CIF-STATE MEET PREVIEW Closer Look At The Distances


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Next in a series of event-group previews

State Meet Record
: 2:02.66 (Amy Weissenbach, Harvard-Westlake, 2011)

Seven of the top 10 times in California for 2022 step to the line. In what may be some history in the making, only one girl, Kathy Costello in 1975, has ever captured the 800/1600 double at the California State Meet. Ventura's Sadie Engelhardt will attempt to do so but will need to get past the talents that join her in both events. Altogether, five girls have gone under the 2:10 watermark of excellence with five others that broke 2:12 in 2022. Six of the top eight advanced together last week from the Southern Section Masters Meet.

Sadie Engelhardt (Ventura/SS) - On this same track eight weeks ago, the freshman exploded for her state-leading 2:05.66. She captured the CIF-SS Div. 2 title while bouncing back last week, cruising through with a 2:10.18 third-place performance at the Southern Section Masters Meet. Her time ranks tenth on the all-time California State List.

Mia Chavez (Chino/SS) - Attempting one of the toughest doubles (800/1600) on the slate, the University of Arizona-bound senior has been superb in 2022. Racing home with the 2:08.84 victory at the Southern Section Masters Meet last week, her lifetime best of 2:08.08 came a month ago at Mt. SAC and is the third-fastest effort in the state in 2022.   

Arielle McKenzie (La Canada/SS) - Dropping the 1600 meters last week, the sophomore worked her way through the tough Southern Section to cross in 2:10.61. Her 2:08.89 from early March still stands as the fifth-fastest in California for 2022 as she defended her 2021 CIF-SS Division 3 title two weeks ago.

Mackenzie Browne (JW North/SS) - Despite running a 4:53.75 two weeks ago, the junior dropped the 1600 meters to place all her focus here. She took second at the Southern Section Masters Meet with a lifetime best of 2:09.36. Her sister, Makayla, was a State Meet finalist for the 800 meters in 2018 and 2019.  

Tessa Buswell (Poway/SD) - The sophomore rolled away to the San Diego Section title last week with a 2:11.09 performance.  Equipped with a seasonal best of 2:09.54 win from the daytime portion of the Arcadia Invite, she reunites with Chino's Chavez, who was runner-up, in the first heat of Friday's prelims.  

Ashlee Gallegos (JSerra/SS) - Headed off to the University of Southern California, the senior bounced back from a tough showing at the CIF-SS Division 3 final to place fifth at the Southern Section Masters Meet (2:10.61). With a 4:53.27 for the full mile this season, she dropped the event to focus here as she projects to improve upon her 2:10.41 seasonal best.

Hillary Studdert (Palo Alto/CC) - The junior has run the tenth-fastest time (2:10.41) in California for 2022 and qualified here with a runner-up 2:12.27 effort at the Central Coast Section Finals a week ago.  Throwing down a lifetime best of 4:51.44 a month ago, she finished right with Gallegos at last month's Stanford Invite.

Ashlynn Viramontes (Katella/SS) - The senior came through to earn the CIF-SS Division 1 title two weeks ago before confidently rolling to her 2:11.33 lifetime best to qualify at the CIF-SS Masters Meet last week. She has raced sparingly this season and seemingly, looks like she still has another gear in her.

State Meet Record: 4:33.82 (Christine Babcock, Woodbridge, 2008)

For the first in State Meet history, we have three sub-4:40 girls ready to go into combat with one another! Three of California's all-time best plan to lock up against one another on Saturday and with favorable conditions, we could very well see a run after the State Meet record held by Woodbridge's Christine Babcock (4:33.82) from 2008. For additional context, Babcock also broke the 4:40 barrier in her 2007 state title while only Polly Plumer (4:39.92 in 1982) and Tesoro's Amanda Gehrich (4:39.33 in 2015) stand as the only girls in State Meet history to do so.

Sadie Engelhardt (Ventura/SS) - The freshman is already the only Californian to break 2:07 (800), 4:37 (1600) and 9:52 (3200) to place her as, arguably, the greatest distance prep in state history.  Holding the national freshman record for the 1600 meters, she crossed at 4:33.29 in April to establish the state record. She attempts one of the toughest State Meet doubles with the 800/1600 combo.

Dalia Frias (Mira Costa/SS) - Back in March, Frias outkicked Engelhardt in the Mile to then, establish a new California state  record. While the record was broken two weeks later, the Duke-bound senior still holds the state record with her 4:35.06 mile and returns back to the State Meet as she did in 2019 as a freshman.

Samantha McDonnell (Newbury Park/SS) - The Southern Section Masters Champion, closed in a sub-67 last lap last week. The University of Alabama-bound senior is ranked eighth all-time in state history with her 4:38.91 best for the event and she possesses the confidence to go out with Engelhardt and Frias.

Mia Chavez (Chino/SS) - Headed off to the University of Arizona this Fall, the senior has quietly put together one of the best middle-distance athletes in the nation this season. In the shadows of some of California's all-time best, she ran 4:49.10 two weeks ago before comfortably qualifying last week with a 4:50.33.   

Samira Kennedy (Castilleja/CS) - Adding the 1600-meters to her repertoire in 2022, the junior rolled to a 4:49.37 last month. She placed second at the Central Coast Section Championships last week to qualify for the trials in this event.

Grace Hutchison (Buchanan/CS) - The junior checks in as one of the six girls in California that have eclipsed the 4:50 threshold this season. With her 4:49.75 best from a month ago, she also captured the divisional title two weeks ago (4:50.75) before cruising in with third-place performance from the Central Section Masters Meet last week.

Mia Torrecillas (Highland/CS) - With one of the top combined single-day performances of the season, the sophomore improved by over three seconds to capture the Central Section Masters meet last week in a lifetime best of 4:50.51.

Sierra Cornett (Buchanan/CS) - With the Central Section well represented, the freshman finished right behind Torrecillas last week in a lifetime best of 4:50.75. One of the top freshmen in the nation, she looks to advance to Saturday's final as she has gone under 4:55 several times on this same track in 2022.

Emma Hadley (Anaheim Canyon/SS) - The University of Colorado-bound senior has been on a roll, looking to advance back to the State Meet final as she did in 2019 as a freshman. Hadley placed fourth last week at the Southern Section Masters Meet in a season's best of 4:51.39.

State Meet Record: 9:52.13 (Jordan Hasey, Mission College Prep, 2008 )

Despite two of Califonia's all-time best bypassing the event in 2022, this is one of the deepest fields in California State History.  Seven girls with sub-10:20 resumes lace it up along with five others that have crossed under 10:30 this season!  Taking seasonal bests, less than ten seconds separate our top nine with several other talents coming off lifetimes bests last week. With temperatures lowering by race time, this one will one of the more tightly contested 3200-meters in State Meet history.  

Hanne Thomsen (Montgomery/NC) - As the second-fastest freshman in the nation, she comes in the top seasonal best effort (10:12.03) in the field, advancing after running to the North Coast Section title last week, crossing in 10:23.82.  Of this field, she was the fastest at the Invite Arcadia portion while she posted a 4:45.51 for the 1600 meters earlier this month as well. (Pictured at the top)

Sophia Nordenholz (Albany/NC) - The University of Washington-bound senior placed second to Thomsen at the North Coast Section Masters Meet last week while she owns a seasonal best of 10:14.32.  She renews her rivalry of sorts with Thomsen this Saturday evening. (Pictured at the top)

Riley Chamberlain (Del Oro/SJ) - The BYU-bound senior was fourth at the 2019 State Meet as a freshman. After her 4:45.63 two weeks ago in the 1600 meters, she dropped the event to focus solely on this one. She captured the Sac-Joaquin Masters Meet in 10:20.51.  After two years of no state meet, Chamberlain rediscovered herself on the way to a 10:14.56 seasonal best in 2022. (Pictured)

Lauren Soobrian (Los Altos/CC) - Not competing in 2021, the junior has placed herself on the national landscape.  After rolling to a 4:51.13 earlier in the meet last week, the junior returned for a lifetime best of 10:17.17 to capture the Central Coast Section Championships. She steps in as the top seed with the fastest time from last weekend's qualifying rounds.  

Grace Hutchison (Buchanan/CS) - Looking to defend her home turf, she returns fresh off her Central Section championship last week (10:33.70). The junior comes in with a seasonal best of 10:17.80, becoming the third girl in the program to break 10:20 in the past three seasons!  She will also compete in the 1600 meters.  

Mackenzie Rogers (Poway/SD) - Stepping in with a seasonal best of 10:17.91, the senior placed second overall at the San Diego Section Championships last week with a 10:26.82. As Rogers will attend the University of Arkansas in the Fall, her lifetime best came at Arcadia, where crossed right with Hutchison.

Gioana Lopizzo (La Costa Canyon/SD) - One of the surprises here and with a late-race surge to overcome Rogers, the sophomore raced to a 10:25.46 lifetime best to record the top time at the San Diego Section finals last week.  With her previous best being 10:43.16, she now catapults into the mix to earn a medal this weekend.  

Kaiya Brooks (Crystal Springs Upland/CC) - Another surprise came from Brooks as well. With a 13-second improvement, she and Soobrian pushed one another at last week's Central Coast Section Finals, with Brooks coming up with an outstanding runner-up performance of 10:23.66.   

Samantha McDonnell (Newbury Park/SS) - Matriculating to the University of Alabama this Fall, the Southern Section champion has not red-lined it just yet, cruising to a 10:28.92 two weeks ago before her 10:30.15 a week ago. For the 3200, this will be her first real test of the season.  

Payton Godsey (Oaks Christian/SS) - Placing second at the Southern Section Masters Meet in a controlled 10:32.75 effort, her seasonal best of 10:19.05 is the top time of all sophomores in California.   

Cate Joaquin (St. Francis/SJ) - Heading off to Georgetown, the senior has had a sensational 2022 season.  After recording a lifetime best of 10:20.97 at Arcadia, she placed second at the Sac-Joaquin Masters Meet (10:28.69) last weekend to Del Oro's Chamberlain. (Pictured)

Sydney Sundgren (Buchanan/CS) - Fighting off illness recently, the junior managed to still advance with a third-place 10:35.70 effort last week at the Central Section Masters Meet.  Dropping the 1600 meters, all her focus lies here as she comes in with a 10:21.73 seasonal best.  

BOYS 800
State Meet Record: 1:46.45 (Michael Granville, Bell Gardens, 1996)

Four of the top five in California and 11 of the top 13 performances of 2022 step onto the line this Friday night. With the fourth-fastest time in the United States and the top underclassman in the nation, Newbury Park's Aaron Sahlman comes in as the favorite but several others have put together their best efforts as of late as we anticipate a Saturday night showdown that will push one another to sub-1:50 efforts!

Aaron Sahlman (Newbury Park/SS) - The junior and his 1:48.91 has been on fire all season long and aside from his brother Colin, no athlete in California history has displayed the range as he owns with 4:03.57 and 8:48.28 seasonal bests. With that, he has work ahead of him as he placed third at the Southern Section Masters Meet last week with a 1:52.04.

Ellis Delvecchio (Thacher/SS) - For the past three weeks, no one has been more impressive than the Claremont McKenna College-bound senior. In a solo effort, he rolled to a 1:50.13 three weeks ago before winning the CIF-SS Division 4 title two weeks ago and running away with the Southern Section Masters Meet last week (1:51.11). (Pictured)

Jai Dawson (Dana Hills/SS) - The UCLA-bound senior dropped the 1600 last week with the sole goal of winning the State Title in the 800.  After capturing the CIF-SS Division 2 title two weeks ago, he almost ran down Delvecchio at the Southern Section Masters Meet, leaning in with a 1:51.13. In a solo effort in March, Dawson rolled to a 1:50.63 lifetime best.

Yutaka Roberts (El Camino/CC) - Off to attend the University of Portland, the senior came into the season as one of the State Meet favorites and has lived up to the billing. His seasonal best of 1:51.04 is fifth-best in California, but he needed all he could muster to advance last week in placing fourth, under the at-large standard, at the Central Coast Masters Meet.  

Quinn Harder (San Marcos/SD) - No one individual busted their way up the charts here than Harder. The senior went into last weekend with a 1:55.51 lifetime best but erupted over the last 100 meters to a 1:51.90 to capture the San Diego Section Finals. Off the radar beforehand, his effort was the seventh-fastest in California.

Ben Pinkel (Bellarmine Prep/CC) - With a step-up runner-up performance, the senior placed second at the Central Coast Section Finals in a lifetime best of 1:52.61. Headed off to UC Santa Barbara this Fall, he had only under 1:55 one other time coming into the postseason.

Jacob Snodgress (San Marcos/SS) - Heading into the postseason with a 1:54.77 seasonal best, the senior stepped it up with a 1:52.66 effort, placing fifth at the CIF-SS Division 2 finals. He qualifies with a 1:53.43, sixth-place performance at last week's Southern Section Masters Meet.

Furious Clay (Crystal Springs Upland/CC) - With the third fastest time of all underclassmen in California, the junior raced to a 1:52.69 for a third-place finish at last week's Central Coast Section Finals. Two weeks earlier, Clay captured the West Bay Athletic League with a 1:53.20 effort.

Marcel Mitchell-Francis (Long Beach Wilson-/SS) - The junior placed fifth at the Southern Section Masters Meet with a 1:53.36. Last month, he crossed with the victory at the Mt. SAC Relays in a seasonal best of 1:52.71.

Jacob Robison (Santa Ana Foothill/SS) - The senior dropped a lifetime best of 1:52.90 last week in placing fourth at the Southern Section Masters Meet. The week prior, he was runner-up to Sahlman (1:53.44) in the CIF-SS Division 1 Final.

BOYS 1600
State Meet Record: 4:00.26 (German Fernandez, Riverbank, 2008)

With several other top-tiered talents opting to compete elsewhere, the field is wide open for the Boys 1600 meters. Clovis junior Christopher Caudillo, all too familiar with this track, has been one of the top underclassmen in the nation and checks in as the favorite. But, the field is loaded with three others with sub-4:10 credentials along with five more that have run faster than 4:12 this Spring.

Christopher Caudillo (Clovis/CS) - The junior ran one of the fastest miles of any underclassmen in state history with a 4:05.32 performance in late March. He was upset at the CIF-CS Division 1 finals two weeks ago but bounced back last week, with a 4:07.57 effort to capture the Central Section Masters Meet. (Pictured)

Jeremy Kain (Scotts Valley/CC) - Before heading off to Duke this fall, the senior placed his focus more on the 800/1600 combo this spring. Kain captured the Central Coast Section Masters Meet last week (4:14.10) before dropping a 1:51.32 to also win the 800 meters. He has since dropped the latter to focus here, bringing his 4:07.77 performance from Arcadia to the track.

Ethan Godsey (Agoura/SS) - Controlling the pace all throughout, the senior ran away with the win at the Southern Section Masters Meet in 2:12-2:04 splits. He placed second at the CIF-SS Division 2 finals (4:13.31) the week before but steps back onto the track with a 4:09.49 seasonal best from March.

Noah Ray (Buchanan/CS) - The junior has developed a nice rivalry of late with Clovis' Caudillo, taking two victories in this event in the 1600 meters over the past eight weeks. Ray captured the CIF-CS Division 1 title two weeks ago before placing second with a lifetime best last week (4:09.68) at the Central Section Masters Meet. (Pictured)

Tyler Kaan (Santiago/SS) - The UC-Riverside bound senior is arguably the most improved distance runner in California coming into the season with a 4:27.95 best. He has since rolled to a 4:10.98, placed third at the sit-and-kick Masters Meet qualifying round, and the week before, placed fourth in the CIF-SS Division 1 final. 

Levi Taylor (San Marcos/SD) - The senior has improved down from a 4:14.75 coming into the postseason down to his 4:11.87 victory at last weekend's San Diego Section Championships. Controlling the entire pace, Taylor ran away to the 2:08-2:04 wire-to-wire performance.

Brandon Moreno (Jesuit/SJ) - In his first season focusing on the 1600 meters, the junior prevailed with the upset, emerging with the victory at last week's Sac-Joaquin Masters Meet with a 4:12.82.  The week before, he placed fifth in the CIF-SJS Division 1 final.    

BOYS 3200
State Meet Record: 8:34.23 (German Fernandez, Riverbank, 2008)

In the history of this event in California, the depth is unmatched as we witnessed 50 boys break 9:10 over the course of the season!  Altogether in 2022, 17 dipped under the nine-minute standard of excellence.  Leading the charge in the field, Clovis' Christopher Caudillo checks in with the top time of the season. But, we also have 14 athletes in a 10-second bubble when glancing back at 2022 seasonal bests!

Christopher Caudillo (Clovis/CS) - The challenge the junior will face is the majority of the field is focusing solely on this event. He captured the Central Section Masters Meet last week in 9:06.14 but Caudillo was at his best at Arcadia where his fourth-place, 8:45.19 was one of the fastest underclass performances in state history.

Daniel Appleford (Newbury Park/SS) - The senior bounced back in grand style a week ago by running away to a sub-59 second last lap to win the Southern Section Masters Meet in 8:58.85. A week earlier, he struggled to barely qualify, but last week, reminded us of what we saw in his 8:52.19 effort from the Arcadia Invite.

Kenan Pala (Francis Park/SD) - In limited racing this spring following an amazing cross country season that saw him win the CIF-State Division V title and place second at the EastBay National Championships, Pala heads to State this weekend as the San Diego Section champion for 3200m coming off a season-best 9:04 effort. Will find out Saturday night if the Yale-bound senior is peaking just in time to run his first sub-9. (Pictured)

Bryce Gilmore (Sage Creek/SD) - Off to attend Wake Forest in the fall, the San Diego Section standout comes in with an 8:53.23 seasonal best from the Arcadia Invite. Racing sparingly this season, he ran a 9:06.50 last week to take home the SDS-Division 2 title while placing third overall at the San Diego Section Championships.

Jason Parra (Millikan/SS) - The sophomore's confidence continues to impress as he did all of the pacing last week in his runner-up Southern Section Masters Meet (8:59.87) performance. While he earned the CIF-Division 1 title two weeks, has eclipsed the 9:10 threshold on seven different occasions this season, with his 8:54.17 best coming at Arcadia. 

Milo Skapinsky (San Luis Obispo/CS) - One of the most improved juniors in California, he came into the season with a 9:39.14 best and brought it down to 8:57.19 at Arcadia last month. After taking the CS-Division 2 title two weeks ago, his 9:06.31 placed second at the Central Section Masters Meet last week.

Daniel Winter (St. Mary's/SJ) - Even with advancing in the 1600 meters as well, the senior placed second at the Sac-Joaquin Masters Meet last week with a 9:09.79. His seasonal best came at Arcadia (8:57.74) while he also placed second in the CIF-SJS Division 1 final two weeks ago.

Will Sheehy (Harvard Westlake/SS) - Without a doubt, THE most improved athlete in the field came into the 2022 season with only a 10:14.01 on his resume. The senior earned the CIF-SS Division 3 title two weeks ago before meeting the at-large standard in placing seventh at the Southern Section Masters Meet with a 9:04.00.

Max Sannes (Big Bear/SS) - Headed off to the Air Force Academy this Fall, the Big Bear senior has patiently worked his way to this weekend, taking home the CIF-SS Division 4 title (9:07.17) two weeks ago before negative splitting his 9:02.74, fifth-place effort at the Southern Section Masters Meet.  His seasonal best is 8:59.35.

Sean Morello (Albany/NC) - One of the top juniors in California, his seasonal best is 9:00.27.  He has been building up to this weekend, running to a six-second victory (9:08.54) at last weekend's North Coast Section Meet of Champions while he cruised to the Bayshore Area Championship two weeks ago.   

Preston Bowlds (Patrick Henry/SD) - Coming into the season with a 9:33.82 best, the senior elevated himself onto the statewide radar with his 9:00.32 at Arcadia.  He backed it up last week by earning the CIF-SDS Division 1 title at the San Diego Section Championships with his 9:06.03.

Mario Giannini (Chico/NS) - Moving up the rankings in recent weeks, the senior erupted with a lifetime best of 9:00.59 to easily capture the North Section championships by over 20 seconds!  His previous best had been 9:07.18 while Giannini is one of our sleepers in the field.   

Carter Spradling (Clovis East/CS) - The second fastest sophomore in California with a 9:01.14 seasonal best.  In an upset, he captured the CIF-CS Division 1 title two weeks ago before advancing to the State Meet with his third-place (9:07.68) effort at the Central Section Masters Meet.  

Zachary Ayers (Davis/SJ) - Coming in with a seasonal best of 9:01.14, he looked sharp in his 9:04.82 win at last weekend's Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Meet.  As Davis will join Sannes at the Air Force Academy, he also captured the SJS-Division 1 title the previous week and the tough Delta League title (9:05.82) three weeks ago.   

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Mark Gardner is a teacher, announcer, and former coach who is a regular contributor to MileSplit

Photos by DeAnna Turner, Jennifer Koziel, Phil Grooms, James Huenink, James Leash, and Raymond Tran