Winger, Arriola Lead CA Track Athletes At Chicago Indoor

This article was updated on 2/24 at 3:30 p.m. to add detail throughout.

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Zach Winger won one event and placed second in another, Kennie Arriola (pictured) began a whirlwind weekend with a big PR, and Zanae Woods pulled off two top-four finishes in the sprints to lead California track and field athletes who competed last weekend at the CYUP Misfits Invitational indoor meet in Chicago. 

Winger, a senior at Calabasas (SS) High competing for Codeblack Elite, was a narrow winner in the boys 60-meter hurdles and took second in the 300 meter run. 


Arriola, a senior at JSerra (SS) High competing unattached, placed third in the elite boys 1600 on the banked 200-meter oval after taking the lead with 400m (two laps) to go. He maintained that lead until the bell where Drew Rogers (Herscher, IL) and Lucas Guerra (Highland, IN) surged ahead to the finish.

Arriola crossed in 4:13.55 behind Rogers (4:11.77) and Guerra (4:12.72) in what is the fastest top-three finish in the mile among all indoor meets so far this winter. Arriola's time was a 14-second PR for him, said his father, Kennie Arriola Sr., in an email.

"He made a monster move just before 400 to go and made it exciting," Arriola's father wrote. "Probably took off 100 meters too soon but it has opened up a big mental door for him since he's done no speed work and still finished with a 61 close."

The Arriolas hopped on a pre-dawn flight early Saturday back to Southern California in time for Kennie Jr. to take the line with his JSerra cross country team for Saturday's matchup against Santa Margarita as part of a Trinity League Duals meet. There, Arriola had enough left in the tank to cross behind teammate Aidan O'Brien in second place. 

"All he wanted to do on Saturday was finish in front of Santa Margarita's first man as he has a great teammate in Aidan O'Brien (who) took care of his task of finishing first," Arriola Sr. wrote. 

"It was a tough night/morning as (Kennie Jr.) only got 90 minutes of sleep and we had a full flight (5:45 a.m.), so he would have been lucky to get 30 minutes of a decent nap on the plane."

Arriola's 16:34.10 for 3 miles was good enough for fifth overall in the league cross country meet merge. His indoor 1600m performance currently ranks No. 7 in the U.S. with Rogers and Guerra slotting Nos. 3 and 4, respectively.

Woods, a junior at Calabasas, competing for Codeblack Elite, placed third in the 300-meter dash (41.47 -- Delea Martins (Milwaukee, WI) won in 39.51. Woods placed fourth in the 60-meter dash, running 7.93 in the final. 

In the boys 60-meter hurdles final, Winger was stride for stride over the final couple of barriers with Austin Hernandez (Orange City, IA) and got the win with a final surge, crossing in a 8.29 PR. Hernandez was second in 8.32. 

Winger was a narrow runner-up in the 300m, running 35.60 just behind Maxwell Mitchell (Naperville, IL) who won in 35.43. 

Other Codeblack Elite athletes included senior Bella Witt, who, in a test for this weekend's Adidas Nationals, placed fifth in the 300m (41.92). But Witt, a UNLV signee, has been nursing a strained hamstring, will not run at Adidas Nationals this week, coach Jeff Clanagan said.

"We are going to rest her leg so that it fully recovers and get ready for outdoor," he said.

Other Codeblack Elite results included ninth graders Lahela Ray and Zoe Ray, who placed eighth (42.38) and 11th (42.64), respectively, in the 300m; and senior Mya Collins who was seventh in the 60m (8.41) and 13th in the 300m (43.27).

Zoe Ray's 300m time ranks U.S. No. 7 in the freshman class and Lahela Ray is No. 10.


Among other CA athletes who took the line in Chi-Town:

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All photos by Jorge Espinosa.