RENO — Madison Preston demonstrated that it’s not how you start, but how you finish, Saturday at the NIAA Division I Track & Field Championships at Damonte Ranch High School.
Preston, a sophomore, started the day by failing to qualify for state in the high jump. However she rebounded nicely by winning the triple jump with a personal record of 36-6 3/4 and placing second in the long jump with a PR of 17-0 1/4. Preston will lead a contingent of 14 Carson athletes into next week’s state meet at Silverado High School in Las Vegas.
Also moving on are Corey Reid (high jump, 400), Taylor Bradshaw (800, 3200 relay), Michael Samii (3200 relay), Teresa Boehmer (shot put), Asa Carter (triple jump), Athena Favero (300 hurdles), Dakota Baker (300 hurdles), Dexter Cummings (3200 relay), Zach Heinz (3200 relay), Jessie Balkwell (3200 relay), Cindy Juchtzer (3200 relay), Alex Drozdoff (3200 relay) and Eveline Delgado (3200 relay).
Preston credits her recent work with former Olympian Aarik Wilson from Fallon for some of her improvement.
“He’s helped me a lot this year,” Preston said. “He’s worked with me a lot on technique; running through the jump and not getting so airborne. It’s exciting (to make state). I think I can go longer especially in the triple jump.”
Preston had just two jumps over 16-4 1/4. She had four jumps in the 15-foot range. In the triple jump, she had a series of 34-11 1/2, 33-6, 36-6 3/4, 36-6, 35-6 and 36-0.
“I was hoping it (the 36-6 3/4 jump) was enough to win it,” Preston said. “I felt like I placed with that jump, though.”
Reid was the only other CHS performer to qualify in two individual events. He won the high jump (on fewer misses) with a leap of 6-1 and was second in the 400 with a PR of 48.89.
Reid entered the competition at 5-10, clearing that and 6-feet on his first attempts. He made 6-1 and then missed three times at 6-2.
“I haven’t been preparing to go high,” he said. “We’ve been cutting off at 5-10 or 6-foot.”
Reid knows he has his work cut out for him next week. Bishop Gorman’s Randall Cunningham, son of the former Philadelphia and Minnesota quarterback, has already cleared 7-3 this year. There are two other jumpers who went 6-4 in Southern Nevada regional meets earlier in the week.
In the 400, Reid was bunched in a tight group of six runners at the 200-meter mark. He used a great lean at the finish line to nose out Connor Ross of McQueen for second place. In the 800, he appeared to run out of gas pretty early in the race. He was seventh after the first lap, and was only able to make up one spot on the final lap.
Taylor Bradshaw, who came back to Carson after spending a year in Sacramento was second to Ross in a personal-record time of 1:57.43. Bradshaw was second after the first lap and easily held off Damonte’s Kyle Daugherty by two seconds.
“I knew he had it in him,” Carson coach Robert Maw said. “I knew he was capable of going under 2 minutes.”
“I needed motivation, and coach Maw gave it to me,” Bradshaw said. “I’m not saying anything more other than that.”
Baker has been on a tear in the hurdle events. After failing to move on in the high jump and 110 high hurdles, he produced a PR in the 300 hurdles, winning the event in 39.80 over McQueen’s Mike Cervantes. Baker ran a clean race, barely clipping two hurdles in clipping .54 off his previous best.
“Surprised,” Baker said when asked how he felt. “No one crossed the finish line (ahead of me). I kept looking around. It’s hard because you can’t see anybody (for a while) because of the staggered hurdles. I just took off and kept running and hope nobody gets me.”
“Dakota ran a great race,” Maw said. “He’s still a little sloppy with his arms on the first three hurdles. I’m happy he PRd again. It wasn’t a close race.”
Boehmer uncorked a 32-7 1/4 on her first throw of the day, and that mark stood up the rest of the way. She threw 103-6 in the discus, nearly 15 feet more than she threw in the prelims. She finished fifth in the strongest of her two events.
“I can feel it (a good throw) when I’m in the ring,” Boehmer said. “You get that power in your right leg and let it go. Coach (Mike Louisiana) is always saying the first throw counts the most.”
Louisiana explained his theory.
“I just tell them to imagine every throw is their first throw,” said the veteran coach. “It’s all mental. If I give them eight throws in practice I want them to imagine every throw is their first.
“I’m very pleased with Teresa. She improved by around eight inches. She’s been down the last few weeks because of other activities, and now she has her focus back.”
Carter, a freshman, PRd with a leap of 44-5 1/4 for second behind Reno’s Robert Eardley.
“It feels good (to make state),” Carter said. “My first jump I was a little nervous and only went 38. I just took a couple of deep breaths and told myself it was just another meet.”
Favero shaved nearly a second of her prelim time (47.61 to 46.65) in finishing third in her 300 hurdle race.
Both 3200-meter relay groups punched their tickets to state in impressive fashion, posting PRs.
The girls quartet of Balkwell, Juchtzer, Drozdoff and Delgado improved by a whopping 23 seconds. The first three runners ran legs of 2:29, and Delgado ran a 2:25 to finish second. Delgado was outleaned by Damonte’s Meagan Wood at the finish line.
“The freshmen (Balkwell and Delgado) really stepped up,” Maw said. “I didn’t see this coming. We were hoping for a PR of 10 seconds. The girls were just phenomenal, and the best thing is they are all coming back next season.”
Balkwell led after 400 meters, but dropped to fourth at the end of the second lap. Juchtzer got Crson into second place after her leg, and the Senators were either first or second in the last 1600 meters.
“Our goal was to run 2:30 or better,” Drozdoff said. “Cindy ran a 2:29 last week, so we wanted to be equal with her. Eveline was amazng on her two laps.”
“We’ve been praying the whole week,” said Delgado, who got a little sick after the race. “We were aiming for first. That was our goal.”
Samii ran a 2:05 to open the boys 3200 relay. Bradshaw followed with a strong 1:59, as the Senators moved up to third after 1600 meters. Cummings ran a 2:01 split to get Carson into second place, and Heinz ran 2 flat. Carson ran a season-best 8:07 which was good for second place.
DOUGLAS LED BY ADAMS, McKOWN
Lindsey Adams won both the 800 (2:23.77) and the 1600 (5:16.65) to lead the Tigers’ contingent on Saturday.
Marshall McKown won the discus (156-10) and took third in the shot (52-8 1/2). Olivia Abbott took second in the 400 (59.35) and third in the triple jump (36-0 1/2). Aspen Abbott (was third in the 400 (59.58). Colton Waggoner moved on in the discus with a throw of 141-6. Morgan Weston was third in the discus at 110-4.