The concept was two-fold.
Jerry Colman created the Sacramento Meet of Champions in 1980 to showcase the top high school track and field athletes in the Sac-Joaquin Section. And as Sacramento State’s track coach, Colman figured this was also a clever way to recruit.
Colman no longer coaches the Hornets, but he remains the director for the MOC, which has evolved into a Northern California showcase of sorts, a primer for the postseason meets.
The 34th meet is Saturday at American River College with the first session at 11 a.m. and the invitational elite events starting at 5 p.m. With tickets $5, Colman said he wants to encourage fans to attend.
“We wanted a premier meet, and it’s been terrific over the years,” Colman said. “And, yes, I was using the meet in the early days to get kids to Sac State, which would now be against NCAA rules. We were a non-scholarship Division II college then, and I pulled in five freshmen who were All-Americans by their sophomore year.”
The biggest name Saturday is Oregon-bound Nate Moore. The Castro Valley senior set the state’s best long jump this season at 25 feet, 10 inches when he won the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut last month. It’s the best all-conditions leap of any prep west of Texas since 1989, and it rates as the fourth-best effort in national high school history. The defending state champion in the long jump, Moore also has the field’s best triple jump at 49-41/4.
The state’s top two girls long jumpers will compete in the Meet of Champions. Meghan Tucker of Placer has a best of 20 feet, 1 inch, and Mackenzie Arnold of River Valley has gone 19-11. Fiona O’Keeffe of Davis heads a strong 3,200 girls field with a leading time of 10 minutes, 14.6 seconds.
The boys’ 400 will feature Joe Herrera of Tulare Western with a state-leading 47.67 seconds and Cameron Stone of Sheldon (48.63). The Woodcreek 400 relay team has the field’s fastest time of 41.91 behind Alex Rotteveel, Tyus Williamson, Aspyn Walton and Colton George. Williamson is in the 100, a field that includes Joe Mixon of Freedom of Oakley, who signed with Oklahoma, and section leader Damon Jackson of Kimball of Tracy (wind-aided 10.62). Jackson is also in the 200 (21.86), where he’ll face Williamson, Rotteveel and Daliceo Calloway of Rosemont, who has the section’s best time of 21.56.
Section hurdles leader Austin Carter of Folsom has the field’s best time of 14.41 in the 110 and 37.93 in the 300. Jesuit shot putter Michael Titherington has the field’s best effort of 631/2 feet, and Granite Bay’s Brian Garber has the best high jump of 6-8.
Baseball showdown – Bee No. 1 Elk Grove plays Temecula Valley at Pacific on Saturday at noon in the Boras Baseball Classic championship. Elk Grove, winner of 13 in a row, is in the midst of a five-game week. Two of the Herd’s wins have come against No. 5 Franklin – by scores of 6-5 and 11-3 – in Delta Valley Conference play behind pitchers Chris Martin and Ty Madrigal and leading hitter Derek Hill. Temecula Valley has a three-game week.
Honor for Brandt – El Camino All-Metro lineman Evan Brandt signed with Cal Lutheran. He was honored by the National Football Foundation as a scholar-athlete this spring.
Coaching changes – Roscoe Ahn has been named McClatchy football coach, replacing Bob Lee, who stepped down after one season for health reasons. A longtime assistant coach, Ahn is an Advanced Placement physics teacher at McClatchy, where the football team hasn’t fielded a playoff team since 1996.
• Cody Norman has been named Laguna Creek girls basketball coach. A former Laguna Creek player and graduate, Norman was an assistant or lower-level head coach at the school from 1997 to 2006. He was the varsity boys basketball coach at Florin from 2006 to 2010 and worked as the girls coach at Manteca the past two seasons.
• Monterey Trail girls basketball coach Louie Corpuz and his staff will not return next season, Mustangs athletic director David Coronado said. Monterey Trail won two DVC titles and went 27-3 in league play since 2012 but did not advance past the second round of the playoffs. Corpuz is athletic director and a science teacher at Edward Harris Middle School, which feeds into Monterey Trail.
Follow Joe Davidson on Twitter @SacBee_JoeD.