WEEKEND WRAP CA Athletes Head North For Season-Ending Meets

Faith Bender, a recent graduate of Liberty High (CS), competed in both the discus throw and shot put at the Outdoor Nationals meet last weekend in Eugene, Oregon. (File photo by Ryan Blystone)

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More than a dozen Golden State athletes headed to the Pacific Northwest over the Fourth of July weekend to wrap up the 2021 outdoor track and field season.

Faith Bender, a recent graduate of Bakersfield Liberty (CS), was the only individual event champion from California at either meet. 

(All athletes competed unattached or as representative of a club. Their high school affiliation is noted here for ID purposes.)

Competing at The Outdoor Nationals, a four-day event held at Hayward Field at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Bender won the girls discus throw with a 168-04. She came in with a U.S.-best 173-09 (CA No. 18 all-time).

The Arizona State recruit also placed fourth in the shot put with a PR of 49-00.25 that moves her to the top of the CA leaders list and U.S. No. 12. That mark ranks No. 27 on the all-time CA list.

Bender was among four CA athletes in the discus throw at Outdoor Nats. Her Liberty teammate, Isabella Rigby, placed third (163-02), also Sara Pettinger, a senior at Mission Viejo (SS), had a best of 144-09.50 and Kiana Emerson, a senior at West Valley (NS), threw 139-11.

Pettinger also competed in the shot put, hitting a best of 41-11.25. 

Katelyn Peterson, a junior at Dixon (SJ) representing Golden State Throwers, placed second in the hammer (175--04.50), Emerson placed 10th with a best of 153-06, and Angela Schykerynec, a sophomore at Orland (NS), was 13th (150-11). 

Four other CA athletes earned second place medals: 

- Georgia Jeanneret, a freshman at JSerra (SS), ran 4:56.55 in the girls freshman mile, a time that ranks CA No. 13 this season.

- Oakland's Talia Green in the 3000-meter race walk (14:36.10), with Adeline Johnson, a sophomore at Branson (NC), third in 14:58.44.

- Cade Moran, a junior at Murrieta Mesa (SS), improved on his state lead in the shot put at 63-06. He also competed in the discus throw with a best of 169-07. 

- Garrett Brown, a senior at La Costa Canyon (SD), cleared 16-08 in the boys pole vault, his eigth meet this season with a clearance of 16-08 or higher. 

Others with top results:

- Gabriel Martin, a senior at Oaks Christian (SS), was seventh in the long jump (23-02.75)

Russell Gordon, a senior at Fort Bragg (NC), was seventh in the boys 400m hurdles (53.72) with Peyton Kilheffer, a senior at Brea Olinda (SS), 11th 54.36

- Max Thomas, a junior at Servite (SS), competed in the 100m (10.85/-0.1) and 200m (21.45).

- Anna McNatt, a sophomore at McClatchey (SJ), was eighth in the girls 5000 meters (17:13.18) with Natalie Wieland, a junior at Ponderosa (SJ), 11th (17:20.34), and Sierra Burror, a senior at Bishop Union (CS), 12th (17:21.30). 

Seth Johnson, a junior at Cajon (SS), was 12th in the boys 110m hurdles (14.18/1.5).

- Lindsay Michels, a senior at South Pasadena (SS), was 12th in the girls 2-mile run (11:00.21) with Miliana Perez, a junior at Clovis North (CS), crossing in 11:07.21.

- Paige Sommers, a senior at Westlake (SS), was 12th in the girls pole vault (12-07.50). It was the 17th meet since late February for the national record holder who had six meets since early March with clearances of 14 feet or higher.

- Zachary Ayers, a junior at Davis (SJ), placed fourth in the boys 2-mile run (9:02.32) and Alex Mader, a junior at Lick Wilmerding (NC), was eighth (9:09.75). 

- Madeline Cramer, a junior at The Bishop's School (SD), was 14th in the girls 800m (2:11.97). 

- Riley Chamberlain, a junior at Del Oro (SJ), was sixth in the girls 1-mile run with a PR of 4:47.13 that ranks CA No. 4. Ventura eighth-grader Sadie Engelhardt was 15th (4:51.57)

- Jeremy Kain, a junior at Scotts Valley (CC), was 10th in the boys 1-mile run (4:10.39). 

- Adrienne Usher, a junior at Harvard Westlake (SS), was 15th in the heptathlon (3991)

- Loucas Xenakis, a senior at Head Royce (NC), was eighth in the decathlon (63.16). 


At the one-day meet held in Seattle, Mia Barnett, a senior at Crescenta Valley (SS), wrapped up her amazing season with a third-place finish in the girls 1-mile run (4:42.00) in a race won by Juliette Whittaker in 4:38.65, a meet record.

Dalia Frias, a junior at Mira Costa (SS), was sixth with a PR of 4:47.58 (CA No. 5) and Audrey Suarez, a senior at Mayfield (SS), was eighth (4:50.51). 

Ajani Salcido, a senior at Jesuit (SJ), ran 8:46.32 for third in the boys 2-mile run (a time that converts to 8:43.27), the fourth fastest 2-mile in the U.S. and a top-10 time in CA history. 

Nolan Topper, a senior at Bellarmine (CC), was sixth in the 2-mile race, running 8:51.83 (a time that converts to 8:48.75 for 3200m). 

Also ... 

  • Kai Graves-Blanks, a sophomore at Upland (SS), was sixth in the boys 110m hurdles (13.91/1.3). 
  • John Lester, a senior at Amador Valley (NC), was sixth in the boys 800m (1:49.39).
  • Hannah Fredericks, a senior at Saugus (SS), was 13th in the girls 2-mile run (11:01.62).