Mount Shasta junior sets school 1600m record at State Championships

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald
Chris Morzenti, shown at the 2015 Northern Section Finals, set a new Mount Shasta High School record in the 1600 meter race June 5, 2015 at the California State Championships in Fresno.

Mount Shasta High School junior Chris Morzenti ran his fastest 1600 meter race by 5 seconds and set a new school record at the 2015 California State Championships Friday in Fresno.

Morzenti finished sixth in his heat, had the 13th fastest time in a field of 28, and was just 0.6 of a second from qualifying for Saturday’s state final.

His 4:17.67 finish was “the fastest time for an athlete I have coached over my 32 years,” Mount Shasta head coach Steve Nesheim wrote in an email report. “He ran great and is feeling pretty proud of his result today.”

Mount Shasta’s other state qualifier, senior Madeleine Moyer, needed to pole vault 8 inches above her personal best to make opening height at State. Nesheim said she and eight other girls did not make it.

A two-time Northern Section champion who finished first in pole vault every other time she competed this season, Moyer “knew what she would face at State and gave a great effort... like she does in every facet of her life,” according to Nesheim.

Like Moyer, Morzenti competed in the state championships for the second year in a row.

A year ago, he finished second in the Section Finals and earned a spot at State because the guy who beat him chose not to participate. Morzenti placed 25th in the 2014 preliminaries with what was then his personal best, 4:24.05.

He bested that mark three times this season and ran his fastest race before State, 4:22.50, three weeks earlier at the Mountain League Championships.

Nesheim praised Morzenti late in the season for his ability to compete well in four challenging running events at the same meet, the 800m, 1600m, 3200m and as part of the Bears’ school record setting 4 by 400m relay team.

Morzenti’s 2015 season included a personal record of 1:57.00 in the 800m and a personal record of 9:53.66 in the 3200m, which was nearly 10 seconds faster than his previous best.

He also ran his fastest 400m final lap in a 1600m race to come from behind and win the Section championship a week before the State meet.

Morzenti had already enjoyed great success on the track before he reached high school, while Moyer played softball in the spring as a freshman and sophomore and started her pole vaulting career in 2014.

She went 10-6 in her fourth meet last May and reached that height five other times the past two seasons, including both years in the Section Finals.

Moyer also won league championships both this year and last year in the 300m hurdles and 100m hurdles, and she won a league championship in long jump last year.

She won Division III championships in the 300m hurdles this year and the 100m hurdles and long jump last year.