RECAP Epic Meet-Record Day For Sophia Nordenholz at Dublin

Sophia Nordenholz, a junior at Albany, reacts after finishing the 3200m run where she broke the meet record at the Dublin Social Distance Fiesta on Saturday at Dublin HS. (Jeffrey Parenti photo)




DUBLIN -- A month ago, Albany junior Sophia Nordenholz swept the 1600m and 3200m at the second version of the Dublin Social Distance Fiesta but narrowly missed the meet records in both. 

Gillian Wagner of Redwood (NC) set the 1600m standard in 2017 and the 3200m record in 2018. 

On Saturday, Nordenholz wiped Wagner off the top of the record list in both events, in a dominating performance that warranted the brightest spotlight from the Dublin Social Distance Fiesta #3 held on a bright and mostly breezy day at Dublin High.

The meet produced 90 races across the 1600, 800, 3200, and two end-of-the-night 4K DMRs. 

Among the desirable swag at this fast-moving yet chill event, is custom-made sombreros to the fastest from each section. The meet program runs slow-to-fast with the final race at each distance known as the "Sombrero Heat" where the winners walk off with new headwear. 

In the Sombrero Heat of the girls 1600m, Nordenholz, who has exploded onto the state high school distance scene this spring, rolled to a 4:53.26 MR while leading three others under 5 minutes. She went 4:55.86 at the second DSDF, just missing Wagner's standard of 4:55.35. Saturday she left no doubt. 

Luci Lambert, a Virginia-bound senior at Sacred Heart Prep (CC), did what she could to hold onto Nordenholz, crossing in a big PR of 4:57.02, before heading off for graduation. Lambert's previous best was 5:01.56 for 1600m and 4:59.90 for a mile, which converts to 4:58.16. 

Maya Lacamp, a senior at Lick Wilmerding (NC), was third in 4:59.34, another huge PR drop from her previous of 5:05.35.

Ashlyn Boothby, a freshman at Scotts Valley (CC), was the final girl to run sub-5, crossing in 4:59.74, eclipsing her previous best of 5:05.20.

As indefatigable trackside announcer Scott Abbott reminded the audience, the Dublin Distance Fiesta is all about PRs!

Some six hours later, Nordenholz took the line in the 3200m, and in a similar fashion to DSDF #2, she ran with the pack for the first 800m and then left them all behind. Here she wouldn't match her PR and CA No. 2 time of 10:02.91, established while trying to chase down Mia Barnett at Arcadia, but she had enough in the tank to drop five seconds from the previous record, crossing in 10:24.23. Wagner had gone 10:29.46 in 2018. At DSDF #2, she completed her 16-32 double in 10:29.83, .37 off the record.

Harper McClain, the Oregon-bound senior at St. Helena (NC) was second in 10:45.19, Sofia Tavella, a junior at San Ramon Valley, was third in 10:50.66, Ellie Buckley, a sophomore at Campolindo (NC), was third in 10:55.88, Sierra Burror, a Cornell-bound senior at Bishop Union (CS), was fifth in 11:03.20. 

It was a big breakthrough for Tavella, whose previous best was 11:06.55 run at DSDF #2, as well as Buckley, whose previous PR was 11:11.28. 

Cate Peters, a sophomore at Monte Vista (NC), ran off with the sombrero in the girls 800 with her 2:17.51, an impressive PR for the converted sprinter. Evelyn Ruckmann-Barnes, a freshman at Granada (NC), was second in 2:19.59 with Lillian Kaelber, a freshman at St. Francis (CC), third in 2:20.05.

At DSDF #2, Ajani Salcido, a senior at Jesuit (SJ), set the record in the 1600m as part of an impressive 16-32 double against a stellar field. While graduation would keep him from attempting a repeat double, he was able to defend his title in the 1600m, crossing in 4:10.51, just shy of the 4:09.95 record he established last month. 

John Lester, the Stanford-bound senior at Amador Valley (NC), was second in 4:14.56 in a cluster that included Bellarmine (CC) senior Nolan Topper, also head to Stanford, who was third in 4:14.76, and Menlo (CC) senior Calvin Katz, headed to Yale, who was fourth in 4:14.82 before heading off to an on-campus prom. 

In the 3200m, Topper and Sean Lacey, a junior at Bella Vista (SJ), battled at the front throughout to an all-in final sprint to the line where Lacey held position at the line to get the win in 9:06.62. Topper was second in 9:06.73 with Zachary Ayers, a junior at Davis (SJ), third in 9:08.40.

A week after showing off his range at the Granada Distance & Sprint Festival, Jonathan Simmons, a Navy-bound senior at Skyline (OK), won the sombrero in the boys 800m, crossing in 1:57.42. Yutaka Roberts, a junior at El Camino (CC), was second in 1:57.70, and Ryan Kenny, a senior at De La Salle, was third in 2:00.33.

The night ended with two Distance Medley Relays (1200-400-800-1600). Miramonte, anchored by UCLA-bound senior Audrey Allen, won the girls race in 12:26.00 with Monte Vista second in 12:30.23. 

St. Mary's (SJ) outlasted De La Salle (NC) to win the boys race in 10:39.01. Junior Daniel Winter made up a difference late against a gassed Patrick Curulla, who had just run a huge 9:10.18 PR for fifth in the 3200. The UCLA-bound Curulla held on for second (10:44.80) before collapsing onto the infield turf.