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Local track and field trio set school marks in California State Championships

Mateo Bianchi of Laguna Beach, left, races against South Pasadena's Andrew  on June 12.
Mateo Bianchi of Laguna Beach, left, races against South Pasadena’s Andrew Villapudua in the boys’ 1600-meter run during the CIF Southern Section Division 3 track and field championships at Estancia High on June 12.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

The CIF State track and field championships were called off over coronavirus concerns this season, but that did not prevent the sport’s community from setting a stage for the top prep athletes to compete.

The California State Championships came about in response to that development, and some local athletes who received the invitation took full advantage of the opportunity.

Laguna Beach High School’s Mateo Bianchi won the boys’ 3,200-meter run in nine minutes 2.03 seconds, shattering the school record in the event on Saturday at Arcadia High School.

Bianchi, who has signed with UCLA, eclipsed Blake Hofmeister’s time of 9:10.78 posted for the Breakers at the Arcadia Invitational in 2010. He narrowly defeated Zachary Ayers of Davis, who finished second in 9:02.46.

The recent graduate thanked coaches Scott Wittkop, Dave Brobeck and Tommy Newton-Neal for helping to prepare for the moment.

“That’s why I was so excited to get out and run a fast two-mile, where I didn’t have a mile on my legs from earlier in the day,” Bianchi said of his confidence in his training. “It was just a fresh two-mile, so I knew that I had a big [personal record] in my legs going into this.”

A trio of top-two finishes by Caroline Glessing help CdM finish fourth in the CIF Southern Section Division 3 track and field championships on Saturday at Estancia High School.

In his previous appearance, Bianchi won the 1,600 in the CIF Southern Section Division 3 finals at Estancia High. He said he is very much looking forward to his next start in the NSAF Outdoor Nationals at Hayward Field at the University of Oregon this weekend.

“I’m super excited to run on the new Hayward track, so it should be epic,” Bianchi said. “It’s kind of a Mecca of distance running right there.”

Fountain Valley junior Kaho Cichon was runner-up in the girls’ 800 with a lifetime-best time of 2:08.86. Chino’s Mia Chavez won the race in 2:08.12.

“When I heard the announcer saying, ‘She got 2:08,’ I was shocked at first, and then I was just overwhelmed,” Cichon said. “I felt really happy that I was able to get that time, especially because I knew that was going to be my last race this year.”

It marked the fifth time that Cichon has improved upon her personal record this season. She now tops the list at Fountain Valley in the 800, surpassing Anja DiSiena’s time of 2:09.54, established at a state meet in 2007, that had stood as the school record for 14 years.

“I felt so grateful because without this race, I would never have been able to get to where I wanted to be, and I wouldn’t have been able to break my school record, and I wouldn’t have been able to race against such talented runners,” Cichon said. “The people who hosted the meet, I’m very grateful for.”

Also competing in the meet were a pair of junior long jumpers from Corona del Mar. Caroline Glessing placed fourth with a mark of 18 feet, six inches. It was a wind-legal mark and a school record. There was a tailwind of 1.8 meters per second for the jump.

Jason Plumb took fourth in the boys’ long jump competition with a mark of 22-9, which was the same distance he covered in his runner-up showing at the Division 3 finals two weeks prior.

During the Division 2 finals at Moorpark High, Edison’s Tyler Hampton took the title in the boys’ high jump with a clearance of 6-4.

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