RECAP Hurdles Fireworks Highlight Sacramento Meet of Champs


SACRAMENTO -- A pre-meet spotlight on Y'Vette Harris and Giselle Kirchner brought attention to two of California's best high school hurdlers while illuminating the 100-meter and 300-meter events at Saturday's Sacramento Meet of Champions onto the marquee. 

And those two events certainly did not disappoint. 

Harris, already the state leader in the 100m hurdles, won both races, the 300s in a state-leading PR photo finish. 

While the focus of the preview feature was on Harris and Kirchner, her consistent 100mH rival, another on Saturday night with her performance said, 'What about me?'

What about Keilee Hall, indeed!

The senior at Christian Brothers (SJ) placed third behind Harris (14.03/0.9) and Kirchner (14.14) in the 100s with a 14.17 PR. She then came back in the 300s and forced Harris to dig deep late to barely -- fractionally -- earn the win coming from behind in what was the fastest two times in the event in the state this season. 

How close is close?

Harris needed her lifetime best of 42.145 to beat Hall, who ran her lifetime best at 42.147. Whoa!!

The spotlight events at the four-decade-old MOC warrant the headline among myriad standout performances from the evening 'Invitational' half of the double-session meet held on a warm and sunny day at American River College. 

In provisional statewide rankings (pending additions from other meets held this weekend across the Golden State), 11 boys results slotted among CA's top 11, and six on the girls are ranked among the state's top 11. 

Regardless of how the rankings ultimately shake out from the weekend, the El Cerrito boys 4x100-meter relay team is legit! With MOC 100m dash winner Robert Stitts pulling the crew home, El Cerrito (NC) sizzled the early evening track at 41.64 seconds with Jesuit (SJ) dropping a 41.79 for second. In the early hours Sunday, those times slotted in the state at Nos. 3 and 10, respectively. 

Stitts 10.45 into a -0.5 wind is a top-six mark, as is the 21.19 (-0.6) Jesuit's Justin Johnson clocked in the 200m, this after going 10.68 for third in the 100m. All three of those sprint marks are PRs. 

Other marks of note among the lads, Edison (SJ) ran 3:19.53 in the 4x400m relay, Hughson (SJ) senior Joe Lighthall, seventh at State in the 800m as a junior, ran a 1:51.95 PR, and Cosumnes Oaks (SJ) junior Myles MacFarland won the 110m hurdles in 14.44 (-0.2). 

The boys 1600m produced a handful of top-20 marks led by Albany (NC) junior Lucas Cohen (4:09.97), with Jesuit (SJ) senior Brandon Moreno (4:10.28), Oakdale (SJ) senior Caleb Cavanaugh (4:10.40), and Monte Vista (NC) senior Ethan Miller (4:10.72) in tow. St. Mary's (NC) senior Mateo Malko-Allen emerged from a six pack with about 300 to go to win the 3200m (9:08.86) with Ponderosa (SJ) junior Josh Chu second in 9:10.80 and Oakdale junior Omar Alsaidi third in 9:12.10.

In the field, the boys shot put produced what appears as three top-10 marks led by Tulare Western (CS) senior Jose Soto at 60-2 to beat McKinleyville (NC) senior Derek Ray (57-3) and Edison (CS) Nick Ball (57-0.25). Davis (SJ) junior Benjamin Feyrer had a huge lifetime best of 15-7 to win the pole vault, Lincoln-Stockton (SJ) senior Ethan Fong went 46-00 (1.9) to win the triple jump. Antelope (SJ) sophomore Quentin Mitchell's 6-5 clearance was good enough to beat state leader Legend Moore in the high jump. Moore, a junior at St. Mary's (SJ) who has a best of 6-8, went 6-3 on Saturday. Rosemont (SJ) senior Victor Noble won the long jump with a PR of 22-11 (0.0) to beating returning MOC champion Maceo McDowell of Lodi (SJ), who went 22-9 (0.0). It was a season-best performance for McDowell, who placed sixth at State last May. 

Girls performances to note include a warranted shout-out to Hall's junior teammate Sydnie Watkins, who dropped PRs of 14.52 for fourth in that elite 100mH race, and 25.08 (0.9) during the daytime 'Open' session.

Monte Vista (NC) senior Cate Peters ran just one race and blew away the field with a 55.47 season-best in the 400m, provisionally CA No. 8. Edison-Stockton (SJ) junior Shanye Harris won the 200m (24.81/-0.9) after running 11.974 (-0.7) for second in the 100m behind senior teammate Nakai Johnson (11.972).

Davis (SJ) junior Sol Bitners won the discus throw at 144-9 to earn girls field event athlete of the meet. 

Also, Whitney (SJ) senior Ashanti Elie defended her title in the high jump (5-5), as did Weston Ranch (SJ) senior Galadriel Mellion in the shot put (40-11.50). Pleasant Grove (SJ) senior Abigail Wagner won the pole vault at 12-00, Del Campo (SJ) senior Jonte Lehmann won the long jump at 18-5 (0.0), and Modesto (SJ) senior Chinanu Agunanne won the triple jump at 38-09 (-0.9).

Eleanor Raker, a sophomore at Reno (NV) Galena won the 1600m (4:52.48) and appeared comfortably in front toward the second half of the 3200m before she stepped off the track on the far turn. Another Reno-area sophomore, Chloe Huyler of Sage Ridge was the beneficiary and got the win in 10:45.25, holding off Oak Ridge (SJ) senior Brooke Butler (10:49.84). Raker returned to the race and finished back in the pack at 11:24.04. 

Jeffrey Parenti is the California State Editor for MileSplit