Year In Review: Headlines and Newsmakers In 2020

Like ominous storm clouds, the COVID-19 pandemic hung over 2020 and dominated every aspect of high school track and field and cross country from the middle of March through the end of December. While hope for a return to play continued to be washed away as the virus surged across the Golden State, athletes and coaches, organizers and parents somehow found opportunities among the raindrops for competitions, time trials, and any way possible to keep the faith. 

Below is a month-by-month sampling of headlines, headliners and newsmakers that shaped the year that was, 2020: A year of heartbreak, hope, disappointment, and achievement. 


20 -- Callahan, Toney Soar As CA Vaulter Rule Summit


22 -- Westlake's Paige Sommers Soars To 14-6 CA Pole Vault Record


13 -- Multiple Events Canceled; Coronavirus Related Updates

15 -- CDC Recommends Limits On Gatherings For Next 8 Weeks

17 -- State Commissioners Not Ready To Cancel Spring Season

31 -- Hope For Return Of Spring Sports Takes Another Hit


4 -- Matt Strangio Chases That Elusive Sub-4

7 -- Boys Virtual TF Championship: Mission Viejo vs. Trabuco Hills

8 -- Girls Virtual TF Championship: Buchanan vs. Santa Margarita

17 -- Historical Crystal Springs Course In Danger Of Closing Forever


8 -- Track Athletes Dominate CIF Spirit Of Sport Honors

11 -- Oakland's Wikstrom Selected CIF Scholar Athlete Of The Year

11 -- Poll: Saugus Grad Mariah Castillo Voted Decade's Top Girls Distance Runner

21 -- Poll: Big Bear Grad Caleb Webb Voted Decade's Top Boys Distance Runner

23 -- Leo Daschbach Becomes 11th High Schooler To Break 4 In Mile (race video; Event at Oak Ridge HS included CA boys)


7 -- Sommers, Colella Soar At Big Red Barn Pole Vault Meet

12 -- CIF Commissioners Push Decision on Fall Sports To July

13 -- John Lester Drops Third-Fastest Junior 800m Ever

23 -- Breaking Down John Lester's Elite 800m Win At Desert Dream

23 -- Newbury Park's Nico Young Runs Fourth-Fastest 5K In History

25 -- Paige Sommers Named Gatorade's Top CA Girls T&F Athlete

27 -- Leah Pasqualetti Smashes PV National Record With 14-8.25 (Event at Vaulter Club Facility in CA included Paige Sommers also clearing 14-feet)

29 -- Nico Young Named Gatorade's Top CA Boys T&F Athlete


2 -- Record-Setting Girls Pole Vault Competition At Big Red Barn (video)

2 -- Nico Young Becomes Gatorade's First Male Double POY Winner

4 -- John Lester Runs Away With Independence Day Mile

13 -- CA's Largest School Districts Commit To Fall Classes Online

16 -- XC Team Nationals Officially Canceled For 2020

17 -- Fall Classes Will Start Online For Most CA Schools

20 -- CIF Delays All Sports, Condenses Seasons

21 -- Tentative 2020-21 Cross County, Track and Field Schedules

22 -- Rob Wigod: Focus Was Always On Student-Athletes


1 -- Meacham, Brown, Starkey Highlight High School Pole Vault Nationals

8 -- Strong Day for Californians At AAU Junior Olympics

8 -- Watch Ventura Teen Sadie Engelhardt Set AAU 1500m Record (video)

10 -- Golden Moments For Californians At AAU JOs

20 -- Saugus Coach Rene Paragas Retires After Years of Dominance

22 -- Coaches Scrambling and Adjusting To New Schedules


1 -- Deep Dive Into Sadie Engelhardt's AAU National Record

2 -- Impressive Time Trials To Finish Off The Summer

21 -- Poll: Claudia Reigns As Greatest XC Champion


2 -- Foot Locker Nationals Is Canceled For 2020

3 -- Newbury Park Dominates Desert Twilight Club Sweeps Race

8 -- Top CA Boys At Desert Twilight XC Festival

9 -- Ranking CA Girls At Desert Twilight XC Festival

26 -- Trio From Bellarmine Prep All Going NCAA DI

27 -- Stormy Wallace Leads CA Runners At AZ Showdown

31 -- Poll: Nico Young Officially The GOAT As Greatest XC Champion


8 -- Harper McClain Runs 16:48 In 5K Time Trial

12 -- CA Awaiting Guidelines For Return To Sports


1 -- State Championships Canceled; Season Start On Hold

2 -- Remembering Olympic Long Jump Medalist Arnie Robinson

4 -- Legendary Coach Ken Reeves Retires (Our Interview)

6 -- Newbury Park Boys Soar As CA Boys Excel Out Of State

7 -- Newbury Park Shifted At A Moment's Notice, Then Made History

11 -- Don't Give Up Hope Says CIF-SS Commissioner

12 -- Who's No. 1? No Season, No Problem for Newbury Park

14 -- Week In Review: Engelhardt Wins USATF Title

14 -- Return To Play Guidelines Released - Jan. 25 Start Possible

16 -- CIF Update On Return To Play Guidelines

Thank you for staying with MileSplitCA throughout this most difficult year. We've tried to maintain fresh content on the site, putting the athletes first via profiles, videos, rankings, virtual meets, polls and more.

We look forward to a 2021 with fresh results-based data and a return to what has been rare in CA since March: Competition!

Until then, keep the faith, stay strong, and never stop chasing your dreams.