NCS Meet of Champions
Edwards Stadium
Berkeley CA
Friday, May 29, 2015
Satruday, May 30, 2015





Lost Shoe Doesn't Stop Boys' Record Relay; Epic Girls' 1600m Battle Pushes Leach to All-Time Mark at NCS MOC

A moment of confusion in the bullpen just before the boys' 1600 relay teams were being escorted onto the Edwards Stadium track almost unraveled what had been, to that point, an excellent showing for the Cougars at Saturday's NCS Meet of Champions finals. As officials made a last call for athletes to ready themselves, Jonathan Hughes (16), the squad's star performer, looked into his spike bag to find a single shoe.

Piles of sweats were frantically tossed aside and the relay alternate was dispatched to search the stands for the missing shoe. Hughes' coach appeared momentarily stunned at the prospect of his top athlete running in training shoes.

What could have been a disaster was salvaged however, with an ill-fitting pair of "back up" spikes provided by Hughes' teammate, Niki Moore (17). While the rest of the relay squad jogged to the starting line, Hughes awkwardly squeezed his feet into the unfamiliar foot gear.

In spite of the rather hapless beginning, the Cougars managed to toe the line for the final event of the meet, giving themselves an opportunity to improve upon the previous day's surprising performance that had landed them in the final.

At the gun's crack, Parker Lothmer (15) leaped from the blocks and turned the first lap in a career best 50.7. Hughes, with both wrists still splinted from his mid-season basketball mishap, took the baton and ran down the lead group by the end of the backstretch.

Hughes continued to press, and as the pack crested the far turn, he bolted to the front. For approximately 50 meters down the home stretch, the 6th seeded underdogs were a step ahead of the section favorites.

Ultimately, Hughes split 49.0 for his leg and handed over the baton to Moore on the heels of perennial powerhouse St. Mary's.

The sophomore battled to maintain position, holding off James Logan and keeping Deer Valley and St. Mary's within reach. At the final exchange, the Cougars were still in contention. Mohammad Movahedi (16) completed the improbable record run with a lifetime best of 50.8.

All together the quartet managed to improve by 1.62 seconds, just enough to overtake one of the longest standing records in school history.

It was the climax to a remarkable string of exceptional efforts that saw 10 Campolindo athletes climb the medal stand, and the all-time record lists.

The day began with a 5th place finish in the high jump for Kelley Wirth (15) and a 22nd place finish in the discus for Maddy Duam (15).

The running events were energized by Brighie Leach's (15) shattering of the 1600m school record by a whopping 4 seconds. Her 4:44.33 finish was just a step behind Sonoma Academy's Rylee Bowen, who won in 4:43.92. With splits of 71, 72, 71 and 70, it is the 4th fastest 1600m time in California and 10th best in the nation for 2015.

Sarah Cella (16) improved upon her 3rd all-time mark in the 800m, crossing the line in 4th place at 2:14.52. The junior opened with a 66 second lap to position herself on the shoulder of the leader and closed in a 68.

In the boys' 800m Moore lowered his 4th all-time mark on the boys' list to 1:56.08. His first lap was just under 57 seconds.

The Cougars dominated the girls' 3200m event, as Toni Finnane (15) set a blistering pace, cranking out splits under 80 seconds for each lap.

The senior rookie towed Bowen, Leach and McKinleyville's Morgin Coonfield through 2 kilometers. Bowen then began to fade while Coonfield pressed for the lead. Finnane would not give it up easily however, and surged back to the front on the 7th lap.

As the bell rang the trio of contenders was still clustered together. Finnane and Coonfield traded bids for the lead while Leach, who had cruised on their heels contentedly, seemed to be calculating when to make her move.

When it happened, 200m out from the finish, there was little doubt about the outcome. Leach simply pulled away, accelerating through the tape to record the fastest winning time for the event (10:25.24) since Sarah Bei's 10:17.14 in 2001. Finnane knocked 16 seconds from her previous best to finish 3rd in 10:29.21 and punch her ticket to the state championships.

Both Leach and Finnane will team up in the event one last time, under the lights at Buchanan High School's Memorial Stadium on Saturday, June 6th.

Also running in the girls' 3200m event, Hana Sun (16) picked off runners one by one through the middle of the pack, on pace for her first sub-11 minute performance for 8 laps. Her 10:59.83 finish, 10th overall in the 27 athlete field, moves her to 7th all-time in Campolindo history.

Mary Orders (15) rounded out the Cougar's impressive depth with a 14th place finish.

In the boys' 3200m, Jared Yabu (17) and Kevin Buckley (15) again faced a slow, tactical pack that ambled through the first mile, thwarting their efforts to improve their season bests. Nevertheless, Yabu managed to come within 7 seconds of his PR, finishing 10th in 9:36.20.

All this was preceded by an exciting NCS Meet of Champions trials day that included breakout splits for younger athletes competing in the exhibition 3200 relay.

The girls' squad charged to the lead with a 2:25.9 from Jenna Miles (18), followed by a 2:25.1 leg from Hannah Ruane (18). Emma Ishida (16) maintained the margin over 2nd place with a personal best of 2:28.3. On the anchor leg, Isabella Chao (18) held off a late challenge from Carondelet to preserve the win. Chao's 2:29.6 split was a 9 second improvement over her 2 lap open mark.

Nathaniel Sauerberg (16) put the boys 3200 relay squad in good position before handing off to Richard Gong (17), who proceeded to crush his previous best for the event by 5 seconds. Jonathan Samenza (16) then used a monstrous opening lap to propel him to a 2:03.4 split before giving up the baton to Ray Diaz (17), who himself shaved 5 seconds from his PR.

Friday also saw Jack Shurtz (15) finish 10th in the discus and Juliet Arnswald (17) run the 300 hurdles in 48.36.


Emery High's Elijah Lucy has a breakout North Coast Section Meet of Champions, winning three events
By Phil Jensen

BERKELEY -- Elijah Lucy was not intimidated by the spotlight of the North Coast Section Meet of Champions on Saturday at Cal's Edwards Stadium.

Lucy, from tiny Emery High, won three boys individual events in a breakout track and field meet for the senior. After winning the long jump on only one attempt (23 feet, 10 inches), he took the lead with approximately 150 meters left to win the 400 in 48.86 seconds and came from behind to take the 200 in 21.74.

Entering Saturday, Lucy's mark in the long jump had been bettered by only three other high school jumpers in the state, according to

"I've been training very hard," said Lucy, who did not advance to the CIF state championships in any event last season. "Running the 400 builds a lot of strength."

The top three placers in each event automatically qualified for the state championships Friday-Saturday at Buchanan High School in Clovis.

Dublin's Mecca McGlaston, the defending state champion in the 100 intermediate hurdles, won that event Saturday in 13.72.

"My start wasn't the best, but it was still good enough. I'm looking for any room to improve," said the junior.

Behind a jaw-dropping performance from its 1,600 relay squad, Saint Mary's won the girls team title with 62 points. The 1,600 relay team of Avi Perteete, Kenady Jackson, Zoie Campbell and Chloe Jenkins produced a winning time of 3:43.97, faster than any girls squad in the state entering Saturday.

Earlier in the day, the Panthers' MaAne' Mosley soared to a big personal record of 20-0 to win the girls long jump. Entering Saturday, only three high school girls in the state had a better wind-legal mark this season in the event.

Amador Valley's Nate Esparza won his second event to help lead his squad to the boys team title (52 points). Esparza, who won the discus Friday, took first in the shot put (57-8) Saturday.

Teammate Ja'Maun Charles defended his title in the 100 in a wind-aided 10.71.

Campolindo's Brighie Leach produced one of the best girls distance doubles in NCS history.

She started by finishing second to Sonoma Academy's Rylee Bowen in an epic 1,600 race. Bowen's winning time (4:43.92) ranks third on the NCS all-time list, and Leach's mark of 4:44.93 ranks fourth. Those marks also had been bettered by only two girls high school runners in the state entering Saturday.

Leach then kicked in the final lap to win the 3,200 in 10:25.24. Only seven girls in the state, including herself, entered Saturday with faster times in the event.

"My new strategy is to ignore the clock," Leach said. "Today was all about competing against the top runners in NCS."

Campolindo coach Chuck Woolridge said that Leach will drop the 1,600 for the state championships.

The closest finish was the girls 800. Monte Vista's Heidi Fuhriman edged Saint Mary's Perteete for the win, with the official time of both runners being 2:11.95. The difference down to a thousandth of a second was 2:11.946 to 2:11.949.




1600 Brighie Leach 5:06.52, 800 Sarah Cell 2:18.94, 300 Hurdles Juliet Arnswald 48.36, 3200 Relay Jenna Miles 2:25.9-Hannah Ruane 2:25.1-Emma Ishida 2:28.3-Bella Chao 2:29.6=9:48.85


400 Jonathan Hughes 51.23, 800 Niki Moore 1:57.25, Parker Lothamer 1:59.02, 3200 Relay Nathaniel Sauerberg 2:06.3-Richard Gong 2:05.9-Jonathan Semenza 2:03.4-Ray Diaz 2:08.3=8:23.75, 1600 Relay Parker Lothamer 51.3-Jonathan Hughes 49.9-Niki Moore 50.9-Mohamad Movahedi 50.8=3:23.00, DT Jack Shurtz 142-7



1600 Brighie Leach 4:44.33, 800 Sarah Cella 2:14.52, 3200 Brighie Leach 10:25.24, Toni Fianne 10:29.21, Hana Sun 10:59.83, Mary Orders 11:13.45, HJ Kelley Wirth 5-2, DT Maddy Daum 93-6


800 Niki Moore 1:56.08, 3200 Jared Yabu 9:36.20, Kevin Buckley 9:48.25, 1600 Relay Parker Lothamer 50.7-Jonathan Hughes 49.0-Niki Moore 50.6-Mohammad Movahedi 50.8=3:21.38