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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : sports : local February 6, 2016


5/14/2013 1:17:00 PM
State champions again
Mingus girls win state for second year in a row with personal bests from all athletes
Mingus Union girls track and field team finish their victory lap after winning the Division-III girls state championship. Heather Calandra, Megan Goettl and the 4X800 relay team bring gold medals back to Cottonwood. VVN/Travis Guy
Mingus Union girls track and field team finish their victory lap after winning the Division-III girls state championship. Heather Calandra, Megan Goettl and the 4X800 relay team bring gold medals back to Cottonwood. VVN/Travis Guy

Travis Guy
Sports Reporter


Repeating as girls' state champions was the goal.

The Mingus Union girls' track and field squad had set that goal going into the Division-III State Championships meet and that is what they accomplished, by a landslide.

The second place team, Sedona Red Rock, notched 68 points. The Marauders tallied 89 en route to another trophy.

"I'm just ecstatic for the girls, they deserve it," said head coach Yancey DeVore. "They worked hard this year, they faced some adversity and fought through it, and they came down here and put their best foot forward and their going home champions again. They deserve it. They deserve all of the credit."

Mingus had all of its girls contributing, with athletes giving their best performances over the weekend. The brought home four gold medals, three silver and two bronze, along with two fifth-place finishes to secure the points needed for the team victory.

"There were PR's across the board, and a lot of medals," DeVore said. "Our kids just peaked at the right time, they were very, very impressive."

Leading the way was junior Heather Calandra. The thrower's goal was to peak at the right time and she did just that. Heather took gold in both the discus and shot put, setting new PR's along the way.

"This is exactly what I wanted to do here," Heather said. "It was good. I was ranked No. 4 until my very last throw and then it clicked and I threw 119 [feet] and I saw everyone else's face drop, it was a really exciting moment for me."

Heather hurled the disc 119 feet and flung the shot 41 feet, in her top performances. The discus mark was almost four feet farther than second place, and second place in shot was almost three feet behind Heather's. Not only did the thrower take gold in her events, she helped put the Verde Valley on the map as a destination for throwers. In the discus, all four place winners were from the Verde Valley, Katie Wilson from Camp Verde, and Sedona Red Rock's Tiana Hatler-Stefick and Gabrielle Simon joined Heather on the podium and Tiana also joined Heather on the podium for the shot put.

"It felt really good. Its also my school record, its just a good time in my throwing career," Heather said.

Freshman Megan Goettl, who joined the team midway through the season, realized her goal of winning a state championship. The freshman added two gold medals to her trophy collection, one in the 1600 and the other in the 4X800 relay race.

The freshman was able to break away from the pack during the last few laps and Megan crossed the finish line in 5:08.51, 1.53 seconds before second. In the 4X800, Megan and her team finished the relay in 9:49.77. Both times were new records for Megan and the relay team.

Another member of the team, junior sprinter Justine Taylor, ran in one individual race, the 400-meter, and was able to not only break 60 seconds, something she has not been able to do all season, but also place higher than she was expecting. Justine crossed the finish line in the final heat in 59.48 and when she was receiving her medal, was overwhelmed with her finish.

"It was kind of embarrassing, but it was huge," Justine said. "I wanted third, but it was one of things where you want it, but it's kind of out of your reach. My PR was 60.61 and I ran a 59.48, so it was a huge PR and then getting third was just amazing."

While the boys may not have been as successful as the girls, they did bring home one silver and one bronze medals, and finished just outside of the top-10, tied at No. 11 with Payson and three points off of No. 10 Show Low.

Junior sprinter Ryan Talbot was the highest placer for the Mingus boys. The junior claimed a second place in the 400-meter race with his second best time of the season, 49.22. Ryan was beat by .39 by Higley's Tristan DaCosta.

"I was just trying to win. I could sense that he was coming up fast and then I just didn't have another kick at the end, it was just fun to run against him," Ryan said. "I didn't do as good as I wanted today, but I was happy that I was able to run against the best guys in state."

Ryan was also part of the Mingus record setting 4X400 team. The boys first broke the record on Friday, during the prelims when they ran a 3:24.22.

"It's a blast, we get to run against the best guys in our division," said Brennan Kitchen. "They're tough and we all ran our hearts out. I know Ryan, he had to run a lot today, he gave everything he could. We're happy with what we got because we all gave our best."

The team, which consisted of Ryan, Brennan, Zach Pelletier and Dakota Hanks, followed that up the next day with a third place finish and a new Mingus Union record of 3:23.94.

"It was always exciting, but getting our first school record broken, obviously exciting, but today we just really had our eyes set on winning first place," Zach said. "It's a plus to get the record broken, but getting up on the podium is even nicer."

All four of the boys did their best to win the race, so much so that Dakota was not able to watch the final leg of the race because he was recovering from how hard he ran in his leg.

"I don't know if I watched Talbot's race, I was bent over huffing and puffing," Dakota said. "I gotta beat Higley is what I was thinking and it didn't happen."

The only other top-10 finish for the Marauders was Zach, who jumped his way to a fifth place finish in the triple jump. The senior landed 42 feet, 9.5 inches away from his initial jump. Despite not earning a medal for the event, he did set a new PR by over a foot.

The Marauders will be losing 17 seniors to graduation, but with both the boys and girls' rosters being filled with more underclassmen and juniors, coach DeVore will not have to worry too much about a drop off in talent.

"There were some really competitive teams with our guys, and they fought an uphill battle," DeVore said. "We saw some really strong things with our guys and we're going to be really strong in the future, so this is something to build on for our guys, but there is no shame on what they did down here. We saw PR's, we saw some guys on the medal stand, and we had jumpers getting us points, it was just awesome."

Taylor Waste

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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2013
Article comment by: Lisa Storie

Thank you Coach Bostwick for all you have done for this team and especially my daughter (Skyler). She has said she couldn't have done it without you. To all the girls who stuck it out for the season, the title is a recognition of all you have worked for together.You earned it with hard work, perseverance, and a true understanding of what it means to be a team.

Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Article comment by: Shawna Taylor

Skyler and Delaney,
You have been such great leaders on this team and have kept the team going and kept morale up even when things got frustrating. You deserve so much of the credit for your team winning state because without you, it wouldn't have been possible. I wish you both all the luck as your graduate and move on to bigger and better things.

Shawna (Justine's mom)


Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Article comment by: Kirk Waddle

Wow is all I can say! What a wonderful group of student athletes. Hard work and dedication.

Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Article comment by: Jay & Shannon Calandra

Way to go Mingus!! Awesome job Heather! Your Uncle Jay and I are so proud of you!

Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Article comment by: Congratulations Mingus

Great job, your community is very proud of you.

Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Article comment by: Jim Bostwick

What a team effort! Megan and Heather winning!. but the relays were also gold for the team, 4x100 3rd, 4x400 2nd, a school record, 4x800 1st, a school record also. Congrats to all relay team members Holly 2 relays, Justine 3 relays!, Allison, Delany 2 relays, Megan 2 relays, Penny, Monica and Skyler.
Delany and Skyler our leaders for the past four years, this title is because of you! Also a shout out to other points, top eight score at state, Allison in HJ, Skyler 3200, Penny 1600, Delany 100, Delany 200. Other team member although not scoring, what an honor to qualify for state meet and am sure you contributed to the success of others by making our workouts more competitive, contributing to the success of others, Karen 800,, Sienna 3200, Anissa 300H, Emily 3200, and Kylie PV, all underclassmen.




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