St. Helena Notes and Quotes: McClain runs personal record in steeplechase | Sports

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Harper McClain, a University of Oregon freshman distance runner, attained a personal record with a sixth-place finish in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Oregon Twilight on May 6 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

McClain, a St. Helena High graduate, had a time of 10:20.21.

A report at goducks.com read, “In a big improvement for McClain, the UO freshman (10:20.21) began the day with a PR of 10:38.28 but knocked 18 seconds off that with Friday’s performance.”

It was the final regular-season track and field meet for Oregon.

On April 29, McClain finished second for the Ducks in the invitational section of the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase at the OSU High Performance Meet. It was held at Oregon State’s Whyte Track and Field Center in Corvallis. She was the top collegiate performer in the race, according to a report at goducks.com. McClain attained a personal record time of 10:38.28.

On April 22, McClain finished seventh in the women’s 5,000 meters at the Oregon Relays at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. in 16:36.77.

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McClain finished sixth in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Hayward Premiere, the Ducks’ home opener on April 1. She had a time of 10:40.64.

McClain finished 12th in the women’s 1,500 meters at the Oregon State Pacific Northwest meet on March 19 at the Whyte Track and Field Center in Corvallis, Ore. Her time was 4:49.48.

It was the first outdoor track and field meet of the season for Oregon.

Rico Abreu of St. Helena has seven Top-10 finishes so far on the 2022 World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series. He also has three heat wins and two Slick Woody’s Quicktime Awards.

On April 30, Abreu placed fourth in the 26-lap World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series Bristol Bash feature race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Abreu earned $5,000. He also won a heat race. He won his 13th career Slick Woody’s QuickTime Award with a lap of 13.517 seconds in My Place Hotels Qualifying, averaging a speed of 140.090 MPH on the 0.533-mile oval, according to a report at worldofoutlaws.com.

On April 29, Abreu finished 14th in the World of Outlaws Bristol Bash, a 25-lap World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series feature race at the half-mile Bristol Motor Speedway, in Bristol, Tennessee, and earned $2,200.

On April 23, Abreu earned $1,000 after placing 16th in a 40-lap World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink feature race at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Indiana. It’s a quarter-mile high banked track.

On April 9, Abreu finished seventh in a 30-lap World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series feature race at Lake Ozark Speedway in Eldon, Missouri. Abreu earned $2,425. He also won the KSE Hard Charger Award.

On April 16, Abreu was sixth in a 35-lap NOS Energy Drink feature race at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55, in Pevely, Missouri. He earned $2,300. He also captured the Slick Woody’s Cornhole Company QuickTime Award, in a time of 10.372 seconds, and won a heat race.

Abreu placed in two recent World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series feature races.

He was 17th on March 25 at Bakersfield Speedway, a 1/3-mile track, and earned $1,000. It was a 35-lap race.

He finished 13th at the SoCal Showdown at Perris Auto Speedway, a half-mile track, on March 26. Abreu won $1,200. It was a 31-lap race.

On March 18, Abreu finished ninth in the 35-lap World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series feature race at Merced Speedway.

On March 11 and 12, Abreu had a pair of top-5 finishes in recent 35-lap World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series feature races at Thunderbowl Raceway, a 1/3-mile oval, in Tulare. He finished fourth the first night and won $2,600 and was fifth the second night and earned $2,500.

On March 4 and 5, Abreu placed in 30-lap World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series feature races at Cotton Bowl Speedway in Paige, Texas. He was 12th and earned $1,200 the first night. It was the first World of Outlaws feature of the 2022 season that Abreu qualified for. He finished 10th the second night and earned $2,000.

Ben Gardner placed in events for the Santa Rosa Junior College men’s swim team at the Big 8 Championships at American River College-Sacramento April 21-23. A freshman out of St. Helena High, Gardner was fifth in the 100 back (56.76) and sixth in the 200 back (2:06.99).

Dyani Lopez, a freshman from St. Helena, and Sabrina Wells, a freshman from Calistoga, are on the Santa Rosa Junior College women’s swimming and diving team. Lopez swims in freestyle events. Wells swims in breaststroke events.

Jeff King, a St. Helena High graduate and former Napa County resident, finished this year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on March 17.

King was 28th in the 1,000-mile race, completing it in 11 days, 1-hour, 58 minutes, 9 seconds.

The Iditarod, now in its 50th year, began on March 5, from Fourth Avenue at D Street in Anchorage. The race goes from Southcentral Alaska to Nome.

King, a resident of Denali Park, Alaska, is a four-time champion of the Iditarod (1993, 1996, 1998, 2006) and has 20 Top-10 finishes in 30 starts.

Esteban Ramirez and Justin Vital of Pacific Union College were named to the California Pacific Conference 2022 All-Academic team for men’s volleyball, it was announced in a report at calpacathletics.com on April 1.

Ramirez is a sophomore from San Leandro and is majoring in accounting.

Vital is a sophomore from Miami, Florida and is majoring in healthcare business.

Kyle Bullington, a 2020 Pacific Union College graduate, was named as the 2021-22 Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division III Coach of the Year.

He led the Hawaiian Mission Academy-Honolulu boys basketball team to a 10-4 overall record and first-place league finish with a 9-1 mark.

Bullington is also Hawaiian Mission Academy’s Athletic Director and teaches P.E. and Spanish.

Sierra Nevada and Marymount California, both members of the NAIA’s California Pacific Conference, are closing athletics operations at the end of the academic year, reducing the league’s membership to 13 schools, the Cal Pac announced in a report on its website on April 28.

“Both institutions endured major impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Cal Pac reported at calpacathletics.com.

Said Cal Pac commissioner Dr. Don Ott, “Saddened doesn’t quite capture our collective emotion at these losses. These unfortunate outcomes run much deeper than sports and uniforms. The student-athletes and staff members are friends and a cherished part of our Cal Pac family. We have committed to supporting their transitions in every way possible.

“We are grateful for the partnerships we’ve enjoyed with MCU and SNU. Their unique missions and focuses really added distinctiveness to our ultra-diverse conference, and the people – our friends – added so much to the NAIA and higher education in the West.”

Pacific Union College in Angwin is a conference member.

In the report, the Cal Pac said “The remaining 13 Cal Pac members are positioned to continue league growth in its 15 championship sports. The conference is known for identifying and building new institutions into the NAIA, having ushered 12 new members into the Association since 2010.”

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