CLOVIS — Three top-10 efforts highlighted a very strong day on the final evening of the spring sports season and 2017-18 calendar at Saturday’s 100th annual CIF State Track and Field Championships.
Burroughs High’s Jagdeep Chahal earned fourth and St. Francis High’s Matthew Molina and La Crescenta resident Mia Barnett took sixth at Clovis Buchanan High.
Chahal entered having already accomplished many historical feats, including becoming his school’s first state dual competitor since Ralph Turner in 1961.
Chahal’s bid to become his school’s second state champion and first since pole vaulter Ron Morris in 1952 came up short when he finished fourth in the 1,600-meter run in a time of 4 minutes, 12.16 seconds.
“That last lap, I wasn’t expecting it to be that hard,” Chahal said. “Usually, I start feeling it the last 250 [meters], the last 200, and I started feeling it before the start of the last lap.
“It was a heck of a pain, but I just knew that if I could push through and hold my spot, that’s all that matters.”
Chahal’s time was slightly off his personal- and school-record mark of 4:11.09, which he set by winning the previous Saturday’s CIF Southern Section Masters Meet.
Redwood’s Liam Anderson won the 1,600-meter championship in 4:09.31.
Chahal competed later in the evening in the 3,200 and the toll of running in 97-degree had an effect as the senior finished 14th in a mark of 9:09.05.
Chahal heads to UC Santa Barbara as the Pacific League champion in the 1,600 and 3,200, the CIF Southern Section Division I champion in the 1,600, the Masters Meet 1,600 champion and a state qualifier in the 1,600 and 3,200.
The senior also finishes owning school records in the 1,600 and 3,200 (9:00.61.).
Molina entered Saturday off a shaky effort at Friday’s state prelims in which he cleared 6 foot, 3 inches in the high jump and just barely advanced.
The St. Francis junior recovered on a sweltering Saturday to finish sixth in state with a mark of 6-6.
Molina ends his season as the Mission League 110-meter and high jump champion and matched that feat at the CIF Southern Section Division III championships. His personal best and school record remains 6-8 1/4 in the high jump.
La Crescenta resident and Village Christian freshman Mia Barnett concluded a brilliant freshman season by finishing sixth in the championship 1,600-meter run in 4:48.64. The time was the youngster’s second-fastest this season and was just off her personal best of 4:46.77.
Barnett concludes the season as the Olympic League and Division IV 1,600 and 3,200 champion.
The area’s final competitor, Crescenta Valley senior Artin Allahverdian, finished quite a late-season surge by placing 22nd in the 3,200 run in a mark of 9:17.48.
“He went out and ran well and was in it the first 1,600,” Crescenta Valley coach Mark Evans said. “He just could not hold on. He still ran 9:17, which was the PR he ran at league finals when we started this journey. He was disappointed, but proud he made it to the state meet. He put himself in a completely different place as he heads to UCLA to compete for them.”
The finish does not take away from what was an otherwise wonderful postseason in which Allahverdian placed third at the Pacific League finals, sixth at the Division I championships and eighth at the Masters Meet. His personal best is 9:04.95.
“Artin had a great season,” Evans said. “This was the first year he qualified for the postseason and [he] made it all the way to the state meet. Not a lot of athletes can do that on their first try. He had a 45-second PR in the 3,200 over last year. His PR in the 1,600 was about six seconds. He really ran with a toughness and determination I had not seen in him before this year. He was so focused and so competitive. He has grown so much as a person and as an athlete. The last three weeks were amazing for Artin.”