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SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Meet of Champions high school track and field meet scheduled for Saturday at American River College, is certainly lining up as a meet of section leaders.
All but two individual event leaders in the Sac-Joaquin Section (wind-legal and all conditions) are entered into this meet. But it's hardly an SJS-exclusive event, drawing section leaders from the Central, North Coast, Northern, Oakland, and San Francisco sections.
Athletes scheduled to compete Saturday hold more than 70 section-leading marks across the six sections represented with state overall leaders in the boys high jump (St. Mary's (SJ) junior Legend Moore), and girls 100m hurdles (Lincoln-Stockton (SJ) senior Y'Vette Harris) scheduled to compete.
Invitational event records for the Sacramento Meet of Champions, which began in 1982 and has been a consistent late-spring showcase ever since, date to 1993 and are held by such California high school track and field legends such as ...
Jordan Hasay (Mission College Prep) 10:21.34 for 3200 meters in 2006
Cooper Teare (St. Joseph's) 3:59.80 for 1600 meters in 2017
Sondre Guttormsen (Davis) 17-02.00 in the pole vault, 2018
Alex Kosinski (Oak Ridge) with a record-setting 800-1600m double in 2007 of 2:07.84/4:38.15
The 2022 Sacramento MOC was one of senior domination, primarily on the boys side. We have six boys and one girl who were runners-up in 2022 and are top returners from last year who are scheduled to compete Saturday during the evening invitational portion of the daylong event (Open section events at 11 a.m., with Invitational girls pole vault at 4 p.m., other Invite field events at 5 p.m., and Invite track events at 5:30 p.m. Watch action on the track live on MileSplit beginning at 11 a.m.).
Returning champions from the Invitational Division
Lodi (SJ) senior Maceo McDowell (long jump, 23-7/0.5),
St. Mary's (SJ) senior Kori Fields (200m, 24.57/0.6),
Monte Vista (NC) senior Cate Peters (400m, 54.72),
Lincoln-Stockton (SJ) senior Y'Vette Harris (100m hurdles, 14.28/1.4, and 300mH, 44.02),
Whitney (SJ) senior Ashanti Elie (high jump, 5-7),
Whitney junior Juliana Roberson (triple jump, 37-8), and
Weston Ranch (SJ) senior Galadriel Mellion (discus throw, 134-1, shot put 42-1.25).
Boys to Watch
Stephen Dahdouh (Pleasant Grove/SJ) - The section leader in both hurdles (14.23/1.7, 38.80) placed fourth here last year in the 110s (14.92/1.5) and third in the 300s (40.06) and is the top returner in both. He's the top entry here in the 300mH at 38.80 from Mt. SAC.
Dax Daley (Oakdale/SJ) - Open division winner here last year for 3200m (9:25.66), he is among the leaders of the Oakdale championship cross country team running distances on the oval here. Daley will get plenty of push in the eight-lapper from a 27-runner field that includes Ponderosa (SJ) junior Josh Chu, Rocklin (SJ) senior Devin Pereira, Oakdale (SJ) senior Caleb Cavanaugh, St. Mary's (NC) senior Mateo Malko-Allen.
Ethan Fong (Lincoln-Stockton/SJ) - The senior ranks among the state leaders in the triple jump with a wind-legal best of 46-7.50 (1.0) to win at Stanford, and an all-conditions PR of 46-8 (2.3) for sixth at Arcadia.
Joe Lighthall (Hughson/SJ) - Runner-up here last year in the 800m (1:55.25), the returning State Meet finalist leads the SJS at 1:52.64 to win at Stanford ranks CA No. 8.
Mateo Malko-Allen (St. Mary's/NC) - Runner-up here last year for 3200m (9:10.13), he is the 1600m leader in the NCS at 4:13.40). The versatile Malko-Allen is scheduled to run the 800m and 3200m here. The Cal Poly recruit will be looking to improve on PRs of 1:54.40 and his 9:10.13 PR set here last year in one of the most exciting races of the '22 MOC.
Maceo McDowell (Lodi/SJ) - The lone defending champion on the boys' side, McDowell popped 23-7 (0.5), his season best in limited meets this spring is 22-7 for seventh at Arcadia. His PR is 23-10 from SJS Masters last spring and he went on to place sixth at the CIF-State Meet (23-4.75/3.8). Defense here for McDowell will no doubt be threatened by Golden Valley (SJ) senior Delbert Davis, Rosemont (SJ) senior Victor Noble, Granite Bay (SJ) soph Andrew Van, and James Logan (NC) junior Jeremy Craft, all with 22-8 or better entry marks.
Legend Moore (St. Mary's/SJ) - Legend, a junior, is the state leader in the high jump at 6-8. He has two other meets with 6-6 clearances, and went over a 6-7 bar at New Balance Indoors.
Sean Morello (Albany/NC) - The Duke University recruit is in a loaded 1600m field that includes Moreno, Monte Vista (NC) senior Ethan Miller, his junior teammate Lucas Cohen, Placer (SJ) senior Julian Doak, Folsom (SJ) senior Nathan Short, Oakdale (SJ) senior Caleb Cavanaugh, Beyer (SJ) senior Nathaniel Olsen, and Northern Section standout sophomore Jackson Hein of Pleasant Valley.
Brandon Moreno (Jesuit/SJ) - Runner-up here last year for 1600m (4:12.94), he is the mile leader in the SJS at 4:15.71. He has a lifetime best for 1600m of 4:12.58 achieved in placing sixth at the 2022 State Meet.
Robert Stitts (El Cerrito/NC) - Runner-up in the 100m (10.70) here last year, he is the NCS leader in the short sprint at 10.52 (2.1). His wind-legal best of 10.52 (1.7) from Arcadia ranks CA No. 8 among wind-legal marks. Stitts is also scheduled in the 200m.
Girls to Watch
Eliza Ayres (Oakland Tech/OK) - The sophomore dominated at the OK Section Finals as a frosh winning both hurdles and the long jump and going to State in the 100mH and long jump as a freshman. She leads the section in those two events this spring and is scheduled here in both as well as on the 4x100m relay. At 17-9.50, Ayres has the top qualifying mark here in the long jump.
Marlee Cavitt (Kennedy/SJ) - The SJS 100-meter leader was fourth here last year in the short sprint (12.16) and sixth in the 200m (25.32). She's back to run in both as well as the 4x1 and 4x4 relays. Competition in the 100m lines up as Tracy (SJ) senior Ciella Seals, and Edison (SJ) junior Shanye Harris among sub-12 sprinters in the field.
Ashanti Elie (Whitney/SJ) - The aforementioned returning champion went 5-7 here last year and has a high jump best this year of 5-8. She's also scheduled in the 100m.
Kori Fields (St. Mary's/SJ) - Is scheduled in the 4x100m relay, 100m hurdles, and to defend her title in the 200m dash. She placed second to Harris in the 100m hurdles (14.68) in a field where Rocklin's Giselle Kirchner was third (14.78) and Christian Brothers' Keilee Hall was fourth (15.38). All four are scheduled for the rematch here.
Y'Vette Harris (Lincoln-Stockton/SJ) - The current state leader in both hurdles, the Central Florida-bound Harris has been crushing it since January. She went 44.02 to win the 300m hurdles here last year to edge Keilee Hall of Christian Brothers (44.37). Harris has gone 13.83 to lead the state and 42.68 (CA No. 3) so far this spring. The girls hurdles races lineup as two of the marquee events for Saturday night, with Harris, Hall, juniors Giselle Kirchner (Rocklin/SJ) and Sydnie Watkins (Christian Brothers/SJ), and senior Kori Fields (St. Mary's/SJ) all scheduled. The 300s are equally compelling with Hall, Kirchner, Oakdale (SJ) senior Kylie Nunes, and Heritage (NC) senior Jasper Villanueva all coming in with sub-47 credentials looking to keep up with '22 State Meet medalists Harris and Hall.
Katie Kopec (Whitney/SJ) - The senior cross country star headed to Oregon State is joined go Reno (NV) Galena HS sophomore Eleanor Raker and Monte Vista (NC) senior Sally Binder among sub-5 minute girls in the 1600m. Kopec is then scheduled to come back for a little speed work in the 800m along with Rio Americano (SJ) junior Summer Doyle and St. Francis (SJ) junior Kayla Towne among sub-2:18 girls planned for the tow-lap showcase.
Galadriel Mellion (Weston Ranch/SJ) - The Arizona State recruit swept the throws here last year, going 42-1.25 in the shot and 134-1 in the discus. She leads the SJS in both and ranks CA No. 4 in the discus (148-0) and CA No. 6 in the shot (41-8.50). Del Campo (SJ) sophomore Zenallah Hatcher Simmons comes in with the top qualifying mark in the discus throw at 42-1. Davis (SJ) junior Sol Bitners has going 144-8 as the No. 2 qualifying mark here in the discus.
Cate Peters (Monte Vista/NC) - She is the NCS leader in the 200m (25.24/0.1), 400m (55.60), and 800m (2:10.25). The Stanford-bound Peters is scheduled to defend her title in the 400m, where she went 54.72 last year, No. 6 in meet history.
Eleanor Raker (Reno (NV) Galena HS) - The aforementioned sophomore has a best of 10:26.80 for 3200m, the top qualifying time here in a 27-runner field that is scheduled to include El Cerrito (SJ) senior Amelia Stacey, McClatchy (SJ) senior twins Anna and Louisa McNatt, Oak Ridge (SJ) senior Brooke Butler, Rocklin (SJ) freshman Allie Harman, and Placer (SJ) junior Anna Soares.
Juliana Roberson (Whitney/SJ) - The junior was a State Meet finalist in the triple jump last year after winning here a month before at 37-8. But defense of her MOC title will not be easy with a stellar field that includes four other 37-plus-foot jumpers in Modesto (SJ) seniors Chidiebere and Chinanu Agunanne, Vanden (SJ) junior Skye Odom, and Pleasant Grove (SJ) sophomore Shemi Brown-Dawson.
Taylor Snaer (East Union/SJ) - The senior comes in as the favorite in the 200m dash with a qualifying best of 24.64 (CA No. 8, all conditions). Challenges should come from Edison (SJ) junior Shanye Harris, Vacaville (SJ) senior Lily Holman, Kennedy (SJ) senior Marlee Cavitt, and St. Mary's (SJ) Kori Fields in a field stacked at 25.82-or-faster qualifications.
Abigail Wagner (Pleasant Grove/SJ) - Second here last year in the pole vault at 12-2, she's gone an inch higher so far this spring and will no doubt be looking to improve on her CA No. 13-ranked PR. Competition will no doubt come from St. Francis (SJ) senior Madison Pelfrey with a lifetime best of 11-9.
OPEN AND INVITE EVENT SCHEDULE, MEET PROGRAM
Jeffrey Parenti is the California Editor for MileSplit
Photos by James Leash and Dan Tyree