Carson girls finish second at regional
BY ROB RENAUD
Appeal Staff Writer
RENO - Kayla Sanchez claimed four individual titles at Saturday's NIAA Northern 4A Regional Track and Field Championships at Damonte Ranch High School, powering the Carson High School girls track team to four stadium records and a second-place finish behind Reno in the team standings.
Christy Works, Gloria Sosa and the 4x400-meter relay team also qualified for the state meet with strong efforts.
On the boys' side, Mike Arnold and Richard Shroy advanced to next week's state meet.
"We had a really good day, we're right where we want to be", said Carson coach Robert Maw. "We expected Reno to beat us. They have a strong, deep team."
Sanchez, who will run for Arizona State next year, won each event she entered after qualifying first in all four events at the trials last week.
The long jump was the only event in which Sanchez was pushed hard. Damonte Ranch's Gabby Baublyte hit 17-feet, 0.75 inches on her second jump to take an early lead. Sanchez was able to go past 17 feet to mark at 17-1 on her third jump, a distance Baublyte couldn't match on her final two attempts.
"Today wasn't one of Kayla's best days jumping," Maw said. "She was behind the board all day. She wasn't trusting her steps."
Sanchez dominated her running events, setting two stadium records, both of which she'd set previously.
After appearing to get off to a slow start in the 100-meter race, Sanchez found her stride, pulling away from the field to win in 12:05, the first of her two records.
Sanchez's most dominant performance came in the 300-meter hurdles, where she blew by the leaders while still within the lane stagger zone on the back straight, eventually winning by 15 yards with a time of 42.83, her second stadium record.
The 200 was Sanchez's final race of the day, and she turned in a workmanlike 25.06, winning by three strides. She set the stadium record in last week's trials at 24.93.
Works shaved 1.06 seconds off of her own stadium record, winning the 400 with a time of 58.40. She also qualified for state with a strong second-place finish in the 800 meters.
Sosa gave the team a pleasant surprise in the 400, cutting three-tenths of a second off of her preliminary time to finish third in 59.64.
Finally for the girls, the defending champion 4x400 relay team broke its own stadium record in an exciting come-from-behind victory. Sosa keyed the comeback after opening legs by sophomore Julianna King and freshman Kelsey Chicuarra had put Carson right on the heels of front-running Hug.
Sosa was down three steps when she took the baton, eventually making her pass between the third and fourth turns, giving Works a four-step lead with the stick for the anchor leg. Works turned in a 59-second final leg, and Carson won in 4:01.69, easily bettering the previous mark of 4:03.58, set last year.
Carson's girls team suffered its biggest disappointment of the day when the 4x200 relay team failed to qualify for state. The team, which qualified first in last week's preliminaries, dropped the baton between the first and second legs and finished seventh.
"We did what we needed to do," Maw said. "Gloria Sosa really stepped it up in the 400, with that [third-place finish]. If it's possible to make up for [the dropped baton], that's it.
"And the 4x4 team came through. You know, that was Sosa's third race. She ran the 400 and the 800 before that, so that leg she ran was huge. And our two young girls [King and Chicuarra] came back well. I think they were in shock after the 4x2. Our girls hung tough. We cut two seconds off our best time."
Mike Arnold easily won the pole vault, clearing 15-6 on his second try. Arnold then had the bar raised to 16-1 but missed on three attempts. No other vaulter cleared more than 15 feet.
Shroy qualified for the state meet by finishing second in the 3,200. Shroy ran a smart, tactical race, shadowing defending champ Bryan Tibaduiza of Galena for eight laps, finishing at 9:58.47.