Conner NCS Empire 2-mile third, breaks Litzenberg’s Sonoma record, earns MOC with Summers, Maggioncalda
Junior Alex Conner, seen racing at the recent SCL track and field championships in Windsor, is headed to the NCS Meet of Champions after his school record-breaking two-mile effort at Saturday’s Redwood Empire area sectional meet at Rancho Cotate.
On the heels of a successful cross country season in the fall, Sonoma Valley High School junior standout Alex Conner decided to not play golf for the Dragons this spring, despite being one of their best golfers last year and having reached the sport’s postseason.
Instead of traversing the links, Conner rounded the ovals for Sonoma’s track and field boys and, with fast-paced improvement in his long-distance running down the recent stretch of the regular season, Conner has put together two straight postseason performances which has established him as not only one of the elite two-milers in the North Bay, but a record-setter for Sonoma.
After an impressive effort at the Sonoma County League championships which almost earned him an SCL title in the 3,200 meters – he led for most of the race until being caught and passed on the last lap – but he finished in second place.
At Saturday’s North Coast Section Redwood Empire Area Meet at Rancho Cotate High School in Rohnert Park, Conner captured captured an impressive third-place medal in the 3,200 with a time of
9 minutes, 30.6 seconds, which also established a new school record at Sonoma.
Conner’s record-run broke former Dragon star John Litzenberg’s 23-year-year-mark of 9:34.83 and qualified him to advance to this Friday and Saturday’s, May 27 and 28, prestigious NCS Meet of Champions at Edwards Stadium on the University of California, Berkeley, campus.
Joining Conner at the MOC event for Sonoma by qualifying with top-seven finishes at the NCS Redwood Empire Area meet were junior Sarah Summers and sophomore Greg Maggioncalda.
In the boys’ 300-hurdles event, Maggioncalda claimed an eye-opening third-place finish with a personal-record (PR) time of 41.90 – placing him at seventh on Sonoma’s all-time boys’ 300-meter hurdles list, while taking 10th-place in the 110-hurdles in 16.81 (PR).
Summers is the lone Lady Dragon advancing to the MOC after her fifth-place finish in the NCS Redwood Empire girls’ triple-jump with a leap of 33-feet, and she also was 11th in the girls’ 100 high hurdles in 18.28.
Also competing for the Dragons at the NCS Redwood Area meet were senior Caitlyn Silkey’s pole-vault ninth-place at 8-6; sophomore Chris Tose’s 800 ninth in 2:01.18 (PR); the 12th-place girls’ 1,600 relay team of Summers, senior Emma McGee, sophomore Laura Amador and freshman Kirsten Hodgson in a season-best 4:22.43; the 17th-place girls’ 400 relay team of McGee, Hodgson, sophomore Ali Romano and freshmen Ellen Angeloni in 53.91; senior Raymond Mellinger’s shot-put 15th at 41-3; senior Danny Maggioncalda’s 400 16th at 40-2; senior Omar Paz’s boys’ shot-put 16th at 40-2; the boys’ 1,600-relay team of sophomore Chris Tose, Danny Maggioncalda, Greg Maggioncalda and senior Devin McAllister in a season-best 3:43.15; and Romano’s 100, 21st in 13:63.
The Sonoma track and field teams are directed by head coach Linda Patterson, event coaches Andy Gibson, Colleen Hamilton and Stephan Fitzpatrick, and volunteer coaches Sherman Harris, John Litzenberg, Donny Albini and Danielle Lovejoy.