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Beckman’s Izban Felix, Dana Hills’ Evan Noonan fare well in Arcadia Invitational

Holly Barker of Trabuco Hills finished second with a time...

Holly Barker of Trabuco Hills finished second with a time of 10:02.52 in the women’s 3200 meter run Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational in Arcadia on Saturday, April 6, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Georgia Jeanneret of JSerra finished fifth with a time of...

Georgia Jeanneret of JSerra finished fifth with a time of 2:11.33 in the women’s 800 meter run Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational in Arcadia on Saturday, April 6, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Holly Barker of Trabuco Hills finished second with a time...

Holly Barker of Trabuco Hills finished second with a time of 10:02.52 in the women’s 3200 meter run Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational in Arcadia on Saturday, April 6, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Holly Barker of Trabuco Hills finished second with a time...

Holly Barker of Trabuco Hills finished second with a time of 10:02.52 in the women’s 3200 meter run Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational in Arcadia on Saturday, April 6, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Holly Barker of Trabuco Hills finished second with a time...

Holly Barker of Trabuco Hills finished second with a time of 10:02.52 in the women’s 3200 meter run Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational in Arcadia on Saturday, April 6, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

ARCADIA – Beckman senior Izban Felix ran the fourth-fastest time in the 3,200 meters in Orange County history on Saturday with his time of 8 minutes, 47.06 seconds in the Arcadia Invitational track and field meet at Arcadia High School.

Felix finished 21st.

That’s how talented and how deep the 3,200 field was at the Arcadia Invitational, which outside of the CIF State Championships is the most prestigious meet in California every high school track and field season.

The superb talent included state champions and nationally-ranked runners to the meet that attracted athletes from 36 states and Canada. Daniel Simmons of American Fork (Utah) won the 3,200 in 8:34.96, the top time in the nation in high school track this season.

Dana Hills junior Evan Noonan covered the distance in 8:47.17, the fifth-best time in the 3,200 in county history.

He finished 22nd.

Felix said it was difficult to find an open crease to move up in the 38-runner field, because with so many high-quality runners they were grouped together even at the quick pace that was maintained over the eight laps.

“There was so much herding,” Felix said, “It was hard to find a groove. Once I found a groove, someone would pass me.”

Portola senior Rider Cooper had a personal-best day, twice, at the Arcadia meet.

Cooper finished second in the invitational 400 and third in the invitational 200 with personal-best times, running in the usually talented and deep fields that the Arcadia meet annually attracts every season.

His second-place time of 47.50 in the 400 bettered his previous personal-best of 47.82 that already was the fastest time in Orange County this season. Cooper later finished third in the 200 at 21.41, now the fastest time in the county in that event this season.

“I was a little tired from the 400,” Cooper said. “So I just went out there and tried to do my best. On the curve I was a little slow, so I realized I needed to make up ground on the last 100 and I did a great job with my top-end speed so I’m happy about that.”

Newport Harbor finished second in the 4,000 distance medley, only two-hundredths of a second behind winner Buchanan – 11:52.07 for Buchanan, 11:52.09 for Newport Harbor. JSerra, which won that event last season with what at the time was the fastest time in the nation, was unable to finish because one of its runners was injured from a fall during the race.

Newport Harbor sophomore Natalie McCarty was on that distance medley team and she also finished in a tie for first place in the invitational high jump with a clearance of 5 feet, 5 inches which is the best mark in Orange County this season.

Northwood senior Dheer Patel won the seeded 400 at 48.25 (the seeded competitions are a small level below the invitational ones).

San Clemente won two boys relays. On Friday night, the Tritons won the boys 4×800 relay, beating second-place JSerra in a close finish. The Tritons’ winning time was 7:50.22; JSerra’s time was 7:50.28.

And San Clemente on Saturday won the 4,000 distance medley, in which the first leg is 1,200 meters, the second is 400 meters, the third 800 meters and the final leg 1,600 meters. The Tritons won it in 10:13.20 over second-place Mira Costa which finished in 10:13.78.

San Clemente senior Brett Ephraim, who was a key contributor to San Clemente’s cross country team that won CIF Southern Section and CIF State championships this past fall, participated on both relay teams at Arcadia.

“I like the team aspect of this, for sure,” Ephraim said. “Coming from a really successful distance team, and being used to training as a team and running as a team in team races, and being able to apply that to track, it’s pretty special for our group.”

Trabuco Hills junior Holly Barker used a strong final 200 meters to place second in the invitational 3,200 with a time of 10:02.56, almost 16 seconds better than her previous personal best of 10:18.13 that was the leading time in Orange County this season.

She was smiling after the race, although she is expecting better from herself, perhaps starting next Saturday when she competes in the Orange County Championships at Mission Viejo High School.

“I’m happy,” Barker said, “but I’m not totally satisfied.”

JSerra junior Anne Elise Packard finished second in the girls seeded 800 with a personal-best 2:09.56, three-tenths of a second behind the winner Kaitlyn Arciaga of San Diego’s Westview.

“There was a lot of good competition out there,” Packard said. “I wanted to win. Just knowing I can stick with them … I thought it worked out really well.”

Newport Harbor junior Keaton Robar was a close third at 2:09.62.

Edison senior Alexa Sheldon continued her fine season, winning the shot put with her day’s best of 44 feet, 3½ inches.

Servite finished fifth to get medals in the 4×100 invitational race. The Friars finished in 41.74; their county-leading time is 41.40.

Zach Lewis of Pacifica was fifth in the discus at 181 feet, 7 inches to improve on what already was his county-leading toss of 179-9.

Ventura junior Sadie Englehardt put on her usual great show, winning the mile in 4:34.71. She was the CIF Southern Section Division 2 champion in the 800 and 1600 last year.

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