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Bay Area News Group’s top state meet contenders

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The California Interscholastic Federation state track and field championships will be held this weekend at Buchanan High in Clovis, and the Bay Area sends a litany of athletes expected to perform well in Central California. 

The many athletes from Bay Area News Group’s coverage area will compete in Friday’s trials and, if they’re fortunate, the finals on Saturday.

The North Coast Section sends a couple of speedsters who could contend in the boys 100 meters. Acalanes’ Paul Kuhner has the top time in the section at 10.36, and Jaden Jefferson won the section championship after running it in 10.46. 

“It’s just an honor to win NCS as a sophomore,” said Jefferson, who may accrue more honors on Saturday. 

Mountain View junior Hannah Rutherford captured the girls 400 in 53.88 at the CCS finals, and now going to state for the third time, knows what to expect. 

“It comes down to running your own race,” Rutherford said. “I think the past couple of years when I’ve been at state, I’ve felt like everyone there is better than me and I don’t go out as hard as I could. So this year I want to focus on myself and having confidence.“

St. Ignatius sophomore Ellie McCuskey-Hay is competing in four events, her best being the 100 and the long jump, and she echoed Rutherford’s sentiments about the importance of experience. 

“Now I know what to expect and what the crowd’s like, so I have that experience under my belt,” McCuskey-Hay said. “I’ve been training and working hard for it, so I’ll be ready.“

Crystal Springs Uplands’ Benjamin Bouie (4:06.92) and Sacred Heart Cathedral’s Miles Cook (4:08.33) have the two fastest qualifying marks in the boys 1,600.

“I’m going to have a chat with my coach and try and regroup and see what the best strategies are,” Bouie said. 

Olaf Dietz from Berkeley and Albany’s Lucas Cohen are hoping to contend for a podium spot in the boys 3,200 meters. 

“Getting close to 8:50 is a good goal for me. I’m gonna try and get in front of that for sure,” Cohen said. 

Menlo’s Landon Pretre, who has run a CCS-record 8:48.11, and Palo Alto’s Grant Morgenfeld (8:50.95) are also among top contenders.

Clayton Valley runner Zoe Lahanas overcame a car accident in March, that left her bedridden for two weeks, to win the NCS girls 800 meters. 

“I really want to PR. I’m hoping to run a sub 2:12. I think I’ll get there,” Lahanas said. 

Prospect’s Kylie Hoornaert, who has already cracked the 2:10 barrier this season, breezed past the competition to win the CCS girls 800, and is also looking to set a personal record in Clovis. 

“This is my first time going to state, so I’m really excited now,” Hoornaert said. “Hopefully I’ll run more even splits, I could have PR’d if I had a faster second lap.”

Future Cal wide receiver Trevor Rogers, Paul Kuhner’s Acalanes teammate in both track and football, said “getting second place in the 200 means a lot.” because that meant he qualified for state. 

But his best event is the long jump, where Rogers set the state’s best mark this season at 24-5 3/4 earlier this season and jumped 24-2 to easily capture the NCS title. 

Wilcox’s Tyson Bonilla and James Logan’s Jonathan Craft are also in the top eight among long jump qualifiers.

Silver Creek’s Kyler Headley is fifth among qualifiers in the boys discus at 178-10. Headley has a best this season of 189-6.

Serra junior Luke Lewis has the sixth-best qualifying mark in the boys shot put (57-9).

If Los Altos runner Nathaniel Guillory can match or exceed his personal record of 21.18 in the 200 meters, he should be in position to achieve his goal. 

“I really think I can podium,” the senior said. “I’ve just got to put it together and work on my start, because that’s a weaker part of my race.”



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