Home Play High Schools Track preview: Season off to fast start

Track preview: Season off to fast start

Westwood's James Smith was named athlete of the meet after sweeping hurdle events. (Westwood Twitter page)

The track season just got underway but some individuals are already in mid-season form.

A handful of invitationals were held last weekend and the performances were impressive considering the time of the year, and gives an indication of what can be expected once May rolls around and the athletes are peaking.

It started with Westwood’s James Smith.

The state’s top-ranked returning hurdler set two meet records at the Richard Thompson Invitational to be named the athlete of the meet.

He finished the 110 hurdles in 14.90 seconds and the 300 in the 38.05.

Teammate Rahni Turner finished second in the high jump at 5 feet, 2 inches, finished second in the 300 hurdles and fourth in the 100 hurdles.

“Both athletes are on track to have great seasons,” Westwood coach James Smith said.

At the Arizona Relays, the Skyline boys won the boys title and the girls finished second.

Dominik Moore won the 300 hurdles in 44.54 and Austin Owens won the 3200 in 10:37.53, while the Coyotes won the shuttle hurdle relay (1:12:13) and the 4×200 (1:35.87), second in the 4×100 (45.77) and 4×400 (3:48.35) and third in the 4×1600 (19:44.30).

Aaron Wood and Tyrin Wallace were also major assets over the weekend in the spring events.

The girls won the distance medley relay (14.18.66), finished second in the 4×1600 (24:24.58) and Davinel Poole was fourth in the shot put (30-11).

Here is a look at the returning athletes who competed at state meet:

Desert Ridge – Alex Whittus (800 meter), Donjae Logan (200 dash, triple jump, long jump), Lauren Schwalger (shot put), Koa Tuipala (110 hurdles), Nylah Edwards (100 hurdles), Brianna Stiger (300 hurdles), Caden Bethel (200 dash), Nicole Ross (high jump), Savannah Marshall (jumps), Zach Landa (throws), Ashleigh Heslop (discus)

Dobson – Brooke Stratman (pole vault)

Mesa – Bridgit Carter (high jump), Nathan Montague (shot put)

Mountain View – Sarah Marske (100 hurdles), Braden Rasmussen (1600), Kailey Welch (1600), Weston Wallace (400 dash), Dax Hodges (300 hurdles), Kennady Davis (300 hurdles), Sam Jarvis (pole vault), Taleni Ta’ase (shot put, discus)

Red Mountain – Cole Jaquette (110, 300 hurdles), Broderick Bougeois (1600/3200), Johnnie Talamantes (110/300 hurdles), Gabe Williams (discus), Jake Stephan (400 dash), Niki Hemmerlin (mile,  800), Taylor Westra (shot, disc), Emilee Clark (shot, disc), Alyce Medrano (100m, 200m).

Skyline – Darius Glover (200 dash), Carlene Hamilton (3200 run), Davinel Poole (throws), Sam To’oto’o (throws)

Westwood – James Smith (110/300 hurdles), Rahni Turner (100/300 hurdles, high jump)

– Jason P. Skoda is a senior writer for MyNewsMesa.com. Send Mesa-based story ideas to jskoda@mynewsmesa.com.

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