State Meet Race Video Countdown: No. 7, Girls 3200-Meter Run

Young stars with a bright future in the girls distances took center stage in an historically fast CIF-State Championship 3200-meter run final.

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Fourth in a Series

The future is insanely bright for girls distance running in the Golden State. As evidence we offer this:

Not a senior among 'em!

Rylee Blade, a sophomore at Santiago-Corona (SS), opened at 75.31 and closed at 68.32 for the win, holding off Oaks Christian (SS) junior Payton Godsey with a late sprint. 

Godsey, a CIF-State and RunningLane National cross country champion in the fall, closed in 68.96. 

But in between, it was hardly certain who would take the State Meet title.

Eastlake (SD) freshman Jaelyn Williams set a strong early pace jumping out to the lead with an opening 73.30. 

The young but more experienced pack that included Blade, Godsey, La Costa Canyon (SD) junior Gioana Lopizzo, and Laguna Hills (SS) sophomore Holly Barker, patiently, methodically, held back into the latter stages of the race.

Hanne Thomsen, a sophomore at Montgomery (NC) and the returning State Meet champion, injured her foot while placing fourth in the earlier 1600m and had to drop out after a couple of laps. 

Williams, who held the lead for most of the race, peaked with a 76.06 fourth lap but started to show vulnerability with a 77.49 sixth lap as Godsey closed in 75.93, 75.16, and 68. Lopizzo went 75.17 at 2K and closed 76.42, 74.82, and 74.86. Blade opened at 75, slowed to 79, and then went 75.99, 75.52, 76.42, 76.29, 74.93, and then dropped that 68 hammer for the win. 

Sac-Joaquin Section star Katie Kopec of Whitney, and Grace Hutchison of Buchanan (CS) were the only seniors among the top 10. Kopec who is headed to Oregon State, closed strong at 69.28 for sixth place, and Hutchison closed in 76.90 for eighth.

All nine medalists posted a seasonal best except for Godsey and Lopizzo, who had eclipsed the coveted 10-minute mark earlier in the season!   For further context, the top five girls all entered the top-20 all-time list for the state meet with Blade and Godsey entering the top eight!  Lopizzo, Williams, and Barker all ran the fastest times in meet history for their respective places.  

Watch the Race:

Meet the Champion:


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Photos by Raymond Tran 

MileSplitCA associate editor Mark Gardner contributed to this article.

Race Countdown voting by Ryan Blystone, Steve Brand, Albert Caruana, Mark Gardner, and Jeffrey Parenti