Week in Review: Engelhardt Wins USATF Title

Ventura eighth-grader Sadie Englehardt (2183 in blue) traveled out of state on consecutive weekends to win back-to-back age group national 4000-meter titles. (Photo: Adair Lyden)

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Updated 12/17 to add Diablo Valley TC results

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Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and continued record-setting spread of the virus, California cross country and track and field athletes continue to find opportunities to compete and record times. Over the past week or so, dozens of CA runners took to roads, tracks and courses to test their fitness against the clock, and in some cases, other athletes. 

Grabbing the headline for a second consecutive week is Sadie Engelhardt, a 14-year-old eighth grader at Cabrillo Middle School in Ventura, whose venture this week took her to Kentucky for the USATF National Junior Olympics. There, Engelhardt, competing in the 13-14 age category, won the Girls 4000-meter race while leading Valley United Track Club to the divisional team title. 

Engelhardt covered the 4K course in 14:31.59, 15.61 faster than runner-up Alexis Leone of Whisper Running. Engelhardt was second a year ago when the meet was held in Madison, WI. 

Tiffany Sax was 10th overall (15:24.27) as Valley United TC rolled to a 32-point victory over Multisport Explosion in the team competition. Other scorers for Valley United TC were Cynthia Herrera (23rd in 15:54.53), Jacelyn Gonzaga (29th in 16:08.49) and Arden Keeton (40th in 16:27.78).

The week before, Engelhardt won the 13-14 age group 4K at the AAU National Cross Country Championships in Tallahassee, FL, running 13:19.82.

Also at the USATF Nats in Paris, KY over the weekend, Alex Mainvielle, a senior at West Torrance HS (SS), placed ninth in the Boys 15-18 division as the top CA finisher. Mainvielle, representing Pacific Coast Shockwaves, ran the 5K course in 15:50.45.

Other top finishers at USATF JOs:

  • Taye Newman of Pacific Coast Shockwaves, was 23rd in the boys 13-14 4K (14:16.42). Andrew Burr of Buffalo Chips Running was 29th in that same race (14:27.11). 
  • Also representing Buffalo Chips Running: Giuliana Martino was 13th in the Girls 9-10 3K (12:35.43). 
  • Also representing Valley United TC: Daniel Lopez was 25th in the Boys 7-8 2K (8:20.29); Kirsten Theobald was 22nd in the Girls 9-10 3K (12:59.07) and Kristen Theobald was 39th (13:19.35); Kaylie Theobald was 46th in Girls 11-12 3K (12:19.76).
  • Representing Diablo Valley Track: A pair of juniors from College Park (NC) High were among the top 17 in the Girls 15-18 division 5K as Lindsey Reed placed 11th in 19:01.75 and Marlo Taylor was 17th in 19:17.28. College Park sophomore Grace Reed placed 34th (20:15.03).

In time trials and other one-off events held in CA over the past 10 days: 

  • Stockton Lincoln senior Ethan Hart ran 16:05.0 for the top 5K time on the boys side of at PR Challenge. Trinity Claydon, a junior at Aptos St. Abraham's Classical went 24:40.0 as the top time on the girls side. 
  • At the Alta Sierra Middle School 3200m time trial which featured future Buchanan High Bears, eighth grader Max Jauregui, went 10:39.86 followed by a pair of seventh graders, Andrew Castello (10:56.36) and Matthew Castello (11:12.96). Two Alta Sierra MS girls ran sub-11 led by eighth grader Elle Lomeli (10:51.36) and seventh grader Taylor Torosian (10:52.46). 
  • The perennially strong distance program at Chico was on display Friday with a two-mile time trial led by star junior Mario Giannini's 9:58.8. Seniors Liam Sehorn (10:33.2) and Jack Hervey (10:41.8) were next among 15 boys. 
  • On the girls side, the 12-runner trial was quite tight among the top five, as a trio of juniors all clocked within 0.7 seconds of each other and the top five were within 6.0. The top four finishers are all juniors: Iresh Molina (13:07.2), Una Griffith (13:07.5), Della Molina (13:07.9) and Tori Mackay (13:08.2). Sophomore Dorothy Clemente was fifth (13:13.2) followed by another sophomore, Ella Solecki (13:22.4). 
  • Junior Drew Gladwell ran 10:21.5 to lead a 3200m time trail at Oak Ridge (SJ). Senior James Gezi (10:44.3), junior Nathan Conover (11:01.2) and freshman Luke Carroll (11:11.1) round out the top four among boys. Senior Tiana Oliver (11:42.8), junior Ava Maier (11:52.5) and a trio of sophomores -- Quinn Walker (12:02.4), Brooke Butler (12:12.0), and Loralye Clements (12:17.2) -- round out the top five. 
  • At the Orange Street Holiday 3200m at Placer County Track, junior Riley Chamberlain (Del Oro/SJ) clocked 10:24.84 followed by junior Cate Joaquin (St. Francis/SJ) in 10:39.18. Junior Natalie Wieland (Ponderosa/SJ) was next in 11:10.98, followed by freshman Angie Gutierrez (11:40.38) and Del Oro senior Hannah Wirth (11:47.56). Del Oro sophomore Avery Covington posted the only 1600m time, 5:41.42.
  • Chamberlain is one CA's top distance runners. She was fourth in the 3200m at the CIF-State Track Championships in 2019, running her PR of 10:21.31. She is the top returner in CA for the eight-lapper and among the nation's top returners at that distance. Joaquin's in-season PR for 3200m is 10:47.79 run at the 2019 Stanford Invitational. Wieland was fourth for 3200m at the CIF-SJS Finals, running her PR of 10:59.01.
  • At the KDP Time Trial last Wednesday at Rio Americano, freshman Kayla Towne ran 1600m in 5:30.6 followed by sophomores Daphne Witherell (5:33.8) and Paige Quigley (5:34.1). All three girls represented Sacramento Valley Endurance. 
  • That same club sponsored a Holiday 5K a week ago Sunday at Sutter's Landing where Jadan Wenceslao ran 17:42.4 as the top time in the Boys 17-18 age category. Wenceslao is a senior at Woodside Priory (CC) in Portola Valley. Other age category winners -- 13-14: John Funderburg IV (17:44.6); 15-16: Sam Nealon (18:21.9); 11-12: Chase Brinzer (22:35.9); 9-10: Matteo Galizio (24:25.9), and 7-8: Niegel Mansouri (27:52.3).
  • Girls age group winners were -- 15-16: Grace Dunham (20:06.7); 13-14: Maeve Mahony (19:05.5); 11-12: Gianna Mansouri (23:23.2); 9-10: Lily Fowler (24:01.2), and 7-8: Elleanora Giglini (35:55.8).