ALL-STATE XC '22 - CA's Elite Senior Boys

Aaron Sahlman of Newbury Park HS in the Southern Section was voted as the MileSplitCA Senior Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year in a statewide poll conducted though our partners at FanPower. Sahlman received 45 percent of the vote. Teammates Leo Young and Lex Young were second, each receiving 13 percent of the vote. Congratulations to Aaron!!

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The MileSplitCA All-State Cross Country teams are subjective selections based on results within the class at the State Meet, section championships, and marquee events like the Clovis Invitational. Each team is limited to seven on the line. We also conducted polls to select each team's runner of the year. Those winners are acknowledged above with a banner photo. 



(listed alphabetically)


Off to compete for Cal Poly-SLO next year, he graduates with two Central Section titles as he rolled to a second-place finish (15:03.9) at the State Meet for Division I. One of the best ever for the section, his lifetime best for the Woodward Park 5k course is 14:53.9 from 2021. Caudillo placed 45th at the Team Nationals while earlier in the season, he ran 14:13.3 at the Woodbridge Invite.  


Saving his best when it counted most, the senior convincingly purred to the State title for Division I in 14:51.3. He motored away from everybody at the CIF-SS finals, crossing in 14:35.0 on the Mt. SAC course. Donis capped off his dream season, placing 13th overall at the Team Nationals (third-best Californian in the race).  


Duke-bound Morello ran the second fastest time on the Hayward HS 3-mile course with his 14:28.4 at the Phil Wilder Invitational. He repeated as NCS champion and finished second at the State Meet with a new personal record on the Woodward Park course at 15:08.8.


One of the great stories of 2022 featured the University of Northern Arizona-bound senior capturing the Team Nationals in surprising fashion. His first win ever in the sport, he was third at the State Meet (14:41.1) to help his team capture their third-straight State championship while his victory in Portland further established the squad as the best in the nation.  

MICAH SANCHEZ (Liberty Charter/SD)   

The Division V State champion (15:13.6) ran away to the 11-second win, a week after running the fastest time on the day at the San Diego Section finals. Improving from a 15:42, ninth-place finish the year before, Sanchez was the hometown favorite in qualifying for the Champs National Cross Country Championships, where he placed 25th overall.  


Placed fourth (15:10.9) at the Division I State Meet finals. Runner-up at the Central Section champions to pace his team to the divisional championship while he also ran a 15:09.0 at the Clovis Invite.  Proved to have another gear in him as he placed second at the Champs Western Regionals with an outstanding last half of the race, earning a spot on the line at Champs Nationals.

LEO YOUNG (Newbury Park/SS)

Despite placing second at the State Meet for Division II in one of the fastest times in the meet's history, his 14:25.9 clocking from the Clovis Invite stands as the second-fastest ever in Woodward Park 5k course history. With a 14:38.2 time from the CIF-SS finals, he was a part of the record-setting effort for the Mt. SAC course.  Leo was the team's second scorer, with an 11th-place effort, at the Team Nationals to help secure the top ranking in the nation for the third straight postseason.   

LEX YOUNG (Newbury Park/SS)   

Heading off to compete at Stanford next year with his brother, the senior got the lean at the CIF-SS divisional finals (14:38.1) but left no doubt a week later at the State Meet. There, he edged away from his brother over the last 800 meters to win the CIF-State title, running 14:27.8 time, the second-fastest time ever at the State Meet. In Portland at the Team Nationals, he was the team's fourth scorer to propel Newbury Park to the top national ranking.  

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Juan Chantaca (San Clemente/SS) - Tenth in Division I at the State Meet (15:25.5) but at the Clovis Invite, he put down a 15:11.3 and claimed the Orange County Champs individual title a week later. He was runner-up (14:59.8) in the CIF-SS Division 1 final, leading San Clemente to their first-ever divisional title.

Daegan Cutter (Redwood/NC) - North Coast Section Division 2 champion (14:45.4) held off some of the same names on this list.  He ran 15:26.1 at the State Meet for 11th in the D-II race, but also crossed with a 15:16.2 at the Clovis Invite to rank 13th in the merge. 

Dax Daley (Oakdale/SJ) - Senior leader for the two-time SJS D-3, and '22 State Meet team champions. He placed third in the section final in 15:43.6 and second in the State Final in 15:17.9, a PR for 5K. He was 19th in the merge at State. Dax won four races and placed among the top six in five other races.

Ethan Miller (Monte Vista/NC) - Placed sixth in the uber-fast Division II race at State, running a 5K PR of 15:15.5 on the Woodward Park course.  Runner-up at the North Coast Section finals, he also shined with a 14:30 at the Woodbridge Classic. 

Justin Pretre (Menlo School/CC) - Central Coast Section Division 5 champion and CIF-State runner-up for the No. 2 D-V team in CA. His winning time of 14:58.2 on the 2.95-mile Crystal Springs course ranked second in the merge. Ran 15:24.6 at State. The Cal commit won five of eight races.

Cameron Rhone (Long Beach Poly/SS) - (at right in photo above) Came up big at the state meet with a 15:13.0, fifth-place effort in Division I.  He was fourth at the CIF-SS finals (15:07.9) and ran 14:58 in the Individual Sweeps race at the Mt. SAC Invite.

Roland Ruckmann-Barnes (Granada/NC) - Senior leader on the No. 2 team in D-II and the No. 4 team in CA. A Cal commit, he placed 10th at State (15:21.9) as Granada placed second behind Newbury Park and earned a bid to Team Nationals. Placed fourth at NCS as Granada won a second consecutive title.

Parker Simmons (Crescenta Valley/SS) - (at left in photo above) Placed third in Division I at the State Meet (15:09.7), as he did at the CIF-SS finals a week before (15:00.4). He also captured the Division 1-2 Team Sweepstakes race at Mt. SAC (14:46.0).  

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(This section acknowledges athletes who placed among the top 30 in the class in the merge from the State Meet and/or won a section divisional title, and/or placed among the top 15 overall at the Clovis Invite.)

Shane Badcock (Dougherty Valley/NC), Bruno Bartalos (Lowell/SF), Tom Bell (Mt. Carmel/SD), Jonah Billings (Foothill Tech/SS), William Bujake (New West Charter/LA), Rory Catsimanes (San Clemente/SS), Caleb Cavanaugh (Oakmont/SJ), Donovan Cheruiyot (Vacaville/SJ), Tiernan Colby (Sonoma Academy/NC), Mark Cortes (Great Oak/SS), Jude Devries (Montgomery/NC), Julian Doak (Placer/SJ), Garrett Hartline (El Toro/SS), Benjamin Hughes (San Marino/SS), Bille Issa (West Ranch/SS), Alexander Lodewick (Campolindo/NC), Evan Markelz (Mountain View/CC), Ryan Mitchell (Davis/SJ), Miguel Morales-Lopez (Mendez/LA), Jacob Niednagel (La Costa Canyon/SD), Trent Nosky (Aptos/CC), Francisco Rodriguez (Franklin/LA), Luca Romero (El Segundo/SS), Brayden Seymour (Newbury Park/SS), Nathan Short (Folsom/SJ), Ethan Smith (Oaks Christian/SS), Alazar Teffra (Central/CS), Quinn White (San Luis Obispo/CS), Juan Zamora (Marshall/LA).

Photos by DeAnna Turner, Kyle Brazeil, Daniel Hernandez, James Huenink, Raymond Tran, and Dan Tyree.

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

California MileSplit State Editor Jeffrey Parenti contributed to this article.