PREVIEW: Division 2 CIF-SS Prelims


All racing on the track begins at noon

Division 1 from Trabuco Hills HS - LIVE STREAM LINK

Division 2 from Moorpark HS - LIVE STREAM LINK

Division 3 from Estancia HS - LIVE STREAM LINK

Division 4 from Carpinteria HS - LIVE STREAM LINK


Boys Sprints

Thousand Oaks is looking to their sprinters for valuable points as they roll into the weekend as the favorites for the team title. Daniel Sarisky (10.66) is projected to easily advance as he captured the Marmonte League title. Mavin Anderson of Mission Viejo (10.75) is coming in off a strong showing at the South Coast League finals. Mater Dei junior Domani Jackson has been impressive this Spring while Sarisky's teammate, Colin Quinn, also expects to advance.

Culver City's Zaire Waring dropped the hurdles for the postseason and comes in as the top seed for the 200 meters. Moorpark's Mikey Holland also broke the 22-second barrier for the event but Daniel Sarisky of Thousand Oaks owns the fastest time in the division with his wind-legal 21.65 from last month.  Holland does bring experience as he placed fifth at the Division 2 finals in 2019. Rancho Verde's Andre McKinney has been solid while the Edison duo of Jeff Hass and Jack de Bos is also favored to qualify for next week.

The top six for the 400 meters all ran seasonal bests at their league finals. Chris Goode of West Ranch came up big with his 48.64 victory at the Foothill League Finals. Silverado's Reginald Day has been consistent and the top seed in his heat with a 48.82 run last week. Mikey Holland (49.23) looks to defend his own Moorpark track while Capistrano Valley's Hayden Cook (49.28) is also the top seed in his heat. Mission Viejo's Bryce Bushnell (49.47) placed third in his league but comes in projected to advance as a top seed as well.

Boys Hurdles

Canyon' Country Canyon's versatile Austin Hernandez is the top seed after his 14.60 (nwi) victory at the Foothill League finals.  But, Mater Dei's Logan Lyght comes in with the top wind-legal mark of 15.08 when he captured the Orange County Championships last month. Moorpark's Johnny Wotawa (15.32w) held off Thousand Oaks' Ryan Tischhauser (15.37w) at the Ventura County Championships two weeks ago while Jeremy Frank (15.79w) of Thousand Oaks placed third in that same race.

With the top two marks in 2021 for the division not here, the door is wide open in the 300 Hurdles. Shadow Hills' junior Michael DeTamble (39.60) comes in as the only sub-40 athlete and earned the top seed. Tischhauser (40.11) of Thousand Oaks captured the Marmonte League title while West Ranch's Chris Goode comes back from the 400 meters (40.18). Christopher Aguilar of Tustin (40.42) captured the Empire League title and also the top seed in his heat.

Boys Distances

For the 800 meters, Royal's Matthew Russell owns a seasonal best of 1:53.77 while Simon Opsahl of Redlands East Valley is coming off his best (1:54.30) in taking home the title in the Citrus Belt League.  Russell owns the division's best time for the 1600 but is focusing solely on this event.  Danny Wacker of Mater Dei is the third seed with a seasonal best of 1:56.24. Ethan Florez of Canyon (Anaheim) checks with a 2021 best of 1:54.40 while Sam Medure of JW North posted a lifetime best of 1:57.20 in his Ivy League title effort.

In the 1600 meters, Dana Hills' Jai Dawson comes in off an eye-popping triple in winning all three distances at the South Coast League finals. Dropping the 800 meters, Dawson (4:13.58 top mark) comes in as a heavy favorite to advance in his heat. But, it is Royal's Angus Fitzgerald and his seasonal best of 4:12.00 as the favorite in next week's final. The Boise State-bound senior has been on a roll in 2021!  Opsahl dropped a 4:12.59 performance in his dual meet two weeks ago. Meanwhile, Josh Murray of West Torrance motored to a 4:13.77 earlier this season in what will be a great final. Thousand Oaks seeks to qualify three to next week and bolster the team's chances for the team title.

In the 3200, five of the top six marks in the division in 2021 have focused elsewhere. With that, Dawson jumps to the top of the list, especially after his 9:20.01 effort last week. Redlands East Valley's Matt Hornung still owns the top mark in 2021 at 9:14.92 from April. Conor Gibson (9:20.13 seasonal best) of West Torrance and REV's Liam Mapes (9:20.26 seasonal best) are also projected to advance. Also, watch for the sophomore from Hoover High, Parker Simmons, who stepped it up with his third-place performance at the Pacific League finals with a 9:24.95 best.

FRIDAY NIGHT EDIT: We've received word that Royal's Matthew Russell will also compete in the 3200 meters.  This is great news, making the field that much more competitive with his 9:16.77 best he recorded last week.  The 800-3200 is a tough double, but Russell is about as tough as they come! 

Boys Relays

Thousand Oaks erupted to a Marmonte League record of 41.77, moving them up fourth in the state for the 400 relay! Mater Dei comes in just missing their seasonal best of 42.41 at the Trinity League finals while Irvine (42.66) and Mission Viejo (42.72) ran their 2021 bests to capture league titles in the event. Culver City is seeded #8 but their 42.78 seasonal best is the fifth-fastest in the division this season.

Thousand Oaks (3:24.91) and Mater Dei (3:25.39) are also expected to easily advance in the 1600 relay. Despite placing fourth in their league, Mission Viejo's 3:26.56 is the third-fastest in the division as they qualified as a 'wild card' entry. Shadow Hills, from the Palm Springs area, set a new school record in their 3:27.94 while West Ranch (3:28.42), Ventura (3:28.45), and Redlands East Valley (3:29.48) also eclipsed 3:30 in their respective league finals.

Boys Throws

Third in the discus in 2019 and fourth in the Shot Put, Golden Valley's Kienan Donovan enters the ring as the favorite, but must first advance on to next week. His 59-8/178-7 seasonal bests are both ranked second in the Southern Section. Donovan was third in the Discus and fourth in the Shot Put at the 2019 finals.  

Travis Zavala of Canyon (Anaheim) is one of the top underclassmen in the section while his 54-10.25/162-8 combo places him as one of the best in the division.

Also expected to advance in the Shot Put, West Ranch's Matthew Krogh owns a seasonal best of 53-2.75 and Walnut's Ryan Santana (52-7), Victor Muro Murillo (52-5) of Ventura and Mission Viejo's Micah Carreon (52-1.25) have all measured out beyond 52 feet.

In the Discus, five boys have all thrown between 160-163 foot range this season - Zavala, Muromurillo, Carreon, Randy Jacob of Hueneme and Terraine Wiggins of Golden Valley.

Boys Horizontal Jumps

Golden Valley's Elijah Ellis has the top mark in the Southern Section, under all conditions. At the Foothill League Finals, he outjumped Austin Hernandez of Canyon Country Canyon as they face off against one another for two more weeks. JW North's Zion Brooks shined at the Ivy League Finals with a 22-5 (nwi) effort. Irvine's Dylan Fox finished behind Northwood's Myles Carter, but does boast a 22-3.5 (nwi) from a dual meet last month.

Carter of Northwood comes into the postseason as the favorite with the second-best mark (47-6) in the Southern Section under all conditions. Reuben Lopez of Mission Viejo comes in with the momentum of capturing the South Coast League finals in a season best of 44-10.5 (nwi). Norco's Alvaro Gonzalez and Ellis of Golden Valley have also measured out beyond 44 feet this season (what is up with no wind readings people!?!).  

Boys Vertical Jumps

In the Pole Vault, Ramona junior Gavin Hanes is ranked third in the Southern Section with a best of 15-4. Meanwhile, Zachary Salas (15-1)of Torrance is one of only seven boys to eclipse the 15-foot standard in the section. Dana Hills' Jonathan Sweeney captured the South Coast League title at 14-6 while Peninsula junior Cole Whitten is the other athlete to clear 14-0 in the division in 2021.

The High Jump features Austin Hernandez of Canyon (CC). The senior is currently third in the Southern Section with a best of 6-7, but owns a lifetime best of 6-8 from February of 2020.  Peninsula's Tayvahr Wright cleared 6-4 several weeks ago, while Walnut's Evan Johnson achieved the feat the following week. Do not overlook Simi Valley's Jaden Dacosta, who captured the Ventura County Championships with a lifetime best of 6-4 as well.    

Girls Sprints

With almost an all-underclass field assembled in the 100 meters, Calabasas' Zanae Woods is the top seed, with her 12.00 victory at the Marmonte League Finals. Under all conditions, Woods' 11.78w is tops on the Southern Section lists. JW North will counter with Raykiyat Olukoju, who rolled to a wind-legal 12.06, placing her sixth in the section. Maya Shinnick has put together a great 2021 campaign and is seeded second while bringing her 12.25 wind-legal best. Ta'ahjah Fann of Golden Valley and Rachel Valencia of Thousand Oaks will be the top seed in their respective heats.

JW North's Olukoju comes in atop the divisional lists with the wind-legal 24.58 she ran in winning the Inland Empire Championships. But, Shelby Richmond of Thousand Oaks is right there with a 24.62. Calabasas' Woods' has a 2021 best of 24.93 while JW North is seeking some big points as Idara Ibekwe will be a top seed in her heat with her 25.00 lifetime best from the Ivy League Finals. Glendora's Shinnick has also impressed with a 25.12 best in 2021.

Shelby Richmond is the favorite in the 400 meters. The Thousand Oaks junior is seventh in the Southern Section with a 56.10. Agoura's Savannah King, one of many chasing Richmond, came up big with a 56.87 at the Marmonte League finals. Golden Valley will need huge points from Adonijah Currie and she comes in strong with a seasonal best of 56.95 recorded in winning the Foothill League title. Zoe Ray met the at-large standard as her 58.05 was fifth in the Marmonte League. Brooke Said of Mission Viejo and Dana Hills' Sienna Fredericksen, faced off at the South Coast League finals with the former taking the title, 58.54-58.57.

Girls Hurdles

In the 100 hurdles, Peninsula's Arisa Matsuzaki is the top seed, as she captured the Bay League title in a wind-aided 15.20 effort. Edison's Megan Swartz has consistently dipped under 16-seconds in 2021, and brings a 15.30 (nwi) seasonal best as the top seed in heat two. Hannah Turkel on Peninsula looks to advance like her teammate while Culver City's Ayahna Bahati is projected to advance. She was a Division 2 finalist in 2019. Also expected to move on is Dana Hills' Tatum Hall, who was the South Coast League champion.  

Matsuzaki is the heavy favorite in the 300 Hurdles as her 44.66 performance from the Bay League prelims, moving her up to third in the Southern Section. Moorpark junior Ava Ball is all too familiar with the track and brings her 45.81 season-best to the table. Ball is currently seventh in the section while Villa Park's Pyper Slattery is coming off her 46.50 effort to capture the North Hills league title. Ventura's Donnea Prehn (46.87), Jasmine Lewis of Golden Valley (46.92), and Edison's Melinda Tarvin (47.01) are all ranked in the top 20 for the Southern Section.  Lewis was a Division 2 finalist in 2019.  

Girls Relays

JW North and Golden Valley look to cruise through to next weekend in the 400 relay, where crucial team title points will be on the line. JW North's 47.60 tops the division for 2021 and is currently sixth in the Southern Section. Calabasas has rolled to a 47.73 (eighth in the section) while Golden Valley not too far behind with a 47.76 seasonal best, which is good enough for tenth in the section. Coming in off their best efforts of the season, Thousand Oaks is the top seed in their heat (48.31) while Glendora (48.83) looks to also advance.

For the 1600 Relay, JW North has been atop of California charts after their sub-3:50 performance in a dual meet in April and come in as heavy favorites to defend their 2019 title! Golden Valley is sixth in the Southern Section after motoring to a 3:58.81 at Arcadia last month while Calabasas is coming in off their 2021 best of 4:00.97. Dana Hills (4:02.99) will also be a top seed as will Villa Park, who looks to improve upon their 4:05.42 that captured the North Hill League title.  The team title battle between JW North and Golden Valley is currently the closest we have slated of the eight titles up for grabs.    

Girls Distances

The Browne sisters, Makayla and Mackenzie, play a pivotal role in their quest for the team title. Both plan to rack up major points in combining to compete in the 800 and 1600 meters. Makayla is a two-time State Meet finalist in the 800 meters with a seasonal best of 2:11.96. Rarely running the 1600 meters, she is coming off a 5:17.11 at the Ivy League finals. Young Mackenzie, has run a 2:14.43 this season but has dipped under the 5-minute landmark with her 5:01.07 effort for the full mile at Arcadia.

Perhaps, the greatest surprise at Arcadia in regard to distance runners was Mia Chavez of Chino. In the morning session, Chavez improved by over 13 seconds from her previous lifetime best!  She ran away from everybody on the last lap in her 4:55.72 performance for the full mile. Her mile converts to the sixth-fastest mark in the Southern Section. Then, under the lights, she came up big again in her 2:10.61 victory for the 800 meters. That performance is the third fastest in the section. Chavez was third in the 1600 meters in 2019 and eighth for the 800 meters.  

Others projected to advance in the 800 meters, include Mater Dei freshman Kennedy Duralde (2:14.98)  and Megan Gonzalez (2:17.85) of West Torrance. Based on 2021 bests, Gonzalez' 5:03.93 places her right toward the top of the Division 2 rankings.

Emma Hadley (Anaheim Canyon) is ready to roll and advance once again to the 800 and 1600 meters, as we saw in 2019. She is the ONLY athlete in Division 2 here to defend their title as she rolled to the six-second victory in the 1600 meters.  That same season as a freshman, Hadley advanced to the California State Meet final. In 2021, she has posted 2:15.22/4:58.98 seasonal bests thus far. Her teammate as also a 2019 State Meet finalist (for the 3200 meters), Isabella Frisone has looked sharp over this past month and comes in off a 5:04.07 lifetime best at the Crestview League finals.

Alexis Fernandez (5:00.22/11:11.71) of West Ranch and Allura Markow (5:06.03/11:00.86) of Dana Hills are expected to advance in the 1600 and 3200 meters.

Moving primarily to the 3200 meters, Simi Valley's Julia Kiesler is the top seed and carries in a 10:56.55 seasonal best. But, leading that second heat, Amber Rios of Colony won the seeded section of the Arcadia Invite in 10:50.32. Rios placed fifth at the 2019 Division 2 final.  

Georgia McCorkle (10:58.14) of Agoura has also dipped under the 11-minute threshold this season. Serrano's Tiani Goeson (11:09.22) looks to advance back to the Division 2 final, as she did in 2019.

Girls Throws

Mission Viejo's Sara Pettinger is the class of the field and expecting to claim two titles next weekend. Her 2021 best of 44-3 is second in California! She is just as talented in the Discus where she shines as her 155-10 recorded at an April dual meet tops the section and is fifth in California.  In the Discus, she is now #8 on the all-time Orange County lists.     

Expected to qualify with ease is Silverado junior Isis Snowden, whose best of 38-8 is eleventh in the section. Natalie Chairez of Hueneme recorded a 38-3 at the Ventura County Championships while Alexa Sheldon (36-10) of Edison is fourth in the division with 2021 best marks.

Pettinger's teammate, Lauren Preston is coming off a seasonal best of 115-2, but it is Thousand Oaks' Jaelyn Lee (127-2) that has the second-best mark in Division 2. While Lee is ninth in the section, Skylar Packard of Serrano captured the Mojave River League title with her seasonal best of 113-8.  

Girls Horizontal Jumps

A great battle in the Long Jump is on tap for next week's final. First, the main headliners need to advance. Golden Valley's Kylee Davis has one of the top jumps in California (19-0) under all conditions this season while Mater Dei freshman Madison Forbes (18-9.25) has put together a strong debut. Agoura's Lauren Thai comes in as the top seed. She was sixth at the 2019 Division 2 finals. Meanwhile, still, a newcomer to the event, Emily Psarras of Mission Viejo is fresh off her South Coast League title.

With no wind-readings, three girls have measured out over 37-feet this season. Ventura's Julia Di Silvestri bounded out to a 37-6 in a dual meet last month, but Mission Viejo's Jada Gatlin comes in with momentum after her South Coast League title effort of 37-4. Meanwhile, Glendora's Kennedy Johnson has the top wind-legal performance of 2021 at 37-2. Mater Dei's Forbes is projected to advance as well while superstar hurdler, Arisa Matsuzaki comes over to the runway to provide her Peninsula with another scoring option for her squad.

Girls Vertical Jumps

For the first time since 2018, we will have a new Division 2 champion as Paige Sommers of Westlake has moved to Division 1. Peninsula's Gabrielle Pack is the heavy favorite in 2021 as her 13-5 clearance is second in the Southern Section. She was third here at the 2019 Division 2 finals. Dana Hills' Avery Karner has been consistent all season with a best of 11-6. This currently ties her for eleventh in the South Section. Kayla Tassara of South Torrance has elevated up over 11-4 this season as has Ventura's Julia Di Silvestri. Also projected to advance is Claire Goyette (10-9) of Thousand Oaks.

In the high jump, the Golden Valley duo of Meagan Humphries and Kylee Davis are two of the three girls to levitate up over the 5-6 bar in 2021. As those two look to garner crucial team points next week, Moorpark's Quynh Gedney placed fourth in 2019 on her way to the California State Meet. She also owns a lifetime best of 5-6. Villa Park's Hayley Moreen and Apple Valley's Calista Apostol are coming in both clearing 5-2 at their respective league finals.  


Photos by Angel Pena, Josh Barber and Raymond Tran


Mark Gardner, is a high school teacher and former track and cross country coach who is a regular contributor to MileSplitCA and serves as the Southern Section editor.