia Clements (Chico) and Patrick Roehling (Paradise) both leave no doubt as they move on to the state meet. Given how much time Clements dropped at the end of last season, it's not out of the question for her to close on 2:15 next week. Dylan Tindell (Foothill Palo Cedro) is the only one that stays remotely close to Roehling in the boys' race.

1600 Run

The boys' race is one of the most exciting of the meet, with three competitors still in the front group at the bell. Nick Torres (Enterprise) and Hunter Dougherty (Chico) pull away from Alexis Ramirez (Mt. Shasta) over the final 400, and they're still shoulder to shoulder all the way down the final stretch. In the end, Torres holds off Dougherty by less than a tenth of a second to return to the state meet. The girls's race quickly develops into a duel between Rize Oliveira (Foothill Palo Cedro) and Jennifer Ruiz (Modoc). Oliveira proves too strong, separating on the third lap and winning by five seconds as she breaks 5:20.

3200 Run

Both races are very competitive, with multiple legitimate contenders. Luke Bland (Shasta) forces the pace early and through the middle laps, hoping to tire out Torres and Ramirez (Bland is on fresh legs after skipping the 1600). He is unsuccessful, leading to a final 800 in which the lead changes several times. Bland makes his final move with 300 to go, but Ramirez is able to withstand the charge and pull away in the home stretch for the win. The lead pack in the girls' race is even larger, with four girls battling across all eight laps. Emma Flynn (Foothill Palo Cedro), Ruiz, and Linde Larson (Shasta) must have had flashbacks to the section cross country championship, in which they finished 8th, 9th, and 10th. They are joined by Alondra Swangler (Paradise), with the lead changing a few times in the first six laps. That's when it starts to get wild: Larson takes the lead with 800 to go; Ruiz is content to stay on the back of the group, confident in her closing speed. All four runners are still in contact coming off the final curve, and Ruiz's strategy pays off as she kicks past the crowd to take the win, leading the entire crew well under 12 minutes.

100 Hurdles

This is just a tune-up for Hailey Fune (Chico), and she takes full advantage, clocking a new PR under 14.3 as she aims to make the finals at the state meet. Teammate Sophie Hanf holds on for second over two seconds back, scoring big points for her team. Cooper Overton (University Preparatory) isn't as overwhelmingly dominant as Fune, but he wins comfortably to move on to the state meet; Nate Friesen takes the silver to complete a 1-2 sweep to match the girls' race.

300 Hurdles

Overton makes it two relatively easy wins in two races, pulling away from the field over the final three hurdles to break 40 and win by three seconds over Kye Carter (Enterprise). On the girls' side we see a repeat of the 2019 section final: Maddie Steele (West Valley) and Addie Galantine (Corning) dueling all the way to the finish. Neither athlete has her steps perfect for all 8 hurdles, but Galantine nails the last one to slip by and avenge her narrow loss from last spring.

Long Jump

The girls' competition is a back and forth affair between Grace Dudley (Foothill Palo Cedro) and Amber Kurth (Orland), with each holding the lead at some point. Things get even more intense when Maddie Kunkle (Sutter) pops a big jump on her fifth attempt to leap past both of them. Dudley responds on her final jump, taking the title by a mere 0.75 inches. Justin Pulsifer (CORE Butte Charter) defends his crown, looking dominant as he wins by over a foot. He has a legitimate chance to make the finals next week, if he can crack the 22 foot mark that has been frustratingly close for him all spring.

Triple Jump

Johnny Holmes (Oroville) has had a great senior season, improving three feet over his 2019 marks - but it isn't quite enough to get him past Peter Mak (Redding Christian). Mak goes over 40 feet again to claim the title. On the girls' side, nobody was going to get past Fune, who is able to take the win with just three jumps.

High Jump

Fune dropped the high jump in the championship season last year, but with a best of 5-4 this spring she stays in the event, and she will have a chance to make the state final if she remains consistent. Rachael Wyhlidko (Foothill Palo Cedro) clears 5-2 to close out her senior season with a second place finish. In similar fashion, Cameron Nolen (Pleasant Valley) takes the win in the boys' competition, holding off Holmes.

Pole Vault

Malachy Bryan (Mt. Shasta) clears 14-6 for the first time, providing a strong challenge to favorite Layton Paloutzian (Foothill Palo Cedro). Paloutzian would have won the tiebreaker, but he makes it official by getting his first 15 footer. The multi-talented duo of Galantine and Dudley also jump well, but Allaya Magee (Shasta) is not to be denied today - she gets over 11 to punch her ticket to the state meet.

Shot Put

Subrina Tuitele (Pleasant Valley) dominates the girls' competition, breaking 40 feet in her tune-up for the state meet. Her teammate Josh Andersen cracks the 45-foot barrier in an effort to prevent a Lassen sweep of the top two spots; he succeeds in getting past Josh Harlow, but Bradley Woods goes 46 to take the title.


Mitch Barker (East Nicolaus) and Chris Soderlund (Wheatland Union) stage quite a duel in this event, trading the lead back and forth several times before Soderlund edges in front on his 5th attempt to claim the crown. Tuitele earns the double win, throwing over 125 feet in the process.