RECAP Girls Hurdles, Sprints Highlight Sac-Joaquin Finals

Hurdles stars Y'Vette Harris and Keilee Hall run state-leading times at the CIF-Sac Joaquin Section track and field championships, each running CA-leading times.

DAVIS -- The deep girls hurdles talent in the Sac-Joaquin Section this outdoor season did not disappoint over the weekend at the CIF-SJS Meet of Champions two-day finals and State Meet qualifier at Davis Senior High.

Five girls in the 100-meter hurdles, led by a blistering title run by Lincoln-Stockton senior Y'Vette Harris, advanced to the CIF-State Championships. In a section that auto-qualifies the top three, two other girls went under the State at-large standard of 14.56 in the 100m hurdles.

Harris, a returning double-State Meet medalist in the hurdles, had run 13.53 (2.8) in Friday's preliminary session to lower her all-conditions state-leading time.

In the final, St. Mary's senior Kori Fields was second (13.75), Rocklin junior Giselle Kirchner was next in 13.89, followed by Christian Brothers senior Keilee Hall (14.00) and Hall's junior teammate Sydnie Watkins (14.54). 

Hall came back later to run a state-leading 42.02 in the 300m hurdles, with Harris, the previous state leader, next in 42.74, and Kirchner grabbing the last qualifying spot to State in 43.96. 

Harris was the 100mH runner-up at State last year with Kircherner fourth. Happis placed fifth in the 300s with Hall in sixth. 

The top three in each event, and the top two in the new 4x800m relay, automatically qualified to compete at the CIF-State Championships next week at Buchanan HS in Clovis. State Meet at-large standards allow for additional qualifiers but few girls and none of the SJS boys hit the standard. 

The 100-meter dash was the only other event at the meet where the at-large standards were a benefit as SJS girls showed off the section's depth. 

Using a 2.7 meters-per-second aiding wind, Edison junior Shanye Harris ran 100 meters in 11.73 seconds as five went under the State at-large standard of 11.96. Kennedy senior Marlee Cavitt finished second in 11.74, Edison senior Nakai Johnson went 11.79, Twelve Brdiges sophomore Alysiana Winston ran 11.85, and Tracy senior Ciella Seals punched her State Meet ticket in 11.89 seconds. 

However, running into a 2.3 mps headwind for the 200m would limit the SJS girls qualifiers to three, led by Fields (24.53), who defended her SJS title, in an event where the at-large was 24.50. 

Whitney senior Katie Kopec won both long distance events, going 4:56.80 in the 1600m and 10:44.82 for 3200m. 

The feel-good story of the meet very well could be the girls 3200-meter runner-up, Anna McNatt. The former CIF-State cross country champion as a junior who competed at the nationals, had been sidelined for more than a year with a back injury. But here 10:51.33 runner-up finish on Saturday earned her a ticket back to a State Championship meet for the first time since the fall of 2021.

Other girls event winners included Franklin-Elk Grove junior Ihe Okoh in the 400m (56.43), Elk Grove senior Lilly Escorcia in the 800m (2:16.50), Whitney senior Ashanti Elie defended her SJS title in the high jump (5-7), Turlock junior Shaylan Roy-Williams in the long jump (18-07.00/2.3), Whitney junior Juliana Roberson won the triple jump (38-02.50/1.8), Pleasant Grove senior Abigail Wagner in the pole vault (12-00). And Weston Ranch senior Galadriel Mellion defended both SJS throws titles with a sweep of the discus throw (142-06) and shot put (43-06). 

Roberson, who placed eighth at State in triple jump last May, also advanced in the long jump (17-10.50/1.8). St. Francis senior Madison Pelfrey also cleared 12-feet in the pole vault. Del Campo sophomore Zenallah Hatcher-Simmons and Davis junior Sol Bitners also advanced in both throws. 

Whitney (9:26.10) and St. Francis (9:26.91) earned the section's two State Meet berths into the inaugural 4x800m relay final. 

Among the boys, Franklin-Elk Grove senior Ian Dossman swept the short sprints, winning the 100m in 10.47 (2.5) and the 200 in 21.75 (-2.5).

Vanden junior Brayden Chavez, third last year, won the 400m in 47.80 with returning champion John Dailey of Whitney grabbing the third qualifying spot in 48.52 behind Pitman senior Joey Stout (48.27).

Hughson senior Joe Lighthall defended his SJS title in the 800m in 1:53.41. He placed seventh at State last May.

In the other distance races, Jesuit senior Brandon Moreno ran 4:13.88 to defend his SJS title in the 1600m and Rocklin senior Devin Pereira won the 3200m (9:08.10) after placing eighth a year ago. In both races, members of the CIF-State cross country championship Oakdale team ran second: Caleb Cavanaugh in the 1600m (4:15.21) and Dax Daley in the 3200 (9:08.84). Sonora sophomore Broen Holman took the third State Meet qualifying spot in the 3200 (9:10.36). 

Pleasant Grove senior Stephen Dahdouh and Merrill West junior Cameron Williams swapped places in the hurdles. Dahdouh won the 110s in 31.94 (2.7) with Williams second in 14.02. Williams won the 300s in 37.91 with Dahdouh next in 38.41. A year ago, Dahdouh placed fifth in the 110s and Williams was seventh in the 300s. 

Davis (8:01.75) and Jesuit (8:02.05) were the section's State Meet qualifiers in the 4x800m relay. 

Field event winners were Golden Valley senior Delbert Davis in the high jump (6-7), Lodi senior Maceo Mcdowell defended his section title in the long jump (22-11/3.4), Lincoln-Stockton senior Ethan Fong in the triple jump (47-00/2.0), Turlock junior Max McFarlane in the pole vault (15-00), Jesuit senior Benjamin Condrin in the discus throw (164-01), and Argonaut junior Jake Todden in the shot put (55-00). 

Fong also qualified third in the long jump (22-6.50/1.5).

Jesuit's Moreno and Lodi's McDowell each earned sixth-place medals in their respective events at the 2022 State Meet.

Jeffrey Parenti is the California State Editor for MileSplit

Photos by James Leash and Dan Tyree

Interviews by Dan Tyree