RECAP: Chamberlain Is Star Of Stars At Meet Of Champions



Del Oro senior Riley Chamberlain (1) was a double-winner at the Sacramento Meet of Champions, including a fast 1600-meter win over St. Francis senior Cate Joaquin (3), and an 800m victory over Joaquin's teammate, Tatiana Cornejo (3). (Dan Tyree photo)

* * *

SACRAMENTO -- How appropriate is it that one of the greatest high school girls distance runners in the rich history of the Sac-Joaquin Section would be the star of stars at the Sacramento Meet of Champions?

Del Oro senior Riley Chamberlain again reminded us of her distance brilliance with two stellar performances that earned her the Girls Track Performer of the Meet honors on Saturday night at American River College. 

The brand-new track produced plenty of fast times and an abundance of season bests over its two sessions and nine-plus hours of a high school track and field event that showcased some of the best from not only the SJS, but also the North Coast Section, the Northern Section, the Oakland Section, and the Central Section. 

But the BYU-bound Chamberlain's performance and resulting accolades were almost predictable. She was a headliner coming in, and like many of the other marquee athletes who performed primarily during the Invitational evening session, she brought her A-game. 

First, in a stellar field of strong runners, Chamberlain went to the front early, pulled longtime rivals Cate Joaquin and Tatiana Cornejo -- both of St. Francis -- to the front with her. The Cal Poly-bound Cornejo fell off toward the latter half of the race, but the Georgetown-bound Joaquin hung tough and pushed her friend all the way to the tape. The duo both split 69 on the third lap. Chamberlain responded with a 70.5 final lap to outlast Joaquin's 73.3.

Chamberlain crossed in 4:45.42 with Joaquin gliding in just behind in 4:48.58. The fastest 1600m Chamberlain has run in nearly two years improves her CA No. 3-ranked time. For Joaquin, it was nearly a five-second drop from the PR she ran last month at Dublin and lifts her into fourth in the state rankings. Cornejo went 4:57.52 for third place.

Less than an hour later, Chamberlain and Cornejo were back on the line for the 800m. Chamberlain was in last at the gun until about 100-meters in, and first about 125-meters in. She split 70/64 to cross in 2:14.55, missing her PR from early March by 0.07. Cornejo crossed in 2:17.03 and Oak Ridge junior Quinn Walker was third in 2:18.28. 

Among other highlights from the elite Invitational Session

- Oak Ridge senior Alison Sahaida became the eighth pole vaulter in the state this season to clear 13 feet and she did it on her third attempt after clearing 12-6 to beat Pleasant Grove junior Abigail Wagner (12-2). Sahaida, who took three attempts at 13-5, had a previous best of 12-10. 

- Lodi (SJ) junior Maceo McDowell went 23-07.00 (0.5) to win the long jump in a tight battle with Salesian (NC) senior Elias Ajamu Reed, who jumped 23-01.4 (1.4). Reed hit his best on his second attempt. McDowell hit his winning jump on his third attempt. 

- State high jump leader, Whitney (SJ) junior Ashanti Elie didn't match her 5-10 season best but cleared 5-7 and that was good enough to beat California (NC) senior Mara Lampsas (5-5).

- The boys 4x100 mete relay team from McClymonds (OK) of Javian Thomas, Michael Dansby, Jay'Vion Cole, and Roland Hammork pulled away from Acalanes and El Cerrito to run 40.98, establishing a meet record. It's the third-fastest time in the state and improves upon the quartet's previous best of 41.60 to win at Stanford. Acalanes was second in 41.39 with El Cerrito third in 41.59, the Nos. 5 and 8 times in the state. 

- Reno (Nevada) senior Kyle Gammill-Ortega ran off to hide in the boys 1600m but the pack caught him late and he barely held them off, crossing in 4:12.52. Jesuit (SJ) junior Brandon Moreno was second in 4:12.94, Chico (NS) senior Mario Giannini was third in 4;13.15, and Vacaville (SJ) sophomore Colton Walker, Folsom (SJ) junior Nathan Short, and Davis (SJ) senior Zachary Ayers also went under 4:14. 

- Stockton Lincoln junior Y'Vette Harris swept the hurdles, winning the 100mH in 14.28 to beat St. Mary's (SJ) junior Kori Fields (14.68) and Rocklin (SJ) sophomore Giselle Kirchner (14.78). In the 300mH, Harris ran 44.02 with Christian Brothers (SJ) junior Keilee Hall (44.37), and Oak Ridge (SJ) senior Alyssa Heinlein (44.72) next. 

- St. Mary's (SJ) senior Jadyn Marshall, the national leader in the 110m hurdles, was an easier winner in 13.91 with Monte Vista (NC) senior Adam Wright a distant second in 14.59. 

- Marshall came back some 20 minutes later in the 100m dash but wasn't a factor, placing sixth (10.98) in a race won by Pinole Valley (NC) senior Cornell Davis in 10.62 (1.1), with El Cerrito (NC) junior Robert Stitts next (10.70) and McClymonds senior Michael Dansby third in 10.72. 

- Monte Vista (SJ) junior Cate Peters ran away with the 400m dash, lowering her state No. 5-ranked PR by 0.02 to 54.72. Edison (SJ) senior Aliyah Williams won the photo-finish for second with East Union (SJ) junior Taylor Snaer 57.1091 to 57.1094.

Peters, one of the nation's fastest 800m runners, opted for the 200m instead, placing fourth in 25.04 (0.6 )in a race won by St. Mary's (SJ) junior Kori Fields in 24.57 with Edison (SJ) senior Sharli'e McCuller next in 24.73 and Turlock (SJ) senior Kylee Redman next in 24.75. 

Earlier McCuller won the 100m (11.98/1.8) with Redman (12.02) and Vacaville junior Lily Holman third (12.10). 

- The last time Natalie Wieland ran the 3200m at the Sacramento MOC, she placed fourth ... as a freshman ... in 2019! The meet had lost the previous two years to the pandemic. Wieland, a senior at Ponderosa (SJ), made the most of her return trip, taking the lead early and holding it throughout, closing with a 79 final lap for a 10:41.68 PR, besting her previous of 10:47.87 from Arcadia. Whitney junior Katie Kopec was second in 10:44.72 with Chico senior Iresh Molina third in 10:48.99.

- Weston Ranch (SJ) junior Galadriel Mellion swept the throws, winning the discus with a fourth-attempt 134-01 with El Camino (SJ) senior Sariyah Horne next at 130-11, and the shot put with a CA No. 6-ranked best of 41-01.25 to beat Bear River (SJ) senior Julia Pisenti (4-00.25), and Horne (39-00.00).

-- Lincoln (SJ) senior Noah Pagaran edged Hughson (SJ) junior Joseph Lighthall to win the 800m, 1:55-07-1:55.25.

- The boys 3200m turned out to be one of the most competitive races of the entire meet, as Sonora (SJ) senior Adin Dibble and St. Mary's College (NC) junior Mateo Malko-Allen put on a show.

Dibble went out in 65.6 to take a comfortable early lead. He continued to maintain that with 71-70-70-71. Malko-Allen, who nearly swept the 800 and 1600 at Dublin and won the Mile at Arcadia, started tapping into that speed following a second-lap 71 with a 69-69-70 as he worked in alongside Dibble. 

The senior followed a sixth-lap 72 with a penultimate-lap 70 as Malko-Allen went 72-69. The final lap was all pure guts as Dibble surged, and Malko-Allen matched it. The junior pushed but the senior wouldn't relent. In the home stretch, Dibble proved to have a drop more in the tank as he dropped a 57.6 to his challenger's 58.9. 

Oh, by the way, Dibble crossed in 9:10.09 with Malko-Allen losing the lean in 9:10.13. It's a slight PR for the senior and a big one for the junior. 

* * *

Track Athletes: Claim Your MileSplit Profile Today!

Photos by Dan Tyree.