After a successful first season running cross country, Santa Barbara High’s Anne Knecht is enjoying a good start in her debut as a distance runner on the track team for the Dons.

Knecht won the 800 at the Don Green Invitational two weeks ago in Moorpark and last Friday she took first place in the 1600 in a meet record at the Ventura Invitational. 

Knecht finished in 5:10, improving on her personal record by 32 seconds. At the Don Green Invite, she ran 2:21.25 in 800.

Santa Barbara High’s Anne Knecht is coming off a record-setting performance in the 1600 at the Ventura Invitational.

Santa Barbara distance running coach Rusty Snow said at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table Press Luncheon that Knecht approached him and said she wanted to be a distance runner. She previously ran the 200 and 400 and relays for the Dons track & field team and was the Channel League champion in the 400 as a sophomore in 2021. She didn’t run in last year’s league finals.

“I started looking at her stats and I saw .61.3 in the 400,” said an excited Snow. “I don’t know if anyone knows that type of time, but it’s very, very solid. And not only solid, it’s an excellent time, even more excellent if you’re a distance runner.

“If you can run whatever you can in the short distances, if you have an engine, you can build that engine and you can become a great 800 runner, a great 1600 runner all the way up.

“Well, she’s done that and she’s doing that.”

At Ventura, Knecht finished six seconds ahead of the second-place finisher.

“It was incredible. She looked like she was comfortable,” said Snow. “(The other runners) were maxed out, redlining. 

“It’s really just the beginning. We’re going for sub-five minutes, really to be among the best in the country. And she’s on her way.”

Luncheon Notes

SBCC distance runner Sage Holter set a school record in the 5,000 meters with a time of 17:28.51 at the Occidental Distance Carnival over the weekend.

Holter won the Western State Conference cross country women’s title in 18:45.9 over 5,000 meters, finished third in the SoCal Regionals (18:15.9) and fourth at the State Championships (18:16.4).

SBCC baseball coach Jeff Walker sympathized with his fellow baseball brethren about rescheduling games due to all the rain the area has received over the past two months.

“It’s been an interesting year with all the rain and the water,” he said. “We’re potentially considering being a swim team, but after being at my daughter’s swim meet yesterday, there’s no chance of that.”

He said Tuesday’s home game against Ventura has been switched to Friday and Saturday’s game also will be home… weather permitting.”

High school coaches also are scrambling to reschedule games.

All events involving Santa Barbara Unified School District schools have been called off on Tuesday.

Late Monday afternoon, the district announced that schools will be closed due to the expected heavy rain.

In Attendance

The teams and their student-athlete representatives at Monday’s press luncheon:

SBCC baseball (Carter Park), Dos Pueblos baseball (Joe Talarico, Dylan Gesswein), San Marcos boys volleyball (Jack Wilson, Cliff Ficker, Mason Rice), San Marcos girls lacrosse (Sadi Adams, Delaney Reagan, Mia Martinez-Tomatis), San Marcos baseball (Cole Schoenwetter, Patrick Kelly), Santa Barbara High track (Anne Knecht), Santa Barbara High boys volleyball (Danny Whitney, Mikey Denver, Ford Harman), Santa Barbara High girls lacrosse (Bridget Linderman, Emma Hall);

Carpinteria boys baseball (Diego Nieves, Erich Goebel, Carpinteria boys volleyball (Javier Reyes, Juan Quintero), Santa Barbara High baseball (Dane Dawson, Michael Firestone), Laguna Blanca boys volleyball (Caden Weaver, Liam Knezevic), Bishop Diego baseball (Ryan Rheinschild, Isaac Veal), Dos Pueblos girls lacrosse (Madeline Nees, Lauren Elliott), Dos Pueblos boys golf (Teddy Vigna, Denver Douglas), San Marcos boys tennis (Charlie Friedman, Joey Friedman, Nathan Shaffer), Laguna Blanca boys golf (Mason Siegel, Jules Leclercq).

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Barry Punzal, Sports Editor

— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.