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Published May 24th, 2023
Success for Lamorinda track teams at NCS Tri-Valley Area Championship and Meet of Champions
Campolindo's Ellie Buckley and Shea Volkmer finishing 1-2 in 1600 meter Photo Jon Kingdon

In the NCS Tri-Valley Championship on May 13, Lamorinda schools were well represented and a good many of them qualified for the Meet of Champions. In doing so, there were a number of personal records, team records and meet records set by the various athletes from Acalanes, Campolindo and Miramonte.
At the Tri-Valley, the Campolindo girls finished in first, Acalanes eighth and Miramonte 12th. For the boys' teams, Campolindo finished in sixth, Acalanes seventh and Miramonte 19th.
At the Meet of Champions, Campo girls finished first, Acalanes 17th, and Miramonte 40th. For the boys' teams, Acalanes finished 6th, Campolindo 22nd and Miramonte 41st.
Campolindo had its main success in the running events.
The Campolindo girls were led by Mari Testa who competed in the maximum allowed four events, winning the girls' 100 meters, 100-meter hurdles, 200 meters and finished in sixth on the teams 4X100 relay team.
"It was a great performance by Mari," assistant coach Andy Lindquist said. "She set the school record in her individual events and helped our 4x100 relay team (Testa, Charlotte Arnswald, Meagan Kennedy and Sarah Graves) advance on to the next week as well."
The girls' team also did well in the distance events. Ellie Buckley and Shea Volkmer finished in first and second place, respectively, in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter races under trying conditions with the temperatures reaching into the high 80s. Kate Kabenina also qualified to run the next week by finishing sixth in the 3,200 meters. With a sixth-place finish in the 400 meters, Meagan Kennedy also made it to the Meet of Champions.
"Ellie and Shea have been on a tear the past couple of weeks so it wasn't a surprise that they would go out and finish 1-2 in both races along with Kate, running under difficult conditions which definitely helped our team to finish in first place, ahead of second place Monte Vista by 10 points."
Pinkie Schnayer finished second and sixth in the shot put and discus throw, and Anna Stubbington finished in fourth in the shot put for the Cougars. "Pinkie and Anna had great weekends and had a lot to be pleased and happy about with their performance," Lindquist said.
Garrett Nelson led the boys with a first-place finish in the 100 meters and finished in fourth in the 200 meters. Josh Myers also advanced with a sixth-place finish in the 100 meters. This was the third time that the 100-meter record at Campolindo was broken this year. "Earlier in the year, Garrett broke the school record and then three minutes later, Josh broke that record and Garrett's 10.69-time last Saturday once again set the school record. Garrett also broke the school 200-meter record (21.78), so it was definitely a very good day for him," Lindquist said.
Quinn Ahearn finished in fifth in the 300-meter hurdles. "Quinn has been improving each week and has gotten cleaner navigating the barriers," Lindquist said.
In the boys 1,600 meters, Alexander Lodewick finished in fifth with a time of 4:20.70 and Connor McGhee and Alex Thomasson also hit their qualifying marks as did the 4x100 relay team (Josh Myers, Garrett Nelson, Kyle Fossen and Brendan Comerford).
Bryce McLaverty qualified in both the shot (45'0") and discus (124'03"). "Bryce has really been coming on strong the last four weeks of the season and this was a big step up for him and the first time he has advanced this far and has come a long way this past year," Lindquist said.
"With both of our varsity teams winning the league title, it was the first time since 2010 that we won both titles in the same year," Lindquist said. "It's been a great year so far with all of the school records that have been broken and how high our athletes have been placing in their events."
It was also a day of superlative performances for the Acalanes boys, girls, and unified team. Leading the way was the boys 4x100 team (Ethan Torres, Trevor Rogers, Kyle Bielawski, Paul Kuhner) with a time of 41.28 that set a school record, a meet record and the ninth best time ever run in NCS history.
Kuhner ran the anchor leg and also won the 200 meters with a time of 21.5 which was also a school and meet record. Besides the 4x100, Rogers also advanced to the Meet of Champions with a time of 22.45 in the 200 meters and finished in second place with a long jump of 22'1.75. The 4x400 relay team of Jacob Boselli, Rogers, Tyler Hunt and Kuhner qualified with a time of 3:28.67. Hunt finished in seventh place in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:47.35 to also advance.
Two members of the girls' basketball team were standouts for the Dons, sophomores Sophie Chinn finishing second in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 16.08 and Dulci Vail finishing in first with a high jump of 5'5". Haley Chelemedos finished in fourth place with a jump of 5'0" and Megan Yee also advanced with a time of 5:16.91 in the 1,600-meter race.
"Sophie has been up there all season and is still learning how to hurdle which is even more impressive and now has the sixth fastest hurdler time in the history of Acalanes," head coach Joe Escobar said. "Dulci's jump is the second-best mark in school history."
Also advancing in the field events were Natalie Lyons with a long jump of 16'8.5" to finish in third place and Carly Young Harriman who finished in fifth place with a triple jump of 33'1.5".
This is the second year in a row where Acalanes closed their season with a strong finish. "Trevor, Paul and Haley all missed most of the year with injuries and they were all ready to go yesterday," Escobar said. "The end of this season has turned out as good as last year despite having to deal with a lot of injuries and weather problems in the middle of the year and everyone has battled back and come through when it mattered the most."
The Acalanes Unified Team, where general ed and special ed students can compete together, also performed well for the Dons. Brody Lim, Samuel Hamalian, Miles Clark, and Marcus McGadney all earned points in the boys 100 meters as did Charlotte Sutherland, Elena Russo, Ainsley Dodge and Alvia DeCredico in the girls 100 meters. Apollonia Walton and Alyvia DeCredico both placed in the girls' long jump.
Escobar was congratulatory to all of the members of the Unified team but made special mention of the performance of Hamalian: "In addition to being an integral part of our Unified Program, Sammy also competed as a varsity athlete. On senior night Sammy went out and won the varsity boys 3200-meter race against Las Lomas and Miramonte."
With a relatively young team, Head Coach Andrew Lewis was pleased with their performance. "We're happy with how the season has worked out," Lewis said. "We had some great performances at our DAL championships, and we took a good amount of people to the Tri-Valley Championship."
Sophomore Tori Chatter ran the 200- and 400-meter races but will focus on the 200-meter race at the Meet of Champions. Chatter's time of 25.01 in the 200 meters set a new school record.
Asher Patel finished in sixth in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:57.22 and 4th in the 1600 with a time of 4:19.52 but will only compete in the 1600, hoping to qualify for the state meet. Grace Bell will compete in 3200 meter in the Meet of Champions after finishing in ninth with a time of 12:02.01.
Addison Braitberg finished in second place with a high jump of 5'0" and Jessica Youn finished in third place with a pole vault of 9'11".
"Addison improved by two inches over her previous mark and showed up big," Lewis said. "Jessica continued her great season after winning the DAL and we're happy to have her come out to the Meet of Champions."

Acalanes's Paul Kuhner finishing the 4x100 record setting relay Photo Jon Kingdon

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