CIF-STATE PRELIMS RECAP - Boys and Girls Distances


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Last in a series of event-group recaps from Friday's Prelims from the CIF-State Meet at Buchanan HS in Clovis

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Equipped with the fastest seasonal best (1:48.91) in the field, Newbury Park's Aaron Sahlman posted the fastest time of 1:51.60 with his victory in heat three.  Dana Hills' Jai Dawson held off the field to capture heat two (1:51.95), while Torrey Pines' Ryan Thomas (pictured above) posted a lifetime best of 1:52.34 right behind him.  Meanwhile, the first heat saw a more conservative approach employed with Foothill's Jacob Robison (1:53.47) outleaning Ellis Delvecchio of Thacher (1:53.51). 

San Marcos' Quinn Harder also easily advanced with his 1:52.27 runner-up effort to Sahlman in that final heat, just ahead of Jacob Snodgress (1:52.57) who represents San Marcos out of Santa Barbara.  In heat two, Joseph Lighthall of Hughson improved by over a full second with his 1:52.47 personal best, outlasting Bellarmine Prep's Ben Pinkel at 1:52.62 and Berkeley's Timothy Keller (1:53.11).   


Coming into the weekend the top seed in Clovis junior Christopher Caudillo.  Fully aware of Friday being a qualifying round, Caudillo tactfully advanced to the final with a time of 4:14.72, coming through at 2:10.4 and coming back with 2:04.3. With the quartet crossing together, Agoura's Ethan Godsey crossed first in 4:14.27, Royal's Jonah Bazerkanian (4:14.46), and Jesuit's Brandon Moreno (4:14.52) all claiming the four automatic spots from heat one.  

Predictably, the second heat saw a more aggressive approach with the top EIGHT all advancing to comprise tonight's field of 12.  College Park junior Alex Lamoureux posted a three-second lifetime best of 4:11.62 right beside Jeremy Kain of Scotts Valley (4:11.65). Santiago's Tyler Kaan (4:11.93) while Saratoga's Harrison Dance (4:12.09) crossed with a personal best.   San Marcos' Levi Taylor (4:12.66) and Loyola's Richard Moreno (4:12.82) stayed with the pack while Crescenta Valley's Rowan Fitzgerald sprinted on the inside to pass several boys for a 4:12.91, just ahead of Lowell's Oliver Witt, who posted a new personal best of 4:13.16. 

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Coming back from the 1600 meters, Ventura freshman Sadie Engelhardt crossed with the top time, capturing heat three in 2:10.13. Clovis North senior Tatum Zinkin rode the freshman's coattails to a new lifetime best of 2:11.38 with La Canada sophomore Arielle McKenzie crossing in third at 2:11.69.  

In the previous two sections, JW North junior Mackenzie Browne (2:11.89) captured heat two, just ahead of Menlo Atherton sophomore Tatum Oleson (2:12.05) and J Serra senior Ashlee Gallegos (2:12.14). Katella senior Ashlynn Viramontes paced the group all throughout to win the first heat (2:12.08), with San Diego Section's Tessa Buswell (2:12.59) of Poway and San Marcos' senior Trinity Dixon (2:13.00).


Perhaps, the most anticipated event on tonight's docket, for the first time, three girls with sub 4:40 credentials will lace it up!

Those three, wisely, controlled the pace of their heats with the sole intent to simply advance with as little work as possible. In the first heat, Ventura freshman Sadie Engelhardt (4:51.18) and Newbury Park senior Samantha McDonnell (4:51.58) stayed close, both crossing at 2:32 at the halfway point before unleashing for a 2:19 for eye-popping splits 77-75-72-67 splits! Tamalpais senior Brianna McInnis rode the pace to a 4:52.35 along with Buchanan freshman Sierra Cornett at 4:52.49.

As is always the case, the second heat went out faster with Mira Costa's Dalia Frias comfortably bringing the group through at 2:28 before the senior crossed in a 4:49.83. Chino's Mia Chavez (4:50.58) and Highland's Mia Torrecillas (4:50.96) kept pace to easily advance. Buchanan's Grace Hutchison joined her teammate, Cornett, in advancing with a 4:51.21. Del Norte junior Hannah Riggins qualified with a 4:51.58 while senior Emma Hadley of Canyon (Anaheim) worked her way back to the State Meet final, as she did in 2019, with a 4:52.36. Dana Hills' junior Allura Markow (4:52.97) and Scotts Valley sophomore Ashlyn Booth (4:56.00) fill out the rest of the field.

Mark Gardner is a regular contributor to MileSplit.

Photos by DeAnna Turner, Daniel Hernandez, and Dan Tyree