LAS VEGAS — Maddie Preston is on fire.
Preston, Carson High’s high performing sophomore jumper, uncorked a career-best leap of 17-9 on her final long jump of the day to grab third place at the Division IA State Track & Field Championships at Silverado High School.
“I’m so happy for Maddie,” Carson coach Robert Maw said. “That sets her up nicely for the triple jump tomorrow (Saturday). She had a great approach and got up in the air.”
Preston was super consistent on her series of jumps, going 17-2 1/2, 17-2 1/2, 17-2, a scratch and the medal-winning 17-9. Bishop Gorman’s Vashta Cunningham won and Hug’s Shaina Carthen was second.
“It feels good,” Preston said in a short phone conversation. “When I jump, I never land on my rear end. Today, I landed on my rear end and got my best jump ever. I was nervous from the minute I woke up today. I had butterflies.”
Preston said she expects to have those same butterflies today when she competes in the triple jump. She is seeded second at 36-6 1/4 entering the event.
“I’ll be nervous because I have a shot at it (winning),” Preston said. “I think I can go 38 feet.”
The only other medal for Carson came from the girls’ 3200-meter relay squad of Jessie Balkwell, Cindy Juchtzer, Alex Drozdoff and Eveline Delgado who posted an unofficial 9:54, two seconds slower than their regional time. Juchtzer PR’d on her leg with a time of 2:27.
“Jessie ran a great first leg,” Maw said. “She got up to the lead pack, and for some reason just settled in behind them. With a little more experience she might have tried to pass them. We were behind by 30 meters when Cindy took over, and she caught up to them at the 300-meter mark. She kept us in it. Alex and Eveline ran about the same times as they did last week.”
Taylor Bradshaw finished fifth in the 800, clocking a 1:58.01, meaning he broke 2-minutes two straight weeks.
“This was a very fast race,” Maw said. “I’m very happy for him breaking 2-minutes two straight weeks.”
Freshman Asa Carter placed sixth in the triple jump with a best of 43-10. Not bad for a freshman, but certainly not as good as he had hoped.
“I think he got a little intimidated,” Maw said. “I could tell by his body language. The other guys were jumping 49 feet, and he hadn’t competed against or seen anybody that was jumping that far.”
Dakota Baker was a disappointing seventh at 41.22, nearly two seconds slower than he ran at Damonte in the regionals.
“He had a horrible night,” Maw said. “He was just kind of gliding over the hurdles instead of attacking them.”
Dayton High’s Madison Foley won the Division IA high jump title with a leap of 5-2 on Friday, which tied her PR. Foley also grabbed a medal with a fourth-place finish in the 100 hurdles (17.09).
Kaylee Turner was second in the discus at 121-1 which was a PR. Joshua Koch was second in the shot put with a throw of 50-7 1/2.
Josh Joyner was fifth in the shot at 45-6, while the 1600 relay team of Skyler Berntson, Dallon Mendoza, Julio Meza and Andrew Goodman was fifth in 3:31.28. Ashley Vickers grabbed sixth in the long jump at 15-2, Lettie Lynch was seventh in the 200 at 27.18, Benji Ply was sixth in the pole vault at 12-feet and the 800 girls’ relay team was seventh in 1:52.60.
“I thought we did pretty well,” said Dayton coach Mike Paul. “I thought a couple of kids would do better, but we didn’t have any major disappointments.
“I was really excited about Kaylee. She’s just a sophomore, and she kept pushing it. All of her throws were past her previous PR. Of course I’m excited about Madi winning the high jump. Being a state champ is great.”