With good friend Chloe Curtis waiting at the finish line and some of the top talent in Southern California on hand at Redondo on Saturday afternoon, Buchbinder made the most of her big stage.
Buchbinder provided one of the highlights of the inaugural Redondo Nike Track Festival, winning the "Chloe Curtis 1,600" in 5 minutes, 4.71 seconds.
The race is named after former Redondo CIF and state champion Curtis, who was on hand to present a medal and Nike backpack to Buchbinder, who fended off Long Beach Poly's Dynasty Gammage and Redondo's Cara Ulizio.
"Chloe and I have run together a lot over the years and it was awesome to have her here," Buchbinder said. "I started out a bit nervous but I sort of always do. I calmed down once I got into the race and just told myself to keep pushing."
Traditional power Long Beach Poly won the overall team championships for both the boys and girls and came away impressed with the event.
"Redondo did a great job with it the whole afternoon," Poly assistant coach Jim Richardson said. "They've got some fantastic facilities here."
The meet had 25 teams and an estimated 1,500 participants. Nike sponsored and Road Runner Sports provided free shoes to all athletes. A DJ from 97.1 FM "Amp Radio" was on hand spinning music throughout the afternoon.
"We definitely want to develop this into one of the bigger meets on the West Coast," Redondo coach Bob Leetch said. "We've got plans next year to hook up with Dyestat.com and create statewide dual meet rankings, then invite the top 10 boys and girls teams to come compete."
Redondo had plenty of talent there to represent at home, especially on the girls side. Sophomore Kayla Ferron avoided a late surge from Caitlin Turner of Thousand Oaks by two seconds to win the 800 in 2:18.99.
"This is super cool to be able to have our own event here and win my race today," Ferron said. "It makes it a lot more special than just winning any regular race we run during a season."
Redondo picked up another big win in the 4x800 relay when Kelly Ryan, Alexis Thibodeau, Rachel Bush and Laura O'Neill won in 9:57.10.
El Segundo's Ahmed Mahmood had one of the day's top performance for the boys in the "Bob Bacon Hurdles," named after the former Redondo state champion.
Mahmood won the 300 hurdles in 41.21 seconds and said his big motivation afterward was one of the spacious and stylish Nike backpacks that were offered to the winner of each event.
"To be honest, I really wanted this backpack," Mahmood said, smiling. "It was a cool event though and I thought I ran well. This helps us a lot with Arcadia coming up soon."
Carson's Brandon Moore won the boys long jump (21 feet, 7 inches) and triple jump (46-2) and tied for first in the high jump (6-2).
The Colts' Dayna Hurd (46.38) and Monay Meggs (47.60) finished one and two in the girls 300.
For West, Kayla Mallet won the pole vault (11-4) and triple jump (37-11). North's Joslyn Barnes won the long jump (17-2).