In 103-degree heat and high winds at Palo Verde High School in Las Vegas on Friday, Carson High freshman Kayla Sanchez won the 100-meter dash in the Nevada 4A state track and field championship - twice!
In her first win at 3:45 p.m., Sanchez took the lead from the start and pulled away from the competition. But the electronic timer had not started and a false start was also called, though none of the runners heard the second gun signaling the error. Race officials decided to recognize the finish without times since the race was on camera. Sanchez was awarded the gold but a subsequent protest forced the race to be re-run at 9:15 p.m. with Sanchez repeating her first-place finish.
Sanchez also competed in the 300-meter hurdles in between her two 100-meter events. With Megan Olivetti, the reining state champion from Wooster, well in the lead coming into the last hurdle and Sanchez four to five yards back, the Wooster runner tripped going over the last hurdle giving Sanchez her second gold for the day.
Led by Sanchez, Carson led after the first day with 40 points. Cheyenne was second with 37 and Galena was third with 30.
The Carson High team's drama continued with the boys 4 x 200 relay. The relay team of Josh Heilman, Tilor Smith, Jeremy Gray and Matt Moore was leading the race easily with each and every exchange and by their last leg they had put considerable distance between themselves and Mojave of Las Vegas, the eventual winner. Unfortunately, Matt Moore pulled his hamstring with 50 meters or less to go and had to hobble across the finish line for sixth place. The team as a whole was greatly disappointed because they knew they had the race won until Matt had to pull up. Heilman probably said it best when he said, "we may not have won due to Matt's pulled muscle but we are the best 4x200 team in the state."
Unfortunately for Heilman or Smith that was not the end of their bad luck for the day. Heilman was disqualified in the 200-meter dash for moving in his blocks and Tilor Smith was disqualified in the long jump for saying "damn."
The Carson girls 4x400 relay team had a much better experience. The girls team broke the school record once again in 4:00.12 and finished second overall. The record-breaking team consisted of Christy Works (1:00.24), Lindsay Ford (1:00.27), Sandra McAlman (1:00.57), and Amanda Benson (58.71).
"Our relay team was just so determined before the start and we all wanted to run the best we have run this season and we did, yahoo!" said Benson.
Another highlight was Amber Whitworth's third place finish in the pole vault with a record best of 10-0. Alex McAlman was disappointed in her third place finish in the shot put because she felt she was too relaxed, and therefore did not perform at her best, but she still managed to finish in the top three.
"Shaylyne Tom called me and told me to stay relaxed and not think too much. Well, I think I got too relaxed. I was not nervous at all and thought that was a good thing until now, but now I think the nerves help me compete better."
In spite of the many bad breaks the Carson team ended on a high note with Kayla once again destroying the 100-meter dash field to claim her second 100-meter dash win of the day. Carson's boys were in ninth with 13 points. Silverado led with 35 points while Galena was third with 27.
Both Carson coaches Todd Ackerman and Shane Quilling were frustrated with the day but felt that in spite of the negatives they had a lot of positives as well.
The Dayton boys also had a strong day as they stood in second with 52 points, trailing Truckee (62). The Dust Devils had two state champions as Billy Mountjoy won the 400 in 52.04 and Kevin May won the discus with an outstanding throw of 152-04. The Dayton boys were also second in the 4x800 relay in 8:25.08.