MileSplitCA Junior Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year
La Jolla (SD), Sprints
Payton is a long sprinter who was a double medalist at the 2023 CIF-State Track and Field Championships, running her lifetime best in both of her specialties. First, she went sub-54 for the first time in the 400-meter dash, crossing in 53.86 for third place. Then, Payton ran her 200-meter dash PR of 23.78 (1.3) for third place in that final! Payton's 400m PR ranks U.S. No. 4 in the class and CA No. 3 regardless of class. Her 200m PR ranks CA No. 5 regardless of class and is her only performance under 24 seconds. She ran her previous 400m PR of 54.12 for second in her race at Arcadia. She ran 54.87 to win her second consecutive San Diego Section Division 3 title in the 400m.
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JUNIOR GIRLS ALL-STATE TRACK AND FIELD
Vista Murrietta (SS), Horizontal Jumps
For the second consecutive year, Alyssa medaled at the State Meet in both horizontal jumps. This year she placed fifth in the triple jump (38-6.25) and eighth in the long jump (19-0.25). She ranks as the No. 2 combo horizontal jumper in the class.
Scotts Valley (CC), 1600
Ashlyn placed second at the State Meet in the 1600m, running one of the fastest four-lap times in state history at 4:39.45. That mark ranks U.S. No. 1 in the class and U.S. No. 6 overall. It also makes her the 12th fastest performer in CA track and field history.
Poway (SD), Distances
Solid performances in the San Diego Section championships for 800 and 1600, earning a PR in an 800 win in 2:08.30 and another PR in the 1600 (4:48.76) in a third-place finish. She was third in the 800 CIF-State Meet final, going 2:08.53.
Oaks Christian (SS) Sprints/Hurdles
Niya (pictured above) won the CIF-State Meet's 100-meter dash title with a top mark of 11.45. FInished third in the CIF-SS Finals in 24.37 (PR is 24.30 at Mt. SAC Relays). Reached State Prelims in 100-meter hurdles (14.76).
La Costa Canyon (SD), Pole Vault
CIF-State champion with a top clearance of 13-5. She attempted to break the State Meet record (14-2) at 14-3, but was unsuccessful. Downing had cleared 14-0 at NCC Coastal League finals, that mark is tied for the sixth best clearance in CA track and field history. She is one of only nine girls nationwide to clear at least 14 feet during the '23 outdoor season.
Serra-Gardena (SS), Sprints
Finished sixth in the 100 at CIF-State Meet in 11.77. A solid 200-meter runner whose best time this season was 24.58 in the CIF-SS Division 4 Final. Ran second leg on Serra's CIF-State runner-up 4x100 relay that went 46.15 in the final.
Oaks Christian (SS), Distances
Reigning CIF-State Division 4 cross-country champion kept going strong in long distance track races by finishing second in the CIF-State, finals-only 3200 race in 10:02.63. Her PR was a 9:57.77 at the Arcadia Invitational.
Edison-Stockton (SJ), Sprints
Shanye won the 100-meter dash at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters (11.70/1.4) and she went on to place fourth in the finals at State, running 11.73. Her all-conditions best of 11.46 from a dual ranks CA No. 2 in the class.
Castaic (SS) Jumps/Sprints
Placed in four events at the CIF-State Meet. She was State runner-up in long jump (20-3.25 PR) and triple jump (40-6.25w), finished fourth in the high jump (5-8) and was fifth in the 200 in 24.02 (PR 23.55w at CIF-SS Masters). Each of her field event marks at State Meet, except for a 40-8.75 at Foothill League finals, led all juniors in CA.
South Pasadena (SS), Hurdles
Mia placed fourth at the CIF-State Meet in the 300 hurdles in a PR time of 42.27, which ranks U.S. No. 7 in the class, CA No. 1 in the class, and No. 6 overall. She also qualified for Southern Section Masters in the triple jump.
JSerra Catholic (SS), 800
Finished fourth place in the 800 CIF-State final race in 2:09.84, shaving just under a second off her State prelims time. Her PR came at Arcadia Invitational in 2:09.55.
Rocklin (SJ), Hurdles
Ran a wind-aided 13.85 (2.1) to become the CIF-State runner-up in the 100-meter hurdles final, the best time among all California juniors. Was 14th in the 300 hurdles at the State prelims (44.61), but her PR was 43.96 at CIF-Sac-Joaquin Section Masters.
La Costa Canyon (SDS), Distances
Finished third (10:08.32) in the 3200, a finals-only race at the CIF-State Track and Field Championships. Lopizzo won San Diego Section Championships in 1600 (4:47.71) and 3200 (10:25.83). PR in 1600 was a 4:45.94 at Mt. SAC Relays and her 3200 PR was a 9:59.08 set at Arcadia Invitational.
Culver City (SS), Sprints
Won a CIF-State championship as member of 4x400 relay team that finished in 3:41.08. Individually, she just barely missed State final qualifying in the 200 with a 10th-place prelims time of 24.59. She was sixth in the 400 State final (55.67). Her PRs came at SS-Masters in 24.14w and 54.87.
Ayala (SS), Sprints
Kayla placed fourth in the 200-meter dash at the CIF-State Meet, in a time of 23.97. She ran her PR of 23.79 at the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 Finals and matched at SS Masters in 23.79. She ran her 400m PR of 54.79 at the SS D-1 Finals.
Long Beach Poly (SS), Throws
Mai placed third in shot put at the CIF-State Meet with a PR of 42-8.25, which ranks CA No. 1 in the class, U.S. No. 30 in the class, and CA No. 8 overall.
Amirah swept the 100m and 200m sprints at the San Diego Section Finals with the fastest times across all three divisions and she went on to place fifth at the CIF-State Meet in the 100m dash. She ran PRs of 11.58 (2.0) and 24.06 (2.6).
Liberty-Bakersfield (CS), Hurdles
Placed ninth in both the 100m hurdles and 300m hurdles at the CIF-State Meet finals a day after running PRs of 14.30 and 43.22, respectively, at State Prelims. She swept both titles at Central Section Division 1 and CS Masters.
Carson (LA), Throws
Lauryn placed seventh in the shot put at the CIF-State Meet with a top throw of 41-0 in the final. She went 41-2 in the State prelims. She won the LA City Section title and threw her PR of 41-6.50 at LAC Prelims.
This section also serves to recognize all remaining junior girls who were among the top-9 medalists at the State Meet Finals.
Peyton Bedrosian (Paso Robles/CS), pole vault; Sol Bitners (Davis/SJ) throws; Nicoletta Burkhardt (Steele Canyon/SD) 400m; Kendra Daniels (Righetti/CS) high jump; Lela Divinity (Redondo Union/SS) hurdles; Elisabeth Driscoll (Canyon Crest Academy/SD), throws; L'Mio Edwards (Claremont/SS), distances; Valentina Fakrogha (Ventura/SS), high jump; Aspen Fears (Vista Murrieta/SS), pole vault; Sofia Lieberman (Murrieta Valley/SS), distances; Makenzie McRae (Huntington Beach/SS), distances; Tatum Olesen (Menlo-Atherton/CC), distances; Juliana Roberson (Whitney/SJ), horizontal jumps; Alaya Robinson (Etiwanda/SS) horizontal jumps; Jasleen Sidhu (Los Altos/CC) distances; Grace Sloan (Rocklin/SJ), triple jump; Brenna Williams (Cathedral Catholic/SD), discus throw.
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Photos by DeAnna Turner and Raymond Tran
Ryan Blystone is a freelance writer and an associate editor for California MileSplit
California MileSplit state editor Jeffrey Parenti contributed to this article.