Updated 5/6 at 8 p.m. to reflect Garrett Brown's pole vault improvement
The 53rd Arcadia Invitational is ON, it's LOADED and it may be the closest event we have to a track and field state championship as we're going to get in 2021.
Girls 4x100 Relay
We have a great battle on tap here! With seven of the top eight in the state slated to go, only .52 separates most of the field in regard to seasonal bests. State leader Carson brings their 47.36 from a month ago into lane five. The girls of Serra look to chase down Carson (47.70) while Clovis North (47.72) and Long Beach Wilson are tied for fourth in California. The girls of Long Beach Poly (47.87) seek redemption, after finishing behind Wilson in their recent dual meet. The Mustangs of Roosevelt have gone 47.88 on the season, while Buchanan (48.02) looks to ride the vapor in this one and dip below the 48-second standard.
Boys 4x100 Relay
With state-leader Rancho Cucamonga headlining, seven of the top eight squads in California. The Cougars sped to a 41.20 in a dual meet last month and eyeing a sub-41 second performance this weekend. The men of Clovis are ranked second with a 42.12 seasonal best while Central is coming off their best of 42.22 from last weekend. Mater Dei leads Orange County with their 42.41 effort from two weeks ago. Meanwhile, expect to see Upland improve upon their 42.46 seasonal best. Long Beach Poly (42.52), Thousand Oaks (42.54), and Servite (42.54) all look to pull upsets in this one.
Boys 110 Hurdles
Jadyn Marshall, the junior from St. Mary's (SJ) is coming off a 14.13 lifetime best last weekend, elevating him up to the top of the California state rankings. With seven of the top eight in California getting into the blocks, Upland sophomore Kai Graves-Blanks comes in with a wind-legal best of 14.19 from a month ago while Di'Niko Bates of St. Mary's College will look for the upset after his 14.42 best from two weeks ago. Zach Winger of Calabasas continues to ascend to the elites in California, bringing in a wind-legal best of 14.58. Keep your eyes on Cathedral's Anthony Taylor who is bouncing back from injury but placed sixth at the 2019 State Meet and owns a 14.08 wind-legal all-time best. He is headed off to the University of Oregon. Meanwhile, San Diego's best comes up from La Costa Canyon as Tyler Holl brings a 14.68 best from two weeks ago.
Boys 300 Hurdles
Seven of the top nine in California lace it up here with one other being a State Meet qualifier from 2019! Jadyn Marshall of St. Mary's is back for round two of the hurdles as he comes in fresh off a 37.74 effort last weekend. This just misses his personal best of 37.59, which he achieved at the 2019 State Meet prelim when he was just a freshman. But, he will have his work cut out for him as Upland's Delaney Crawford exploded for a 36.64, state-leading mark in only his second attempt EVER in the event three weeks ago! That being the top mark in the United States, it also elevated him up to 29th all-time best in California history. Di'Niko Bates of St. Mary's College (NC) is third in the state with a 38.26 best while Calabasas' Zach Winger is currently fourth with a 38.51 seasonal best. Winger is off to Sacramento State in the fall. Cathedral's Anthony Taylor is back from an early-season injury and looking to go after his 37.94 lifetime best from the 2019 State Meet.
Girls 100 Hurdles
St. Anthony's Asjah Atkinson continues to shine in bringing her state-leading mark of 14.40. The UC Berkeley-bound senior owns a lifetime wind-legal best of 13.93 en route to placing third at the 2019 State Championships. (after placing seventh as a freshman in 2018). Six weeks ago, Amira Hawkins of North Torrance challenged Atkinson in that same race and continues to rank second in California at 14.56. Tied for third in California, Long Beach Poly senior Jade McDonald (14.80) and Y'vette Harris of Lincoln (Stockton) both own wind-legal bests of 14.80. McDonald was a State Meet qualifier in 2019. Finally, the Upland senior duo of Ajah Anderson (14.84) Jordyn Grady (14.87) both look to elevate themselves up the state rankings list. While Grady is off to UC-Berkeley this fall, the top six in the state compete here!
Girls 300 Hurdles
Five of the top six in the state are on the line here. Currently ranked second in the state, Upland senior Cienna Norman-Thomas has shined. Specializing in the 400-meters in years past, the transfer from Citrus Valley is still learning the event and comes in with a 44.14 best. Buchanan senior Alexa Dandridge is coming off a 44.41 best from last weekend while Upland's Ajah Anderson (44.54) also looks to break the 44-second threshold for the first time. While Dandridge was a State Meet qualifier in 2019, Arroyo Grande's Daniela Ruelas (44.60) battled one another to the line last weekend. Finally, Cathedral Catholic's Kapiolani Coleman is San Diego section's best after her 44.87 effort in a dual meet two weeks ago.
Girls 100 meters
Lauren Fowler of Buchanan headlines the event as she moved atop of the California state rankings with her 11.70 outburst on her home track last weekend. While she is headed off to the University of New Mexico this fall, no one else in the field has eclipsed a wind-legal effort of breaking 12 seconds this season. But, Aysha Shaheed of Madison comes up from the San Diego Section with the best resume in the field. The two-time State Championship finalist placed fourth in the state in 2019, as she posted her 11.71 wind-legal all-time best. While the UC-Berkeley bound Shaheed is the favorite to earn her third SD sectional championship next month, Kyla Blockett of Carson looks to move under 12-seconds as well this weekend. She brings a 12.11 wind-legal best on the season while Oaks Christian's Jahzara Richardson will also in the middle of the track with her 12.13 lifetime best.
Boys 100 meters
The class of the field is Chaminade Patrick Ize-Iyamu! Reminding us of his talent, he exploded for a wind-legal 10.56 last month. The junior was a State Meet qualifier as a freshman in 2019 and seeking a strong push to go under 10.50 here. He will his hands full though as five others have matched or exceeded the 10.80 standard as the top six in the state lineup for this one. But watch out! Clovis junior Nathan Johnson may only come in with a wind-legal est of 10.80 but exploded to a 10.49 (+2.5w) victory last weekend! Pittsburg's Christian Trapps (10.75), Servite's Max Thomas (10.76), Jack de Bos (10.77) of Edison, and Steven Marks (10.78) of Cathedral will get into the blocks to the outside of Ize-Iyamu.
Girls 200 meters
Wilson sophomore, Aujane Luckey has burst onto the scene, coming in with the top wind-legal season-best (24.48) of this group. But, Clovis junior Takiya Cenci is just getting her season started as evidenced by her wind-aided 24.32 (+2.7) performance last weekend. With a wind-legal best of 24.56 for Cenci, the race to the finish is up for grabs in this one. The Oaks Christian duo threat of Brooklyn Courtnall and Jahzara Richardson both come in with sub-24.90 credentials as well. Courtnall is headed off to USC this fall. But, by far, the one with the most experience here is Madison senior Aysha Shaheed. She placed sixth at the 2019 California State Meet is the favorite with her 24.16 lifetime best when she captured the San Diego section title that same season. Seven of the eight on the wind-legal California top marks list are slated to roll.
Boys 200 meters
He's back! Patrick Ize-Iyamu's specialty leans to the shorter sprint, but the junior from Chaminade impressed last weekend with a 21.98 all-time best. With a relatively young field here for the invitational portion, Calabasas' Nicholas Gates looks to improve upon his 21.72 lifetime best, which he posted en route to the CIF-SS Division 2 title in this event as a freshman. Meanwhile, Max Thomas of Servite is off the gridiron and ready to go eclipses his 21.91 that he ran in a dual meet two weeks ago. Do not discount Central sophomore Imari Conley as he comes in fresh off his wind-aided 21.86 effort from last weekend.
Girls 400 meters
Defending State Champion from 2019 in this event, University City and Oregon-bound senior Katriina Wright is ready to go for this one. This will be the first time Wright faces any real competition since that state title run where he ran away with a 53.93. Clovis North junior Takiya Cenci is the slight favorite for this affair. She comes in right off her 54.75 personal best from last weekend as she also was a State Meet finalist for this event in 2019. Her previous best had been on this same Arcadia track from 2019. JW North's Idara Ibekwe posted a 56.60 several weeks ago, Thousand Oaks junior Shelby Richmond continues to improve by rolling to a 56.65 two weeks ago in a dual meet. In a year where sophomores are providing us a glimpse of their talent, Wilson's Sadia Green was right behind (56.69) Ibekwe in their matchup last month. Do not overlook Roosevelt junior Naomi Johnson. As a state meet qualifier in 2019, she posted a 54.38 lifetime best!
Boys 400 meters
Following in his brother's footsteps, Helix sophomore Adren Parker comes in with the second-best mark (48.12) in the state. Parker is one of the top sophomores in the nation. Buchanan's Austin Gillen is coming back from a 48.69 personal best from last weekend, while Central junior, Jeremiah Walker boasts a 49.26 best. St. Mary's Academy senior Kailib Copes rolled to a 49.33 seasonal best but looks to break 49 for the first time and improve upon his 49.19 all-time best from 2019. Keep an eye out for Saugus' Brandon Cruz as he returns to the same track where he posted his best of 49.35 two weeks ago.
Girls 4x400 Relay
The top six squads in California battle it out here. JW North of Riverside recorded a 3:49.05, uncontested in a dual meet two weeks ago. The talent is there to go under 3:45 for sure! Clovis North is coming off a 3:52.05 last weekend. Last month, Long Beach Wilson and Serra battled it out with Wilson coming away with the 3:57.41-3:59.26 victory. Oaks Christian ran away with a 3:58.56 clocking in last week's dual meet. With each squad stacked with their top talents, expect all to eclipse the 4-minute benchmark.
Boys 4x400 Relay
Seven of the top nine ranked squads in the state battle here! And, we have not seen these squads click on all cylinders...yet. Long Beach Wilson rolled to a 3:20.30 seasonal best last weekend. One of the best on a yearly basis, the Bruins have finished third at each of the last three state meets while earning the relay title in 2015. Meanwhile, Central posted a 3:21.87 two weeks ago. The Phantoms of Cathedral boast a seasonal best of 3:24.75 while Upland brings a 3:25.05 best for 2021. Saugus brings one of the best squads in school history to the table while we still have not seen Long Beach Poly's 'A' team compete as they placed second at the 2019 State Meet.
Girls 800 meters
The defending 2019 State Champion, Samantha Wallenstrom of Marin Catholic is ready to fly before she heads off to Duke this fall. The last time we saw her, she surged away with a 2:08.78 state title! Meanwhile, the rest of the field is going after that 2:10-elite prep standard for the event Currently ranked third in California, Harvard-bound Ellaney Matarese represents nearby La Canada. The senior posted her personal best of 2:11.04 last month. She now has two freshmen teammates to train with on a daily basis, one being Arielle McKenzie. She posted her best (2:13.57) on this same track two weeks ago and is currently fifth in the state. Coming down from St. Francis (Mountain View), senior Isabelle Cairns is sixth in the state, but comes in with a best of 2:12.90 en route to qualifying for the State Meet in 2019. Fountain Valley junior Kaho Cichon is coming off her 2:14.35 lifetime best in a dual meet two weeks ago. San Diego State bound-Kennedy Jennings of Edison (Fresno) and Makayla Browne are both former State Meet qualifiers, with Browne achieving the feat in 2018 and 2019. Jennings posted a best of 2:11.69 in 2019 while Browne threw down a 2:11.30 in winning the CIF-SS Masters Meet that same year. Santa Margarita's McKenna Bradley is undefeated in 2021, coming in with a seasonal best of 2:14.75 meanwhile Tatum Zinkin of Clovis North looked strong in her 2:15.23 best from last weekend.
Boys 800 meters
Ranked second in California, Golden Valley senior Antonio Abrego comes back to the same track where he achieved his personal best of 1:52.05. In that same race, Mateo Joseph of Great Oak surged to challenge Abrego with 200 meters to go but sufficed with a new personal best of 1:53.63. Watch out for the Dana Hills junior, Jai Dawson. Perhaps the sleeper in this field, Dawson posted a 1:54.78 during his freshman year in 2019. He recently established a personal best of 4:14.74 for the 1600 meters, so the fitness is definitely there. On the opposite side of the scenario, Phillip Jefferson of Long Beach Wilson shines brightest in the 400 meters where he has motored to a 48.27 several weeks ago to complement his 1:54.86 seasonal best. Foothill (Santa Ana) junior Jacob Robison is new to the sport, but his 1:54.78 would indicate otherwise! Davis' Diego Perez is coming in strong, recording his personal best of 1:55.12 last weekend. The rest of the field also looks to go under 1:55, using the aggressive pace of Abrego paving the way up front.
Stanford-bound senior from Mayfield, Audrey Suarez is the class of the field. She is currently fourth in the state, while the two-state meet medalist placed third at the 2019 State Championships with a personal best of 4:45.00. With other top talents opting to focus on the 3200 meters, most of the field is looking to break 5:00 for the first time for the full mile. Canyon (Anaheim) junior Emma Hadley also qualified for the 2019 State Meet finals and brings a 4:51.01 personal best onto the track. Representing Mission Vista, Bella Longo qualified for the 2019 State Meet as well and brings her 4:55.94. Three others have eclipsed the 5-minute threshold. Great Oak's Brianna Weidler and Valencia's Sydney Makar will reunite on the same track where they battled one another to the finish with the former prevailing, 4:59.28-4:59.37. Junior Daniela Quintero of Harvard Westlake comes in with 4:59.96 best in 2019 while Oaks Christian freshman Payton Godsey (5:00.13) and Clovis East sophomore Erika Nyberg (5:00.48) plan to use the brisk pace to improve their personal bests.
Like the girls, many top talents are focusing on the 3200 meters but with that, we have a strong field all setting their sights on the 4:10 barrier! UCLA-bound, Mateo Bianchi of Laguna Beach is back on the same track that he posted a 4:11.82 on two weeks ago. But, the rest of the field is not too far behind, starting with Angus Fitzgerald of Royal. The Boise State recruit came back from Arizona with a 4:12.03 best six weeks ago. Crescenta Valley junior Rowan Fitzgerald has emerged into one of the best in the state after his 4:13.53 nine-second improvement several weeks ago. Meanwhile, Great Oak's Austin Montez and West Torrance's Joshua Murray reunite after battling one another to sub-4:14 efforts on the Arcadia track two weeks ago. Bo Olsen (4:13.96) of Buchanan, Aaron Sahlman of Newbury Park (4:14.06), and Taylor Iden of Archbishop Mitty (4:14.26) also bring sub-4:15 resumes to the oval for this one.
Girls 3200 meters
Traditionally, the 3200 meters has served as one of THE highlights at the Arcadia Invite as some of the fastest races in state history have taken place under the lights at this venue. Crescenta Valley senior Mia Barnett hopes to steal the show in looking to break 9:50 for the event, with all eyes set on the state record held by Kim Mortenson (Thousand Oaks). The 25-year old record of 9:48.59 has continued to hold despite several close calls over the years. Barnett catapulted herself into one of the elite in national history with her 9:52.23 monster effort several weeks ago. Can anyone stay with Barnett? Twelve of the top 15 on the current California state rankings will lace it up here while several others also bring in strong resumes. Mira Costa's Dalia Frias has been lighting it up this Spring and posted her personal best of 10:24.79 six weeks ago while also shining in the shorter distances. Placing seventh at the 2019 California State Meet in 10:29.68 and heading off to the University of Oregon this fall, Harper McClain of St. Helena will also lead that chase group. Hannah Fredericks of Saugus rolled to a solo 10:29.33 victory on this same track two weeks ago while Sophia Nordenholz of Albany (10:29.83) makes the trip down south. UC-San Diego bound Emily Richards of Aliso Niguel came into the season with an 11:39.83 best but has demolished that mark as she rolled to a 10:38.12 victory two weeks ago. Two of the top freshmen in the nation for the event come in the form of Payton Godsey (10:39.92) of Oaks Christian and Claremont's Jie Yi Denise Chen (10:46.56). Headed off to UCLA this fall, Miramonte's Audrey Allen came up with her personal best of 10:43.92 two weeks ago. But, do not overlook Granada Hills junior Sofia Abrego. She shined on this same track as a freshman in 2019 with a 10:35.79 before qualifying for the California State Meet later that season. Also eclipsing the 10:40 threshold in 2019, Simi Valley senior Jill Walker has qualified for CIF-SS Masters Meet twice and brings her 10:39.04 best to the oval.
Boys 3200 meters
Although the competition is limited to California-only athletes, the signature event of the Arcadia Invitational still has a great crew assembled! The top 20 athletes in California are all toeing the line for this one and all with their eyes on breaking the nine-minute watermark. But, in the case of several, we may be looking at much bigger goals as five have already achieved that feat. Newbury Park will feature an unprecedented five boys in this field, including the favorite, Colin Sahlman. The junior is ranked atop the national rankings after his 8:47.05, which catapulted him up to 17th on the all-time California list. His younger teammate, Lex Young comes in with an 8:57.27 personal best while his older teammate, Nicholas Goldstein looks to improve upon his 9:00.50 best. But, Jesuit senior Ajani Salcido comes in hot after becoming the seventh Marauder in school history to break nine minutes when he rolled to 8:56.57 best two weeks ago. Pasadena junior Isaiah Givens makes the short trip, bringing 8:59.64 best to the plate. Aside from the Newbury Park quintet, Bellarmine Prep boasts its own talented trio, led by Galen Topper. Topper challenged Salcido two weeks ago as he crossed at 8:59.29. His twin brother, Nolan, comes in with a best of 9:02.34 while teammate Colin Peattie came in right behind him a month ago at 9:04.80. Peattie is off to the University of Virginia this fall while the Topper twins will stay closer to home and attend Stanford. Ranked sixth in California, Sage Creek's Bryce Gilmore the aforementioned Young back in March to a 9:00.43. The other Panthers from Newbury Park, sophomore Leo Young (9:03.38) and junior Daniel Appleford (9:04.03) will attempt to be the first team in national history to have five boys in the same race all eclipse the nine-minute barrier! One of the most improved runners in the state comes in the form of Beckman's Joshua Schuld. He came into the 2021 season with a 10:04.07 personal best and now stands at 9:05.29. Three others come in with sub-9:10 credentials and are all underclassmen; Daniel Winter of St. Mary's (SJ) brings his 9:07.45 while Jesuit's Braden King (9:07.67) and Clovis' Christopher Caudillo shined on this same track two weeks ago when he crossed with a 9:08.63. We might not see the meet record of 27 boys from 2017 eclipsing the nine-minute mark, but be prepared to watch at least 14 achieve the feat (that's our prediction)! Also, prepare to watch some history set from the Newbury Park crew.
Girls Long Jump
Seven of the top 10 in California under all conditions take to the runway for this one. Earning the fifth-place medal at the 2019 State Meet, Whitney senior and UCLA-bound Sydney Johnson is coming in fresh off her 19-10 personal best recorded this past Tuesday. A State Meet qualifier in 2019, Buchanan's Lauren Fowler comes over from the sprints to improve upon her wind-legal best of 19-4 from three weeks ago. Elise Miller of San Pasqual was a State Meet finalist in 2019 and posted a 19-3.25 effort in a dual meet last month. But, the one with the longest resume is Jade McDonald of Long Beach Poly. Before she matriculates to the University of Iowa this fall, she flew to a wind-aided 19-9.75 best when placing fourth at the 2019 State Meet. Another State Meet medalist in 2019 and headed to UC Berkeley, St. Anthony's Asjah Atkinson placed sixth with a wind-legal best of 19-4.5. Redondo's Eve Divinity impressed last weekend with a 19-1 wind-legal best two weekends ago.
Girls Triple Jump
One of the top athletes in California and heading to Stanford, San Pasqual's Elise Miller comes in with a lifetime wind-legal best of 40-5.5. In her first season of taking up the event, Miller placed third at the 2019 California State Meet as a sophomore. Great Oak's Summer Stevenson was also a State Meet finalist in 2019 and looking to improve upon her wind-legal personal best of 40-5. Another State Meet finalist from 2019, Long Beach Poly's Jade McDonald placed seventh while owning a wind-legal best of 39-4.75. Two weeks ago, McDonald established a new personal best of bounding out to 39-10 (nwi). Burbank's Jayla Flowers elevated her game during the 2019 postseason to eventually place fifth at the State Meet with a wind-legal best of 39-6. Whitney's Sydney Johnson has had a tremendous spring before heading off to UCLA, measuring out to a 39-2.25 (nwi) last weekend. Sami Bollinger of Great Oak just missed qualifying for the 2019 State Meet, placing seventh at the CIF-SS Masters Meet with a wind-legal best of 38-5.5. St. Anthony's London Lee and Julia Alexander of St. Mary's College have both cleared 38 feet under all conditions this spring.
Girls High Jump
Based on 2021 best marks, this competition is up for grabs. Of the six girls that have cleared 5-6 this season, four take to the apron in this one. Bella Vista junior Isabella Chilcutt was a State Meet qualifier in 2019, with the one time she cleared 5-8 was at the Arcadia Invite earlier that season. Long Beach Poly's Zharia Taylor cleared 5-6 two weeks ago. Golden Valley freshman Meagan Humphries cleared the 5-6 bar last month as did Torre Anderson of Foothill (Pleasanton). As a State Meet qualifier in 2019, Moorpark's Quynh Gedney looks to match her lifetime best of 5-6, which she set just before the season's shutdown in 2020. But, the sleeper here just may be Cheyenne Roberts of Westview. Roberts has only cleared 5-4 this year, but remember that she elevated up over the 5-9 bar two weeks before the shutdown last year and ended the abbreviated season with the top mark in the state!
Girls Pole Vault
The top nine girls in California take to the elevated runway in the middle of the field! But, one of the marquee names in the entire invitational is Paige Sommers of Westlake. The University of Duke-bound senior placed third at the State Meet in 2018 and was runner-up in 2019. While we saw a national record set at the Arcadia Invite in 2019 in this event - could we see another? Sommers elevated to a new personal best of 14-8.5 last month. Sommers established a new California state record with her 14-6 performance last February 2020. The San Diego Section is WELL represented here as the 2019 State Champion, Ashley Callahan of Rancho Bernardo looks to get back to her 13-6 personal best. She will stay close to home and attend San Diego State this fall. Meanwhile, Del Norte junior Allison Leigh established a new personal best of 13-7 last month while Sage Creek's Maya Grudman cleared the 13-3 bar. Looking to become a member of the exclusive 13-foot club, Penisula's Gabrielle Pack comes in with a best of 12-9.5 while Melodie Quiroz of Rancho Bernardo has cleared 12-6.
Girls Shot Put
Seven of the state's top ten take to the ring! Hope Gordon of Notre Dame (SO) was the California state leader after her 44-3 best two weeks ago. But, the much improved and UC-Berkeley bound Sara Pettinger of Mission Viejo matched that same mark last week in her dual meet as both now share the lead. Gordon's young teammate, April Fontenette currently sits fifth on the statewide list with a 42-3 best. Julia Richey of Newbury Park is ranked sixth in the state with a best of 41-3 while Noelle Elkinton of Del Norte looks to improve upon her 40-10.5 lifetime best from 2019. Rebel Tuinuknafe of Orange Lutheran continues to impress with a 40-6 from two weekends ago.
Five of the top eight in California, headlined by Isabella Rigby of Liberty (Bakersfield). Ninth at the 2019 State Meet, the Cal Poly (San Luis Obispo) bound senior posted her personal best of 160-9 two months ago and is currently eighth in the nation. Sara Pettinger of Mission Viejo measured out a 155-10 best three weeks ago in a dual meet. Third, in the state, West Hills' Brandy Atuatasi is also in the top twenty nationally with her 155-4 best. A State Meet finalist in 2019, Cherish Logan-Washington opened up her season with a ten-foot personal best of 150-4. Buchanan's Chinyere Egbuziem is ranked eighth in the state at 143-7 while Abigail Klinge of Trabuco Hills looks to join the 140-foot club and improve upon her 138-8 best. Klinge will attend Northeastern University this fall.
Boys Long Jump
Vista Murrieta senior Darius Hill comes in as the favorite and with a lifetime wind-legal best of 23-2.5. Qualifying for the CIF-SS Masters Meet as a sophomore, he is coming off a 22-5.25 win two weeks ago. With most seasonal marks coming in with no wind readings, Long Beach Poly's Miguel Orozco has been on a roll with a 23-1.75 (nwi) mark last month while he finished behind Hill in a recent invite. Jonrich Delacruz of Kennedy (Sacramento) brings a 22-9 (nwi) seasonal best to the runway while Oaks Christian's Gabriel Martin is also within striking range with a 22-7 (nwi) for the season. Also watch for Poway's Camren Willis who popped off a wind-legal 22-6.5 during last year's abbreviated season.
Boys Triple Jump
Under all conditions, we have the top eight in California coming together for this one! Great Oak junior JC Stevenson comes in fresh off his 46-10 performance this past Wednesday? With no wind-reading, his wind-legal best (45-3.75) comes back in 2019 when he was a freshman. Whitney's Sirr Butler (46-1.5), Martin Luther King's Brandon Benson (46-1), and Fountain Valley sophomore Jonathan Yu all stand towards the top of the state rankings under all conditions. The state's wind-legal leader is Village Christian's Jiamel Porteous, as he bounded out 45-3 effort two weekends ago. St. John Bosco's Camryn O'Bannon left the shortened 2020 season as the top sophomore in the state his wind-legal 44-6 best. Central Section's best, Central's Devin Kelly and Clovis North's Calvin Black both eclipsed the 45-foot mark in their wind-legal matchup two weeks ago in an invite. Clovis senior Michael Greco was right behind those two with his legal 44-11 performance as well.
Boys High Jump
This should be a great battle between California's best. Leland Lieberg of nearby St. Francis is the only boy in the state to eclipse the 6-9 mark in 2021. But, he may have company soon enough as Darius Hill of Vista Murrieta matched his lifetime best of 6-8 in this past Wednesday's dual meet. The 2019 CIF-SS Masters Meet qualifier also earned the CIF-SS Division 1 title as a sophomore. Austin Hernandez of Canyon (CC) has elevated up over the 6-7 bar, but, remember that he cleared 6-8 early in 2020 and solidifying himself as one of the state's best early on. Cajon junior Seth Johnson continues to improve as he cleared 6-6.75 last month. The rest of the field all look to clear the 6-5 bar for the first time.
Boys Pole Vault
Eleven of the top 12 in California will assemble in the middle of the field for this one! But, the main headliner is La Costa Canyon's Garrett Brown! Brown increased his San Diego Section all-time best and CA No. 1 ranking with a 17-1 clearance (U.S. No. 3) on Thursday in a league dual. (Watch the video). He had previously set the SDS record with a 17-0.75 clearance. The other pole vaulter that has eclipsed the 16-foot threshold is Eli Gault-Crabb of Burroughs (Burbank). He set that standard in the opening week of the 2020 season and has cleared 15-6 this season. Jesuit's Eitan Goore will bring down a 15-7 best while Vista's Arran Fahey has also matched that mark in 2021. Buchanan's Caleb Pouliot comes in with a 15-6 best. Clovis North's Cyprus Rice cleared 15-4 last weekend as did Ramona junior Gavin Hanes. Also joining the stage, Los Alamitos junior David Brok also shares their seasonal best of 15-4. Finally, Jack Wright of Great Oak looks to improve upon his lifetime best of 15-2, which he established as a sophomore in 2019.
Boys Shot Put
With a relatively younger field of top talent assembled here, Shafter junior Nicholas Godbehere comes in hot after punching out a 61-0 effort last weekend! He has improved by over ten feet in the past year. With the top six ranked throwers in the state taking to the ring, Golden Valley's Kienan Donovan owns a seasonal best of 58-6.75 but joined the 60+ club last summer with a 60-0.25 lifetime best. Murrieta Mesa junior Cade Moran looks to join that club, coming in with a 58-7 seasonal best. Whitney's Christopher Buck threw out a 56-2 best last month. Also, look for juniors Christian Burroughs of Ontario Christian and Liberty's Andrew Trottier as both have also measured out over 54 feet.
Twelve of the top 14, including the top five, in California, will assemble east of the stadium for this one. State leader, Zach Buckey of Garces Memorial measured out to a lifetime best of 187-1, which currently places him seventh in the national rankings. Golden Valley senior Kienan Donovan cranked out a 178-7 last month while the junior from Murrieta Mesa, Cade Moran, improved by over ten feet to a 177-7 best last week. Whitney's Christopher Buck and Silver Creek's Charlie Dang are both tied for fourth in California with identical marks of 174-9. An underclass trio all look to eclipse the 170-foot mark - the Liberty duo of Andrew Trottier (162-9) and sophomore Grant Buckey along with Nicholas Godbehere of Shafter. Also, watch for Westlake sophomore Adam Laycock as he looks to improve upon his 161-5 seasonal best. Finally, James Wright of Great Oak is seeking to get back to form from 2019, where he was the top sophomore in the Southern Section with a best of 165-3. He will attend Stanford this fall.
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Inserted photos by DeAnna Turner, Karen Ocskasy, Josh Barber, Patrick Rhames, Jeffrey Parenti