The Clovis Invitational is the biggest, most competitive meet in Central California. More than 40 state-ranked teams arrived on Saturday, hoping to test themselves and maybe get a state meet preview on this, the site of the state championships in late November. A comfortable temperature and fast competition greeted the runners as they tested themselves against the best in the state.
For the boys, medals were hard earned by freshman sensation Mateo Malko-Allen and junior Riley Hartney. Both runners were among the leaders at the first mile and both would hang on to medal positions. Mateo scored his 5K personal best, running 17:42 while placing 7th on the winding, rolling state meet course. Not far behind was Riley, whose 17:50 was good enough for 9th and a medal. Junior teammate Zax Lieske was the team’s third runner, placing 23rd at 18:06. Freshman Adrian Licea, another in the impressive class of 2023, was 56th in the 188 runner field, with sophomores Ryan Painter and Jeffrey Norris placing 5th and 6th on the team. Senior Talyn Mitchell completed the 7 man squad for the Panthers.
For the girls, they ran a bit short-handed but still managed a 10th place team finish. Junior Jordan Cornet ran her way to a medal, placing 12th overall in 21:00. Senior Wiona Tan, running for the first time on the Woodward Park course, was 37th in the 247 runner race, while fellow co-captain Olivia Lawson was 2 spots away in 39th. Sophomore Mallory Boell, and juniors Simone Rogers and Ashley Robarts completed the 6 runner squad travelling to Clovis.