CIF State Prelim Successes Foreshadow Championship Pathway

* Madison's Amirah Shaheed ran the fastest prelim in the 100m on Friday at the CIF State Outdoor Championships

Photo Credit: Raymond Tran/MileSplit

CLOVIS -- The word 'preliminary' might seem like it doesn't carry as much weight as the words of championship final, but on Friday, during the opening day of the CIF State Track and Field Championships at Buchanan's Veterans Memorial Stadium, the prelims provided a real indicator for what California's best athletes can do.

"It feels great, it's a PR. You know I have to come out here, it's the state meet and I have to execute because it's the best of the best and I've got to show Cali what I've got," said Mount Miguel sophomore sprinter Brandon Arrington Jr. who sizzled in his fastest 100-meter dash and later added a win in the 200 to be among several standout athletes whose star shined bright.


Watch All Race Videos From Day 1

Arrington went 10.27w (+2.3) in the 100m for both a personal best and the state's fastest time of the season, though it wasn't wind-legal. He then won the 200m in 20.55w (+2.1) to set up what should be scintillating finals races in both events on Saturday.

The 100m will have fellow heat winners Jalen Ford of Bakersfield (10.34, +3.2) and Long Beach Poly freshman Benjamin Harris (10.52, +2.1) as well as top qualifiers such as Granada Hills' Jordan Coleman (10.36, +3.2), Jaden Jefferson of Concord De La Salle (10.40 +2.3), Devin Bragg of Los Alamitos (10.49, +2.3) and Jeremiah Harris of Roosevelt (10.53, +2.3).

* Jordan Coleman took the second heat of the 200m on Friday

- - - 

Arrington, whose PR in the 200m is a wind-assisted 20.40m (+3.1), will be joined in the final by fellow heat winners Coleman, Bragg and Long Beach Poly's Julis Johnson. Ford, Jeremiah Harris and Jefferson are among the other top qualifiers.

The girls sprints gave multiple runners the opportunity to shine. Serra senior Mia Flowers won her heats in the 100m (11.65) and 200m (24.08) -- the only one to do so on Friday -- but she'll still have to contend with the state's top runner in both, Chaparral's Keelan Wright.

While she went 11.63 in the 100m and 24.21 in the 200m, qualifying seventh and ninth, respectively, Wright and Flowers will be one of the exciting match-ups Saturday.

Other top sprinters to advance from Friday's prelims races included 100m heat winners Amirah Shaheed of Madison (11.50, +2.2), Canyon Canyon Country's Mikaela Warr (11.55, +2.4) and Edison's Shanye Harris (11.63, +4.4). Culver City's Morgan Maddox had the top 200m prelims heat win time in 23.60, followed by Royal's Olivia Kirk (23.63) and Hannah Rutherford of Mountain View (23.99).

Field events provided plenty of outstanding efforts Friday, too.

The biggest field performance Friday was the first attempt 206-11 discus throw by Buchanan Clovis senior Derek Smith, which was a personal best, a school record and the state's new leading mark by two inches. Smith was pleased to set the mark at his home stadium, where he has practiced and competed the past four years.

One unique field event trend on Friday came from both state leaders in the long jump.

* Cathedral Catholic's Austin McCotter takes an attempt on Friday in the state long jump

Photo Credit:  DeAnna Turner/MileSplit

- - - 

Trevor Rogers, a senior at Acalanes, and Long Beach Wilson's Loren Webster, were pressed into performing a major task. Try and get one solid qualifying mark in the long jump and save their energy to help their respective teams in a 4x100 relay race.

Rogers took only one long jump and made it count. He went 24-7.75 and still finished as the top placer into Saturday's long jump final. The mark increased his own state-best mark by 3.75 inches.

"The goal today was to do one jump and done," Rogers said. "I wanted to move the mark back a little bit, I didn't want to scratch and didn't want to waste any energy because we know how good the field is so I was trying to have good form, a good plan on the board and that's what happened, one solid jump."

Unfortunately, the relay team's fortunes did not pan out as Acalanes' relay did not advance.

Meanwhile, Webster, a junior, was successful. Her one jump attempt at 20-9.25 was only a quarter-inch off her state-leading mark, but she passed on her two remaining jumps to join Wilson's 4x100 relay team go 46.37 for a second-place finish in its heat. The Bruins advanced to Saturday with the top non-heat-winning time.

When it comes to team titles, one should always factor in how the relays will figure into the points equation. Winning relays on Friday go a long way in shaping Saturday's narrative.

On the girls side, Calabasas, holders of the state's best time in the 4x100 relay in 45.71 at last week's Southern Section Master's Meet, won its heat in a comfortable 45.90 on Friday. Other 4x100 heat winners were Long Beach Poly, Carson and Oaks Christian.

Calabasas also won its 4x400 relay heat in 3:48.33 and was joined by Long Beach's Poly (3:47.95) and Wilson (3:48.72) in winning their respective heats. Wilson has the state's best time to date of 3:42.23.

The third girls relay, the 4x800, is only being run as a championship final on Saturday. There is not a Calabasas or Poly entrant in it, but Wilson does, giving it the possibility of scoring points in all three relays.

Beyond relays, a few more point-enhancements come when athletes qualify in multiple events.

Ventura's Sadie Engelhardt ran a 4:50.52 in the 1,600m to win her heat and has the top time entering Saturday's final. She is the two-time defending state champion in the 1,600.

Later Saturday, she will be running on Ventura's 4x800 relay team. Ventura has the top time in the state, a 9:02.57 achieved at the May 18 CIF-SS Masters Meet.

McKay Madsen of Clovis North has been a top discus and shot put thrower all season. Friday he finished second in both. He threw a 201-10 in the discus, finishing and then 59-7.25 in the shot put. He was bested in the latter event by senior teammate and state leader Brayden Bitter, who went 64-3.25.

San Diego's Anisa Bowen-Fontenot will be competing in both girls hurdles races. She had the top 100mH time, 13.74 (+2.4) and was third in her 300mH heat (43.51).

Others who will compete in both hurdles races are Bella Turner of Liberty Bakersfield and Mia Holden of South Pasadena.

Aja Johnson of Notre Dame Sherman Oaks finished second in both the girls discus (152-8) and shot put (44-3.5).