Northern Section Track and Field Season in Review

Pleasant Valley sophomore Jackson Hein placed fifth and earned a medal in the 800-meter run at the 103rd CIF-State Track and Field Championships.

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Pleasant Valley sophomore Jackson Hein rode the momentum of his Northern Section title in the 400 meter run all the way to the awards podium at the CIF-State Meet.

Hein, who cruised to a 1:56.08 win at the NS Championships at West Valley HS, dropped down to 1:54.17 at State Prelims, and the next day dropped a 1:53.71 PR to place fifth and earn a State Meet medal.

Among the two dozen athletes and six relay teams making the trip to Buchanan HS in Clovis, Hein was the only one to come home with a medal.


But the distance standout, who also led the Northern Section in the 1600 meter run with a 4:19.41 PR from the Sacramento Meet of Champions, heads a strong group of section champions scheduled to return for 2024. 

In that group is Foothill-Palo Cedro junior Logan Borg, the section 400-meter champion and 800m runner-up, Chico sophomore Carter Murphy, the 1600m NS Finals champion, his junior teammate Charles Brennen, the section 3200m champion, Foothill junior Chris Hall, who swept the horizontal jumps at the NS Final, Shasta junior Emmanuel Limon, the shot put champion, and Orland sophomore Logan Meredith, a two-time NS champion in the pole vault. 

All those boys competed at the State Meet, along with seniors Ian Reynolds of West Valley, the 100m champion and 200m runner-up; Parker Williams of Pleasant Valley, the 200m champion, Caden Rowe of Foothill, the two-time 110m hurdles champion who also won the 300m hurdles title, West Valley's Owen Evans, the high jump champion, and Durham's Matt Larsen, the discus throw champion.

Foothill sent section championship relay teams in the 4x100m and 4x400m to compete at State, as did Trinty, in the 4x800m. That lineup of seniors Christopher Brennan, Liam Brennan, Kyle Cox, and freshman Jackson Poburko were the first NS representative in the inaugural event at the State Championships, running 8:11.58 for 14th place out of 19 teams in the finals-only event involving top qualifing teams from all 10 CIF sections.


That trend holds true for the girls, as eight of the 12 who qualified for individual events at State are non-seniors. 

That group is led by Pleasant Valley junior Kayla Johnson, who swept the horizontal jumps at the Northern Section Finals and competed in both at the State Meet. Her teammate, sophomore Holly Alchin, won the section title in the 800 meters. Las Plumas junior Kylie Atteberry defended her NS title in the 100m. Shasta sophomore Elizabeth Merrill won the section title in the 1600m and led the NS in the 3200m with an 11:21.99 performance at the Sacramento Meet of Champions. 

Gridley junior AnaGloria Estrella Lueva won the NS title in the 300m hurdles; West Valley junior Shelbie Rogers went to State in the discus throw as did Shasta sophomore Jaedyn Lynn in the high jump and Corning junior Elise Toste in the pole vault. 

University Prep senior Emma Gaddy won NS titles in both the 200m and 4000m, running her 400m PR of 58.42 at State. 

Other seniors who won NS titles and competed at State were Erin McKinnon of Foothill in the 3200m, Giselle Rodriguez of Fall River, who defended her NS title in the 100m hurdles, and also won the 300mH title, and Angela Schykerynec of Orland, a two-time NS champion in the shot put. 

Pleasant Valley had section-leading times and went to State in all three relays, including the inaugural 4x800m event where the team of senior Chloe Alchin, junior Ava Devine, and sophomores Ali Lugo and Holly Alchin ran a section-best time of 9:55.59.



Northern Section Athletes of the Year


Jackson Hein

Pleasant Valley, Soph., Distances

Jackson led the Northern Section in both the 800m (1:53.71) and 1600m (4:19.41) and placed fifth at the State Meet with a huge PR in the 800m

Caden Rowe

Foothill-Palo Cedro, Sr., Hurdles

Rowe swept the hurdles at the Northern Section Finals, the 110s for the second year in a row, running PRs of 15.32 and 39.62, respectively, at the NS Division 1 Finals.


Chris Hall

Foothill-Palo Cedro, Jr., Jumps

Hall swept the horizontal jumps at the NS Finals and competed in both at State. He went 23-0 in the long jump at an invitational, and 43-6 in the triple jump at the NS Finals.


Emma Gaddy

University Prep, Sr., Sprints

Emma swept the long sprints at the Northern Section Finals and ran at State in both. She went 26.01 for 200m at the section final and ran a 58.42 PR at the State Meet Prelims.


Kayla Johnson

Pleasant Valley, Jr., Jumps

Kayla swept the horizontal jumps at the Northern Section finals, hitting PRs of 17-5.75 in the long jump and 35-2 in the triple jump.

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Photos by DeAnna Turner, Raymond Tran and Dan Tyree

Jeffrey Parenti is the California state editor for MileSplit