Mid-Season Mania 3200m Invitational
RESULTS AT BOTTOM OF PAGE
Buckley Breaks Stadium Record; Invite Offers Final Regular Season Tune-up
Wednesday's Mid-Season Mania 3200m Invitational provided a final test of fitness for the Cougars, along with athletes from 13 different visiting teams, in advance of post-season competition, which begins on November 6.
The event included 18 mixed-gender heats, each loaded with progressively faster athletes, culminating in a late-evening showdown between some of the best runners in California. Top-ranked squads from Vacaville, Newark Memorial, Dougherty Valley, Monte Vista, Miramonte, and Campolindo supplied individual performers who sparked sensational competition to close out the evening.
The girls' division featured a spectacular battle between Dougherty Valley's Sabrina Noriega (25) and Campolindo's Ellie Buckley (23), which culminated in a school record for the former and a stadium record for the later. Buckley's winning time of 10:32.85 places her among the best-ever 8-lap competitors in school history.
Buckley proved to be the tip of a very sharp spear on the night as the Cougar girls churned out a staggering 7 sub-12-minute performances, which also included a sub-11-minute finish from Shea Volkmer (24) and an 11:10.69 effort from Makena Weberski (24). With their next 4 finishers clustered between 11:28 and 11:52, the Cougars continue to raise the level of expectation for a historic post-season run.
The boys' division was bolstered by impressive pack running from Vacaville of the San Joaquin Section and up-and-coming Newark Memorial, which has established itself as a worthy challenger to the Cougars in the NCS. Both programs were prominent in the final heats, with Newark Memorial's Chance Tokubo (22) taking runner-up honors in 9:30.02 and Vacaville clogging the top 12 with 4 finishers.
Campolindo's boys proved equal to the challenge, led up front by 4th and 5th place finishes from Rhys Pullen (22) and Alex Lodewick (23), respectively. In all, 6 Cougars dropped under the 10-minute barrier, including freshman Maxon Cook (24), who clung to his veteran teammates in the late stages of heat #17 to cross the line in 10:56.00.
The team-wide rate of improvement over previous cross-country season 3200m track times was equally impressive. Topping the list was Joey Floyd (24), who knocked over 4 minutes off his time from 2020, running 11:26.34. Chase Kivelson (24) and Alex Thomasson (24) were next best among the most improved boys, improving their own marks by 3 minutes or more.
Caroline McCool (23) showed the most progress among the girls squad, posting an 11:29.92 mark over 2 minutes faster than her time from a year ago. Other notable gains were made by Haelee Chung (22) and Daisy Penney (24).
RHYS PULLEN 12 9:31.87
ELLIE BUCKLEY 11 10:32.85