94th WEST COAST RELAYS
RACE VIDEOS | PHOTOS | RESULTS
CLOVIS -- On a wispy, welcoming Saturday along the western foothills of the Sierra Nevadas, Takiya Cenci proved once again that she is California's -- and one of the nation's -- best long sprinters.
In winning two events and keying her team's 4x400-meter relay victory, Cenci, a senior at Clovis North (CS), stole the headlines -- on a day where there were many -- at the 94th running of the West Coast Relays at Veterans Memorial Stadium on the campus of Buchanan HS.
Cenci was unchallenged in the 400-meters, running away with an emphatic personal record and U.S. No. 1 time of 53.19 seconds. She came back later in the 200m to run a state-leading 24.10 (1.9), and finished her day with a game-over 53.42 second-leg split of the 4x400m relay that Clovis North won in 3:47.68 (just over their CA No. 2 and U.S. No. 8 time of 3:47.60 from the week before).
This amazing unsigned senior was the star among stars at this showcase that was loaded with top performances now scattered among MileSplit database top-10s in CA with West Coast Relays scattered among U.S. rankings. Time will tell how these rankings hold up as more meets are processed into the database, but as of these writings, Saturday's meet at Buchanan produced two U.S. No. 1 times, two additional CA No. 1 times, one U.S. No. 1 class ranking, and four CA No. 1 class rankings.
(The meet, which drew teams from all over the state, held competition in three divisions -- Bronze, Silver, and Gold, with Gold being the elites.)
The other U.S. No. 1 performance, came courtesy of that young weekly headline-grabber from Ventura (SS), Sadie Engelhardt. The national freshman class record-holder in the mile and national class leader across 800-1600-3200, did herself one better on Saturday, crushing the 800m in a U.S.-leading 2:05.66!!
It was one of those 800s where when she hit an announced 62 at the halfway point, you just knew there would be a wall somewhere. At 600m? At 700m? We have seen it too many times in this crazy event. But ...
She cranked it all the way around, stopping the clock in the 10th fastest time in CA history.
Engelhardt came back in the 4x400, running anchor, but the gap created in the middle two legs by Cenci and Zinkin (57.96 split) was waaaaaaaaay too much for even a unicorn talent like Engelhardt to make up, bringing Ventura home in 3:56.99 for second.
Before we get to the boys portion of this recap, there are other girls whose performance warrant noting.
Buchanan (CS) junior Sydney Sundgren cruised along evenly for the first few laps of the 1600m race as Bakersfield Highland (CS) sophomore Mia Torrecillas did the work up front. But when it was winning time, and the Bears' veteran distance star took control, crossing first in 4:53.13, the fastest time in the junior class in CA so far this season. Buchanan freshman Sierra Cornett, who held close to Sundgren until late, was second in 4:53.71 with Torrecillas crossing in 5:00.15.
Of note in that 1600m, is the battle between league rivals Buchanan and Clovis North. Buchanan senior Kaylee Elliott was sixth (5:04.28) while the Broncos put three among the top seven in senior Miliana Perez (4th in 5:03.23), junior Ashlyn Leath (5th in 5:03.30), and sophomore Kaitelyn Emmons (7th in 5:04.42).
Carson (LA) junior sprinter Reign Redmond missed the winter season with an injury but has proven over the past couple weeks -- last week at Mt. Carmel and Saturday at WCR -- that she has recovered quite nicely, thank you! Redmond's day began with an explosive anchor leg on the winning 4x100 meter relay (47.43), a victory in the 100m (11.83/1.9) and a runner-up finish to Cenci in the 200m (24.41/1.9).
Redmond, who came in as the CA wind-legal leader in the 100m (11.77/1.2 from Mt. Carmel), had to hold off the charge of Turlock (SJ) senior Kylee Redman in the straight line sprint. Her time in the 200m, is a CA junior class leader and tied for U.S. No. 8 in the class for wind-legal times.
She didn't match her state-leading 20-0.50 long jump mark but Golden Valley (SS) senior Kylee Davis hit a winning mark of 19-05.00 (-0.5) when she needed it to beat St. Mary's College (NC) senior Julia Alexander (19-00.50/0.5). Central (CS) junior Riley Costales placed third with a mark of 18-10 (1.6), which is the No. 2 U.S. wind-legal mark in the junior class.
Clovis senior Nathan Johnson, a University of Utah football recruit, was late out to track this season but clearly has maintained top form.
In one of the more anticipated events of the meet, Johnson held off a strong field in the 100-meter dash to win in 10.47 (1.4) with Central (CS) senior Jeremiah Walker a close second in 10.49. Clovis North senior Jake Parnagian was third in 10.62 with Buchanan senior Garrett Fox next in 10.63. Johnson ranks CA No. 2 for wind-legal marks.
Walker opened the meet running lead-off on Central's 4x100m relay team that recorded a CA-leading and U.S. top-10 time of 40.92
Parnagian came back later to win the 200m (21.14/2.2) with junior teammate Nickolas Miller second in 21.18, the fastest all-conditions time in CA by a boy in the junior class.
Buchanan senior Noah Ray won the 1600m in 4:11.52. Clovis junior Christopher Caudillo cruised along off the pace until the bell and then went all out trying to catch Ray before running out of track, crossing second in 4:13.33, with his senior teammate Nathaniel Avila third in 4:16.48.
Ray came back in the 800m but emerging St. Mary's College (NC) junior star Mateo Malko-Allen employed a strong late surge to hit the line first in 1:54.99. Ray was second in 1:55.22 and Caudillo was third in 1:55.36.
Campolindo (NC) junior Alexander Lodewick held onto the front pack for about seven laps of the 3200m before taking control to win in 9:34.60. Madera South (CS) junior Adrian Hipolito was second in 9:36.58 with Buchanan senior Brenton Maddox next in 9:38.53.
De La Salle (NC) senior Anthony Trucks held off Dublin (NC) senior Anish Kasam to win the 300m hurdles. Trucks crossed in 38.98 with Kasam .02 behind. Trucks looked like he was in position to win the 110m hurdles but stepped awkward at one point and lost his momentum. Kasam, took advantage to win in 14.72 (0.1). Riverside Ramona (SS) senior Gavin Hanes was second in 15.11.
Shafter senior Nick Godbehere won the shot put (58-03.50) and placed third in the discus throw (174-7). Golden Valley (SS) senior Terraine Wiggins won the discus (186-2) with San Luis Obispo (CS) senior Rory Devaney second (176-8).
Photos by DeAnna Turner