5/9/2013 11:18:00 AM Track and field focuses on individual performances for state Coaches and athletes goals are for best performances of the season, girls chasing repeat of state champions
Delaney Scanlan (left) and Justine Taylor (right) finish the 400-meter race at a recent meet. Justine will be running the 400 at state, but Delaney will be participating in the 100 and 200-meter races. Both girls will be running in the relay races as well. VVN/Travis Guy
Heather Calandra will be throwing in both the shot put and discus wit hopes of being a two-event state champion. VVN/Travis Guy
After two months of work, the time has come for the Mingus Union track and field squads to travel to the state meet and realize their goals of the season.
Few teams there will have as many participants as the Marauders, who will have a combined 39 competitions, the girls will have 26 and the boys 13. This is a combination of student-athletes participating in multiple events and multiple Marauders racing, throwing or jumping in the same event.
"Our main team goal [for the girls] is to in it all," said Delaney Scanlan. "We have to remember that, whatever race we're running in could be our last race, so we have to give 100 percent in everything we do this weekend and hopefully we'll come out successful."
Because Mingus will hypothetically have power in numbers, a repeat of the girls state championship is a possibility, as well as a top-5 finish for the boys.
Many of the girls currently hold top-10 times in Division-III, including Megan Goettl's division leading 1600-meter time of 5:11.04, Justine Taylor's 1:00.61 400-meter, Delaney's 13.02 100-meter time, Skyler Storie 3200-meter time of 11:49.40 and Heather Calandra's throws of 40 feet, 1 inch (shot put) and 109 feet, 6 inches (discus).
"We have girls that are very talented and gifted, [but] state's not easy," said head coach Yancey DeVore. "We're going to go down there and do the best that we can and put our best foot forward. If the girls do well in all of their events, we will see what happens. We definitely have athletes in good spots."
Megan is one of three distance runners that joined the Marauders mid-way through the season. She came aboard with Penny Fenn and Karen Arellano, all freshmen, and immediately boosted the already solid core of distance runners that led by Skyler and Monica Soliz.
Four girls will be competing in the 1600, four in the 800, four in the 3200 and a 4X800 relay team. Of the 13, the Marauders hold five top-5 times, making the distance girls arguably the strongest group at state.
Delaney and Justine are part of the 4X100 and 4X400-meter relay teams. The 4X100 team set the D-III standard at the Wrangler Invitational with a time of 50.68. The girls have not competed in every race as part of the teams, but the sprinters are two of the main components that have helped the two relay teams achieve top-10 status in D-III, and will help them possibly earn that same status in the state meet.
Delaney will be running in two individual events as well, the 100 and 200. The senior's goal is to win both events and the No. 2 time in the 100 and No. 3 in the 200, it is not out of the realm of possibility that the senior achieves this as she approaches the end of her career as a Marauder.
"I'd like to win it in the two (hundred meter race) and for the 4X1 and 4X4, first place for both of those, hopefully top-4 in the 100, that would be nice," Delaney said. "I just think that every race, there's a possibility that its going to be my last one, so I just run it like I'm going to beat everyone out there."
Justine will be running in one individual event, the 400. She will enter the race as the No. 2 seed and currently holds the fourth best time in the division, third among qualifying races.
In the throwers area, junior Heather is one of the top throwers in D-III, despite still searching for her next throw over 40 feet in the shot put. She has not thrown over 40 feet since April 19, and her last two distances were just over 37 feet. Her discus has been a mixed bag of results, with her most recent throws being over 100 feet, and her last two over 109 feet. That puts her about 12 feet behind the top discus thrower from Sedona Red Rock.
"I do want to PR in both event and I really want to win both, so I'm going to try my hardest to do that," Heather said. "I need to block out all of the things that have happened this year and focus on throwing, focus on doing the things that I need to do and footwork to get it right."
While the boys will not be taking as many participants as the girls, they will have ten individual events and three relay teams. Ryan Talbot and Gustavo Banks will be running in two individual events each and Trenton Anderson, Javin Helsel, Jordan Bramblett, Dakota Hanks, Blake Lundy and Zach Pelletier will fill out the remaining individual races.
"It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out at state. You get down there and everybody's good at state. We got our guys, we've got good guys and they're very good in the position that they're in, we just have to figure out how to get points down there."
Ryan currently leads D-III in the 400 and could very well win it this year. In 2012, the junior finished in fifth with a time of 50.80. This season, Ryan has had four races where he ran in the low 50's, but then he had three races of running under 50 seconds. Like most competitors, Ryan is at his best when he is going against competition that pushes him, as evident by his time in the 800 at the final Sedona Red Rock meet of the season. The race will come down to Justin and Ryan and who is more prepared and who wants the win, and state championship, more.
"[My goal is to] just do my best. Get first in the 400 and do well in all my other races and relays," Ryan said. "[I am] training even harder and using him to push myself to work harder."
The other race Ryan is running in is the 200. He does not have as high of a seed in that race, but he is just over a half second behind the No. 1 seedtime from Highley.
Gustavo will be running in the two long races, the 1600 and 3200, and will have his work cut out for him if the junior hopes to finish in the top-10, let alone the top-5.
The 4X100 relay team has stayed consistent for most of the season after posting a 45.03 in their first meet of the year. Since then, the boys dropped the time to under 45 seconds and have stayed in that general area all season. After running in the 3:30 range for the majority of the season, the 4X400 team has lowered its time in the last two races. In their most recent race at the PUHSD Last Chance meet, the boys took first with a time of 3:28.62, earning them a No. 4 seed.
The boys' 4X800-meter relay team has only been around for three meets this season, and consists of two distance runners and two sprinters. The sprinters, Brennan Kitchen and Dakota, are joined by Gustavo and Jordan, and despite only racing in two relays together, have dropped their times each race. In their last race at the Yavapai County championships, the boys ran an 8:36.22.
With both the boys and girls squads ready for the state championships and goals within reach, top-5 finishes for both squads are not out of the question, it just depends on the athletes and their ability to perform to the best of their abilities.
"At this stage in the game, there's only a handful of kids in state that get to go to the state championship meet," DeVore said. "They need to prepare not only mentally, but physically this week to get better and to go down there and run their best meet of the year, that's what we want them to do. Go down there and have the attitude, 'I want to PR and get the best time of the year,' in whatever event, or the best throw or the best jump."