WOW: Mia Barnett Continues Jaw-Dropping Season

Crescenta Valley senior Mia Barnett now owns top-four times in state history in both the 1600m and 3200m following Saturday's latest impressive performance. (Josh Barber/file)

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Mia Barnett continued her jaw-dropping senior season when she ran the mile in 4 minutes, 39.41 seconds -- the third-fastest time in California history -- while competing in an open meet Saturday in Irvine.

Barnett, a senior at Crescenta Valley (SS), posted a mile time that converts to 4:37.79 for 1600 meters. Barnett now slots behind only Polly Plummer (4:33.65c for University (SS) in 1982) and Christine Babcock (4:33.82 for Woodbridge (SS) in 2008) on the all-time CA list.

Saturday night, Barnett, running for the Crescenta Valley Track Club, was competing in the open meet at Crean Lutheran HS that included two high school-specific mile races. 

Barnett closed her assault on the clock and the record book with splits of 68.34, 67.86, and 70.16. 

"It was really fun to see all that strength that she has developed as a runner be utilized in a 1600," Crescenta Valley coach Rob Evans wrote in an email. "Her middle laps were so impressive, and something we talk a lot about in practice. She has felt really confident in workouts and was really excited to come back to the mile after running some 800's and 3200's."

She already held 2021 U.S. No. 1 ranking for both 3200m and the mile. She now also ranks No. 1 nationally 1600m. 

Sadie Engelhardt, an eighth-grader at Cabrillo MS in Ventura, was second in 4:46.25 (she closed in 69.18). Dalia Frias (Mira Costa TC) was third in 4:47.71, Sam McDonnell (Newbury Park TC) was fourth in 4:48.41, and, Barnett's longtime friend and training partner, Audrey Suarez (Mayfield TC) was fifth 4:48.48.

So far this spring, Barnett has run 2:07.31 for 800m, ranking No. 25 in the CA list, 9:52.23 for 3200m, ranking No. 4 on the CA list, and now this!

Barnett entered the 2021 outdoor season with a resume that included two-time medalist in the 1600m at the CIF-State Track Meet, three-time CIF-Southern Section Division 5 cross country, and two-time CIF-State D-V cross country runner-up while attending Sun Valley Village Christian (SS). Although she transferred to her local public school, Crescenta Valley, over the 2019-20 winter break, she wasn't able to officially compete for the Falcons until March of this spring.

And when she did, Barnett opened with a 2:09.49 massive PR for 800m. The following weekend, running unattached at a Sundown Track Series meet outside of Phoenix, Barnett ran what was then her four-lap best (and CA No. 14 all-time) of 4:43.11 for the mile (4:41.32c). Three weeks later, at distance meet at Laguna Beach, she ran her 3200m PR. 

In the boys high school mile, Leo Young, a sophomore competing for Newbury Park TC, won in 4:10.95, Isaiah Givens, a junior competing for Pasadena, was second in 4:11.68, Bryce Gilmore, a junior competing for Sage Creek TC, was third in 4:11.91, Leo's twin, Lex Young, was next in 4:12.15, and senior Josh Schuld, competing for Beckman, was fifth in 4:12.18. For the victory, Leo Young split 64, 64, 62, 59. 

Competing in an open men's 800m field, John Lester, a senior from Amador Valley, ran the fastest two-lap race by a CA high schooler this season (U.S. No. 2) with a 1:49.77. The Stanford-bound senior is still working his way back from a stress reaction injury over the winter and continues to show progress back toward his 1:48.26 PR (CA No. 5 all-time).  

Running in an open 1500m race, Colin Sahlman, a junior at Newbury Park, posted a time of 3:46.39. Despite finishing 11th in his heat, the high schooler's time ranks among the top 10 in CA history. 

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Southern Section Editor Mark Gardner contributed to this report.