It has been an up-and-down track and field season for the Marauders, considering that both teams finished in the top-5 in state in 2012, with the girls claiming top honors.
That changed at the Wrangler Invitational, hosted by Wickenburg High School. The boys ran their way to a No. 3 finish and the girls finished second, behind Division-II school Sunrise Mountain, by 21 points.
"It was just a really good effort by our kids," said head coach Yancey DeVore. "They've been working hard this year and they're starting to get into their teams a little more comfortably and we're starting to figure out the best position for athletes ... a lot of positive things from the Wickenburg meet. We just want to continue to roll with that and get some momentum going into the last half of our season."
The boys were led by juniors Ryan Talbot and Gustavo Banks, who both claimed top honors in their two races, and the 4X100 and 4X400 teams grabbing first place.
"It does [show all the work put in], a lot," Gustavo said. "Every Monday, we do hard workouts and our coaches have us do, kind of like a schedule, and it makes us better. Even if it's just a second or two better, just doing the workout [makes us better]."
In the four races Ryan participated in, the 200, 400, 4X100 and 4X400, he finished first. In his 200-meter race, Ryan finished in 22.63, a new personal best. While he impressed in the 200, his 400-meter, was slower at Wickenburg than normal. After setting the No. 10 mark in the state of Arizona at the Sedona Friendship Meet with a time of 49.35, Ryan ran a 50.13, .01 second behind his slowest time of the season, but still good enough to win.
"When you get to the state meet, there's going to be a lot of kids that are really fast, so we like to see competition like that when these kids are at these meets," DeVore said. "It helps them see, or gauge, where they're at and push them."
Gustavo has been establishing himself as one of the best distance runners in Division-III, and after the Wrangler Invitational, only further solidified it. The junior brought home top honors in both the 1600 and 3200-meter races, finishing in 4:43.58 and 10:30.96, respectively. Gustavo also ran the 800-meter race and finished fourth with a time of 2:08.36, 8.16 seconds behind first place, Camp Verde's Justin Reay.
Behind Gustavo in the 1600 and 3200 was sophomore Jordan Bramblett. Jordan finished third in his races, completing the 1600 in 4:44.31 and the 3200 in 10:32.94, with a big part of his finish due to Gustavo pacing him during the race.
"It helps a lot," Gustavo said. "I paced Jordan last race and next year when, I'm going to be a senior and he's going to be a junior, we will be at the same pace level, we can race each other at meets and finish with each other and try to beat each to the end."
The other first place finishes for the boys were in the 4X100 and 4X400-meter relay races. The 4X100 crossed the finish line in 44.15 and the 4X400 finished the race in 3:34.23. The 4X100 team consisted of Ryan, Brennan Kitchen, Javin Hesel and Lucas Simmons. Not only did those four students win the race, they also broke Mingus' old 4X100 record. The 4X400 team was almost the same runners, with the exception of Dakota Hanks, who replaced Javin in the race.
The defending D-III state champion girls team was the highest placing D-III school, with Youngker High School coming in third, 11 behind Mingus Union.
Leading the way for the girls were Delaney Scanlan, Skyler Storie, Megan Goettl, Heather Calandra and the three relay teams..
"It's a pretty good sign. We didn't have everyone in all of the events that they'd be running at state, so we still did pretty good considering," Delaney said. "Also, we didn't have a lot of our freshmen or sophomores because they had a meet the previous day and he (Coach DeVore) kept some of them out, so we did pretty good. It's a good sign because we won that meet last year, but we also had everyone there."
Delaney took home top honors in the 200 with a time of 26.47, a season and personal best. Not only was Delaney's 200 time a PR, it was also the best time in all of Division-III by .14 seconds. The senior also competed in the long jump and landed 14 feet 6.24 inches from the line.
"I've been using everyday as a growing day," Delaney said. "The beginning of the season you start off kind of slow, and you don't really get any of your PR's from last year, and then you slowly start hitting a peak and I've been working hard so I can hit that peak and I can go to state for the events that I want to."
In the two individual races Skyler ran, the 800 and 1600, the senior claimed first place in the 800 in 2:31.10 and ran the 1600 in 5:26.35, good enough for second place behind teammate Megan, who finished the race in 5:21.87, a season best for the freshman and gave her the best 1600-meter time in D-III.
Megan joined the Marauders late in the season, after running for the Aftershock Distance Club in Cottonwood. The freshman ran in the 2012 USATF National Junior Olympics XC Championships, posting a mile time of 6:07. Megan is joined by fellow Aftershock runners Karen Arellano and Penny Fenn, who have come into the program with a month left in the season with hopes of making it to state.
"We'll kind of see how things shake out [with the new runners] and we'll see what's the best place for them and the team and we'll move forward from there," DeVore said. "They came in and they've done well."
Junior thrower Heather, fresh off her record setting national power lifting competition, did not do as well as she has in the shot put and discus. Heather has broken the 40-foot mark once this season, at a three-way meet at Prescott High School, and in Wickenburg, she threw the shot 37 feet 10 inches, still enough to land in first. In the discus, Heather finished second with a distance of 97 feet 3 inches, her shortest throw of the season.
The girls had three teams compete in the relay races, with each team running to a first place finish. The 4X100 team finished in 50.68, the 4X400 team in 4:10.37 and the 4X800 team in 10:18.93.
The times posted by all three of the relay teams were not only good enough to win the races, but also set top-2 marks in D-III. The 4X100 team broke the old time by .55 seconds for the new D-III record and the other two teams finished with the second best times for their races in the division.
Posted: Saturday, April 20, 2013
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The last name for Javin is Helsel. He has made the papers his entire life in sports here and is an outstanding athlete. I would think you could spell his name correctly Just saying, get your information right.