The gun lap is here for the tail end of the high school track and field season.
The postseason meets loom with a warmup of sorts set for Saturday at American River College.
The 39th Sacramento Meet of Champions has historically been one of the state’s elite late-season events, a launching pad over the decades for decorated stars Jill Camarena, Kim Conley, Stacy Dragila, Sheila Hudson, Suzy Powell-Roos, Brian Lewis, Derek Miles, Jamie Nieto, Michael Stember and scores of others.
“We’re going to have another great meet,” SMOC coordinator Jerry Colman said.
There will be speed, to be sure, including the Sheldon girls 400 relay time that has a Northern California-best of 47.60 seconds behind legs Tierra Sterling, Kyla Wesley, Jordin Abdur-Rahim and Tatumn LaChapelle.
The Sheldon girls 1600 relay has the fastest time in the field at 3:55.54, the best in Northern California this season. The relay legs are Michaela Andrews, LaChapelle, Imani Dupree and Thalia Reid, who has a best of 55.63 in the 400.
Also in the 400 mix will be Ceonna Pipion of Vista del Lago, whose best is 55.80.
There isn’t a faster 400-meter man in the state than Zach Larrier of Monterey Trail, whose 46.49-second effort at the April 6 Arcadia Invitational is No. 3 in the country this spring (46.22 by Justin Robinson of Missouri is the leader).
Larrier’s teammate, Camden Wheeler, has a 400 best of 49.39. The SMOC record holder in the 400 is Frank Kurtz of Heritage-Brentwood. He ran a 47.03 in 2013.
Larrier has the fastest 200 time in the SMOC field in 21.31. The meet record is 21.03, set by Jahvid Best of Salesian-Richmond in 2006.
The favorite in the girls 100 is Amador Valley-Pleasanton’s Chinyere Okoro, whose 11.69 best is the third best in the state and tops in Northern California. She has the second-fastest time in the state in the 200 at 23.94. Pipion is No. 1 at 24.59.
For the boys, Dixon’s David Phillips has a best of 10.46 in the 100. The distance races will also be of intrigue.
In the girls 100 hurdles, Edison’s Cyvanna Bowen has the third best time in California at 13.91. Others expected to fare well include Stagg’s Tierra Davis and St. Francis’ Reyna Johnson.
The favorite in the 1,600 boys race is Matt Strangio, the Jesuit junior cruiser who has CIF State titles in the 1,600 and in cross country. His season best in the four-lap race is 4:14.40.
The SMOC record was set in 2016 by Cooper Teare of St. Joseph Notre Dame-Alameda in 4:07.78. Strangio is not in the 3,200, though he would be the favorite, as his lifetime best of 8:47.97 made him the national leader for several weeks.
Jesuit teammate Chase Gordon is the favorite in the 800 with a best of 1:53.06, which is the third-best in the state and No. 1 in NorCal this season. The girls 1,600 includes Julia Heckey of McClatchy with a best of 4:55.24 and Cate Joaquin of St. Francis (4:58.62). Joaquin has a best of 10:47.79 in the 3,200.