McDonnell became the first Ventura County runner – male or female – to win both the 1,600 and 3,200 meters at the CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet.
First, the University of Alabama commit pulled away from the pack to win the 1,600 in 4 minutes and seconds.
Later, McDonnell ran shoulder to shoulder with Oaks Christian sophomore Payton Godsey for the first half of the 3,200, before pulling away from the field to win in .
McDonnell headlined a crowd of local athletes whose performances Saturday earned them a place at next week’s CIF State championships in Clovis. Local schools qualified 17 individuals and four relay teams in 24 events at the Masters, winning six individual events.
Sweep of legs
Ventura County dominated the distance events, nearly sweeping the six races, even without the participation of Newbury Park’s national-caliber boys runners Colin Sahlman, Leo Young and Lex Young.
After winning the Division 4 sectional title in the event last week, Godsey, who finished second in , nearly completed a title double for her family.
“The No. 1 objective is obviously to win,” the UC Santa Barbara commit said. “I figure if I challenge the win, I’m going to qualify no matter what. I didn’t necessarily want to lead because of the wind.”
Ethan Godsey followed the aggressive move of Royal junior Jonah Bazarkanian, who finished fourth (4:) to advance to next week.
Newbury Park senior Daniel Appleford, who played an important role on the Panthers’ national championship cross country team, grabbed the spotlight individually.
“Around 300, I started to make my move on the outside going around everybody,” Appleford said. “Definitely a lot of pain because I was racing, but it felt good.”
Newbury Park senior Daniel Appleford is congratulated by teammate Colin Sahlman after winning the boys 3,200 at the Masters’ meet. pic.twitter/neUpjqBmk2
Thacher senior Ellis Delvecchio sprinted out to early lead and then held off the field to win the boys 800 in 1:. Newbury Park’s Aaron Sahlman was third in 1:.
“It was pretty awesome,” Delvecchio said. “I took them somewhere they don’t usually go and I was lucky enough to be able to hold them off for the whole race.”
“I’ve gotten pretty good at running by myself this past month, coming from Division 4,” said Delvecchio, who is planning on attending Claremont McKenna College.
McDonnell was joined by Ventura freshman Sadie Engelhardt and Thousand Oaks senior Lauren Thai as locals to qualify for state in two individual events.
Engelhardt coolly placed third in both the girls 800 (2:) and the girls 1,600 (4:), then ran a spectacular anchor leg to help the Cougars come from behind to qualify in the 4×400 relay.
The Ventura team of Val Fakrogha, Ryan Mendez, Olivia Mobley and Engelhardt set a school record for the second straight weekend, finishing fifth in 3:.
“She loves her team and she works hard,” Ventura coach Korey Anderson said. “Most of the time, she runs with the boys. Today and the last couple weeks, she got to run with the girls. They make each other better. They brought out the best in her and she brought out the best in them.”
After scratching the 1,600, Newbury Park junior Ailish Hawkins joined McDonnell and Engelhardt in qualifying in the girls 3,200 meters in .
Had she snuck into the field as an alternate in the long jump, Thai may have qualified in three individual events.
Instead, the Thousand Oaks senior, who began her season as a long jumper, will compete at state in both hurdles events.
The UC Irvine commit placed third in the girls 100-meter hurdles in a personal-record seconds and sixth in the 300 hurdles in .
“I came today ready to long jump,” Thai said. “I had to rework my mindset and just focus on hurdles
“I’m ready for state. … Next week, I’m really going to focus on running consistently and fluidly and just attacking every hurdle.”
Despite entering the day as an alternate, Simi Valley junior Jaelon Barbarin made it onto the track and earned a state berth.
“I knew that I was an alternate,” Barbarin said. “But I also knew that if I performed well, I’d qualify for state.”
Oaks Christian’s Elijah Gipson suffered a leg injury just yards from the finish line, did not finish and also had to scratch in the 300 hurdles.
“It’s all about moving on to the next stage,” Gair said. “I just went out with determination to go out with what I had.”
Moorpark senior Jordan Navarro was fourth in the boys high jump at 6-6 to qualify. Teammate Victor Ezike, a junior, did not advance after finishing eighth at 6-4.
Calabasas sophomore Amia Witt finished 10th in the girls high jump, but advanced to state by clearing the at-large standard of 5-5.
The Calabasas 4×100 relay team of Brooklyn Kennedy, Zanae Woods, Zoe Ray and Lahela Ray was seventh, but moved on to state with an at-large qualifying time of .
The Westlake quartet of Ife Orekoya, Marcus Nortey, Cole Jarvis and Taylor Johnson placed sixth in the boys 4×400 relay in 3: to qualify.
The Calabasas quartet of Lahela Ray, Woods, Braelon Holmes and Zoe Ray were third in the girls 4×400 relay in 3:.
Oaks Christian senior Jake Reed tied for fifth in the boys pole vault with a jump of 14-11 to qualify.
Thousand Oaks junior Jeremy Frank was seventh in the boys 110 hurdles in , missing out on a state place by one spot.
Pacifica senior Kathleen Nelson was eighth in the girls shot put at 38-9.50. Camarillo freshman Trinity Tipton was ninth in the girls discus (126-2).
Thousand Oaks senior Claire Goyette and Oaks Christian senior Tenly Kuhn finished 10th and 11th in the girls pole vault, both clearing 11-3, and did not advance.
The Simi Valley 4×100 relay team of Thenuk Chandrasekera, Nations, Solemn Aziz and Barbarin placed seventh in and did not qualify.