Engelhardt Manages Mile Like A Pro, Plus More From Arcadia

    * Ventura senior Sadie Engelhardt competed in the 4x800 invitational on Friday at Arcadia

    Photo Credit: Raymond Tran/MileSplit

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    by Ryan Blystone - MileSplit California

    ARCADIA -- In one of the top evening races on Saturday night at the Arcadia Invitational, one of the country's top stars chose a different strategy. 

    And it was OK. Really. 

    You just had to assume Ventura High School senior Sadie Engelhardt had everything under control. 

    But for a brief time, Timpview's Jane Hedengren, moved ahead of Engelhardt as the two began to run the final lap in the girls invitational mile. 

    Given the number of high-profile races Engelhardt had been in, that may have been a shock to some. But experience had taught her how to manage a race like this.

    Engelhardt handled it quite well, winning with a time of 4:34.31, a new U.S. No. 1 time and nearly three seconds ahead of Hedengren and her 4:37.17 time. Engelhardt's performance was third-best outdoors in history. 

    "It's a little nerve-wracking when someone comes up on you in the last four (hundred), but it was slow enough to the point where I could still have a kick," Engelhardt said. "When I'm up front and trying to focus on my effort and not run away from the field, I'm really maintaining and making sure I have enough to race my own race at the end. I felt I still had a lot left at the end."

    Engelhardt's mile time set a season- and state best in the mile, shattering the previous best of 4:48.47 by Santiago Corona sophomore Braelyn Combe that was set only a few weeks ago.

    Engelhardt wasn't the only one competing and succeeding at Arcadia, a meet that once again drew several top track and field athletes to Southern California from across the nation and gave California's athletes all they could handle.

    But, as seen by Engelhardt's response to a lead change with her finish, many current state times and marks were also improved at this meet because they, too, had the ability to rise to the occasion.

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    • The Rancho Cucamonga boys 4x100 relay won in 41.32, actually 41.312, and Parkland's 41.32 was really a 41.319 in what was a photo finish.
    • The Calabasas girls 4x100 relay finished second to Georgia's Westlake, but the Coyotes still lowered their state-best time from 46.26 to 45.94.
    • Keelan Wright of Chaparral now has the state's best time in the 100-meter dash, running an 11.54 (+1.3) to win a race that also featured defending CIF State 100 champion Niya Clayton, who finished third in 11.67. Later in the evening, she also won the 200 in 23.97 (+1.7).
    • Benjamin Harris, a Long Beach Poly freshman, wowed the crowd and teammates who mobbed him at the awards table area afterward when he won the 100-meter dash in a wind-aided 10.38 (+2.1), also a new state-best time.
    • La Jolla's Payton Smith was second to Lake Oswego's Josie Donelson in the 400 meters, but Smith's time of 53.56 was enough to give her the state lead time.
    • Cathedral Catholic's Vincent Atilano was second to double hurdles event winner Vance Nilsson of Gilbert High in the 300 hurdles, but Atilano's time as the runner-up, 37.42, is a new state best.
    • Morgan Herbst of Carlsbad lowered her state-best time close to a second better when she won the 300 hurdles in 41.45. Her previous best was a 42.29.
    • Mount Miguel sophomore Brandon Arrington, who had finished fourth in the 100 earlier, came back and won the 200, an event he said he enjoys more, in a strong performance and turned in a 20.76 (+1.5) to take the best time in the state.
    • Zach Hillhouse got a burst of speed near the finish line and almost beat Organ Mountain (N.M.) Corbin Coombs, who was slowing down, in the boys' invitational mile. Coombs won in 4:07.15, but Hillhouse's maneuvering gave the Elk Grove, CA-based Pleasant Grove High senior a 4:07.29 time and the new state lead.
    • Los Angeles Cathedral's Emmanuel Perez finished ninth in a highly competitive national grouping for the boys invitational 3200, but his 8:40.47 was enough to achieve a new state mark by more than 10 seconds.


    • Despite earning second-place finishes in both the discus throw and shot put, Clovis North junior McKay Madsen improved on his own previous state-leading marks. He went 197-5 in the discus invitational, raising his previous best, 196-2, by more than a foot. In the shot put invitational, his 63-6 increased his already state-best mark of 62-11.5. In both events, he was runner-up to Bergen (NJ) Catholic's Benjamin Shue who went 200-3 in the discus and 63-9.25 in the shot put.
    • San Jose's Pittsburg High senior, Jathiyah Muhammad went 13-9 in the girls invitational pole vault to seize the state lead, besting the previous best by nine inches.
    • DeShawn Banks, a senior at Los Angeles' Birmingham Community Charter, didn't increase his already state-leading high jump mark of 6-10.25, but he still went 6-9 to win the high jump and did it among a mixed field of California rivals and competitors beyond the state.
    • Alyssa Alumbres, a two-time CIF State Meet finalist in the long and triple jump from Vista Murrieta, took over the state lead in the girls triple jump with a top mark of 39-9.75 (+1.6) and won the event.