Sierra League track and field meet preview

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Athletes from seven schools will gather at Carson High School today and Saturday to compete in the Sierra League Track and Field Championships.

Competition begins this afternoon with prelims starting at 3:30 p.m. at Carson's Jim Frank Track and Field Complex and continues with the finals starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

The top four finishers in each event advances to the Northern 4A Regionals next Saturday at Reed High in Sparks. The NIAA/U.S. Bank State Championships will be held May 17-18 at Reed.

Here's a glance at this weekend's competition by event:

Sprints -- Carson could provide some highlights for the hometown crowd behind its school record setting duo of Javier Vega and George Pincock. Vega, a senior with an explosive start, has run 11.04 in the 100. Pincock, a smooth-striding junior, has run 21.79 in the 200. Hug's Isaac Porter has run 11.38 in the 100 and teammates Antoine Barlow and Greg Alexander are threats to reckon with. On the girls side, South Tahoe junior Karen Dalmacio broke school records in the 100 and 200 that had stood since the 1970s when she ran 12.28 and 25.73 at North Valleys last week. She will be challenged by Reno's Deza'rae Long, who has run bests of 12.60 and 26.30. Carson sophomore Katie Kotter is another challenger.

Middle distance -- One of the day's featured races will be the boys 400, where Pincock will face Hug junior Alan Thomas. Thomas ran a faster time at the Reed Invitational, though the two were in separate heats. Pincock won the first head-to-head matchup at the Carson Kiwanis Invitational one week later in a school record 49.18, just ahead of Thomas (49.28), while Hug's Daniel Craig was close behind in 50.13. Thomas is the defending state 800 champion (he ran 1:56.10 last year). Another highly competitive race figures to be the girls 800 between Carson's Sheena Bonaldi, who ran 2:20.92 at Nevada Union last Friday night and Reno's Karen DeMartini, who ran 2:21.24 at Chico the same evening. Taryn Mendive has also run 2:24.93, Reno's Michelle Glenn 2:25, Katie McGrath and Lisa DeMartini 2:26 and Carson's Terah Laack 2:26. Amanda

Distances -- The race for the girls team championship will put considerable focus on the 1,600 and 3,200, where Carson's Shanna Sparks and Cassia Roth along with Reno sophomore Collier Lawrence rank among the state's best. Lawrence was a double winner at Chico, winning the 1,600 in 5:10.23 and the 3,200 in 11:05.10. Sparks ran 10:50.33 in the 3,200 at Arcadia in Southern California and 5:10.14 in the 1,600 in March (Sparks is entered in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200). Roth ran 11:36 to beat Lawrence and win the 3,200 on a warm afternoon at the Reed Invitational. Douglas senior Taryn Joyce-Mendive ran a lifetime best 11:49.06 at Chico and South Tahoe's multi-talented Amber Ramos is a veteran when it comes to big meets. Reno's Chris Concha and Jon Cardenas are the front runners in the boys races, with South Tahoe's Hudson Wilvers looming as a threat in the 3,200. Keep an eye on Carson's Josh Corder and Andrew Pederson. South Tahoe's Dalmacio and Carson's Amanda Benson are front runners in the girls 400.

Relays -- Carson's boys look strong in the sprint relays, especially the 4x200 and 4x400, but watch out for the Hug Hawks in each of the boys races. Carson's girls will try to challenge for gold in the 4x800 with the foursome of Megan Zahnter, Emily Johnson, Ali Marson and Laack. Reno's girls are strong in each of the girls relays.

Hurdles -- Hug junior Leesa Morehead has run 15.68 in the 100-meter highs and 48.67 in the 300 lows. Megan Olivetti of Wooster ran 47.62 to beat Morehead in the 300 lows at the Carson Invitational. Carson sophomore Jennifer Laaker was second behind her at the Carson Invitational in 16.60. Monica Buccambuso of Douglas has run 49.1 in the lows. In the boys 110 highs the front-runners appear to be Reno's Ryan Lamay, second in the league 110 highs last year, and Greg Williams of Hug (15.82 this year). The boys 300 intermediates could feature a race between Frank Cedeno of North Valleys Valleys (40.99) and Carson senior Scott O'Brien (41.18).

Throws -- The boys shot put and discus will feature shoot-outs between a pair of blue chip senior athletes: Josh Carter of Carson and J.J. Milan of Wooster. Carter has thrown 58-3 in the shot put and has his sights set on the school record 60-6 set by Tony Smiderle in 1987. Carter threw 160-10 to win the discus at the Carson Invitational, a mark that also puts him within reach of the school record 169-10 set by Kyle Menath in 1972. Milan, the defending state discus champion, threw 166-9 1/2 to win at Galena last week, two inches better than Reed's Cody Fleming. Carson has a quality discus facility and Saturday's weather forecast calls for favorable conditions, so somebody could throw 170 feet or better. Wooster junior Sean O'Brien (51-4 shot put) has been battling a back injury but he is another one to watch out for. Milan, who has signed a football letter with the University of Nevada, placed second at state in the shot put last year and has thrown 54-10 this season. Shaylyn Tom and Mackenzie Taylor lead a strong group of Carson girls. Taylor won the league shot put title last year with a 37-7 1/4 throw on her final attempt. Tom won the discus at the Carson Invitational with a lifetime best throw of 118-0 1/2.

Jumps -- The boys long jump looks like another shoot-out. Hug senior Greg Williams is the defending league champion and has gone 21-11 1/4 this season. He will be challenged by Douglas senior Will Thomas, who won the long jump at Chico with a lifetime best mark of 21-10 1/4 to edge Reno's Cody Herbst. Herbst's 22-2 at the Reed Invitational is the best mark in Northern Nevada this season. Thomas also improved his own school triple jump record at Chico with a 43-2 1/2 effort. Reno's Liz Fox, the defending league and regional high jump champ, has gone 5-2 this season. Julia Petereit popped an impressive 17-0 in the long jump Friday at Chico. Hug looks to go 1-2 in the girls pole vault with Janna Moyer and Kassia Thormahlen, who have both gone 10-6. Reno senior Chuck Goodnight was the boys pole vault state runner-up last year and has gone 14-feet this season. Carson's Mike Dittenber is the one to beat in the boys high jump, based on his 6-3 clearance on March 9. Zule Cerritos of Hug returns to defend her league title in the girls triple jump (she has gone 35-8 this season).


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