Contributed by Janine TurnerMount Shasta sophomore Chris Morzenti runs his best-ever 1600m race at the CIF State Championship meet June 6 in Clovis.

Another great story from the CIF Championships


Mount Shasta High School sophomore Chris Morzenti improved his personal record in the 1600m by nearly five seconds in Friday’s preliminary race at the CIF State Championship Meet in Clovis.

The competition was such that he placed 25th. Only the top 12 advanced to Saturday’s finals.

Morzenti was one of three Bears who qualified for the state championships and faced what coach Steve Nesheim called “a paradigm shift that takes a lot of courage. Each had been the best of the Northern Section in their event. They all are recognized as being ‘head-and-shoulders’ above almost all their competitors in the Northern Section competitively speaking. At the state meet, they are suddenly thrust into an environment where nearly the entire field is competitively ‘head-and-shoulders’ above them. That is a lot to take in after a season of dominating local competition.”

Mount Shasta senior Eli Chapman placed 24th in Friday’s CIF 200m preliminary in 22.43 seconds and 25th in the 100m preliminary in 11.12. Those times were a bit off the school records he set late in the season in both those events (21.96 and 10.86).

Junior Madeleine Moyer, who set a school record of 10-feet, 6-inches in the pole vault this spring, did not make the opening height of 11-3 at the state championships.

Nesheim wrote that Moyer “vaulted against girls that sprung skyward off of their poles like she had never witnessed before.”

The coach said Chapman noticed while he was standing in the blocks “how much taller all the other sprinters were.”

Morzenti ran the second fastest 1600m in school history and placed 14th out of 15 runners in his preliminary heat. After the race, he chatted with the winner, according to Nesheim.

“They all understood that it is an honor to reach this level of competition,” Nesheim wrote.

Yreka senior Clayton Bunn, the only Siskiyou County athlete to compete in a finals event at the state meet, set a personal record of 9:26.14 in the 3200m Saturday night. He bettered his previous best mark of 9:35.63, set earlier this season and still placed 25th.

Yreka senior Jena Turner, competing in the state meet for the fourth year in a row, placed 23rd in the 100-meter hurdles preliminaries Friday evening. She also qualified for state in the high jump but did not compete in that event.

Nesheim wrote, “Our athletes took it in stride and appreciated where they were. Veterans Memorial Stadium at Buchanan High School is the best high school track & field facility in the state. The meet is run like a professional sporting event. Each event features one or more top competitors that are announced as being ranked fifth in the nation, fourth in the nation, etc. Immediately after many events those rankings change: the competitors push the edge of national records.”