HomeBlocksFront-GridTrack and Field: La Cañada Athletes Star at Arcadia Invitational

Track and Field: La Cañada Athletes Star at Arcadia Invitational

Four La Cañada High School track and field athletes competed in the prestigious Arcadia Invitational over the weekend, battling more than 4,000 high school athletes from 37 states in one of the nation’s top meets.
Spartans seniors Katelyn Matarese and Erin Makhanian and juniors Maya DeBrouwer and Katie McGuinness took part in the highly anticipated meet that saw 14 new U.S. outdoor top marks set for the 2024 season.
“It’s truly amazing that a small public school has some of the nation’s top track athletes,” La Cañada coach Chris Matarese said. “We have six female athletes that will compete in college this year and three more high level Division I junior prospects who will be committing to top universities in the near future. Most of these girls never ran track before high school and I am so glad the school offered them a program that allowed them to find a talent they didn’t know they had.”
Many of the country’s greatest athletes participated in Arcadia as high schoolers. For example, Olympic gold medalists Michael Norman, Rai Benjamin, Noah Lyles, and Sydney McLauglin all took home winner’s medals at the Arcadia meet in the last few years, in addition to many other Olympic medalists, World Championship medalists, and National Champions. Norman even showed up to root on the nation’s next generation of track superstars.
McGuinness had the team’s highest finish, with a silver medal in the very competitive invitational heptathlon, tallying a score of 4,539. The heptathlon is a competition consisting of seven events: the 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200-meter sprint, long jump, javelin throw and 800 run.
The junior set a new school record in the high jump, with a leap of 5 feet, 4 ¼ inches, and posted personal bests in the 200, 800 and javelin throw. McGuinness’s high jump currently ranks 15th in the state and her long jump ranks fourth in California. Her total score was in the top 50 all-time for California high school athletes.
DeBrouwer had a similarly huge performance at the event against an elite field in the 3,200. The junior’s time of 10:09.86 placed her 10th overall, and it is the 12th fastest time in the nation this year. She shattered her own school record of 10:24.69 that she set just two weeks prior, and her time at Arcadia is also the 29th fastest ever run by a California high schooler in the event.
Harvard-bound senior Katelyn Matarese posted a personal best of 2:13.17 in the 800, the 16th fastest time in California this year. In one of the more exciting performances on the day, the senior was boxed-in for most of the race. With 200 meters to go, she broke loose on the outside, and exploded ahead of the pack to take the lead, which she never gave up.
In the pole vault, Makhanian, who will compete for Emory University in the fall, took second with a mark of 11-6. The senior, who broke the school record with a vault of 12-3 on March 27, has the 11th best vault in California this year.
Chris Matarese added that he “received numerous calls from college coaches after the national level performances from McGuinness and DeBrouwer.”
The La Cañada boys’ 4×400 relay team also qualified for the prestigious meet, posting a time of 3:25.96 to finish fourth in their heat. The relay team included Humboldt-bound senior Jamie Saunders, senior Alan Razo, junior Morgan Strauss, and freshman Charlie Matarese.
La Cañada also sent numerous athletes last weekend to two other big track meets this weekend: the West Coast Classic Track and Field Invitational at Cerritos College and the Tiger Invitational at South Pasadena High School.
Spartans senior George Hervey set a personal record at the Tiger Invitational in the 1,600 to finish second in his heat and highlight the team’s performances at the other meets.

La Cañada junior Maya DeBrouwer races in the girls 3200 meter race at the Arcadia Invitational
Olympic gold medalist Michael Norman center stopped by the Arcadia Invitational and took photos with participating high school athletes including La Cañadas Charles Matarese from left Phil Han Jamie Saunders and George Hervey

First published in the April 11 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.


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