Asa Carter was the victim of a questionable non-call by the judge in the long jump competition Saturday morning at the Northern Division I Championships at the Jim Frank Track Complex.
Carter, a sophomore, was relegated to fourth place when Douglas’ Connor Lyons ripped off a 20-foot 11-inch jump on his final attempt to win the third and final spot in next week’s state meet. More than a few spectators, and a couple of them were coaches, were stunned that Lyons wasn’t called for a foul because part of his foot was over the board. Lyons’ jump knocked Carter, who had a PR of 20-5, out of the money.
“It’s frustrating (to PR and not advance),” Carter said. “Stuff happens. I have to forget about it and get ready for the triple.”
And, he did just that.
Carter uncorked a season-best jump of 44-1 3/4 to edge McQueen’s Delon Buncio by one-quarter inch for the triple jump championship and a return trip to the state meet.
“I’m happy to make it to state again,” Carter said. “I can do better. I’ve got a lot left in me.
“I’ve got to work on my approach. Sometimes I’m going too fast and sometimes I’m not going fast enough. I have to be more consistent.”
Carter will be joined at next weekend’s state meet at CHS by Madison Preston (long jump, triple jump and high jump), Corey Reid (300 hurdles, 400 and high jump), Dakota Baker (high jump), Josilyn Daggs (100 hurdles, 400 relay), ValerieSue Meyer (400, 400 relay), Athena Favero (300 hurdles), girls 400 relay quartet of Daggs, Meyer, Sahara Winder and Favero, and the girls 3200-meter quartet of Alex Drozdoff, Jessie Balkwell, Lauren Hudak and Eveline Delgado.
Carter has been bothered by an ankle injury in recent weeks, and coach Robert Maw rested him a bit this week in preparation for the meet.
“We scaled things back and let him recover,” Maw said. “We tried to let him recover. We decided that was best for him. I just felt bad that he didn’t qualify in the long jump. That was a disappointment.”
Maw said that Carter would have had a 47-foot jump on one of his attempts had he not scratched, Maw said he barely missed his mark.
Favero, Preston and Meyer also won regional championships on Saturday.
Favero coasted to an easy win in the 300 hurdles, clocking a 47.0 which was .53 faster than her preliminary time and a season-best mark. Centennial’s Tiana Bonds has a season-best of 41.29, so Favero will have her work cut out for her next weekend.
“I was happy with the way I ran,” said Favero, who came into the event ranked first and didn’t miss a hurdle. “I wasn’t worried about qualifying, but I wanted to win. The 100 hurdles wasn’t my best event. I’m better (and more comfortable) at distance.”
“She ran a clean race,” said Jim Reid, CHS assistant coach. “She did just what I wanted her to do. I wanted her to go out hard the first 150 to 200 meters, and she kept her stride.”
Meyer, who ran 58.88 last week, sizzled en route to a 57.42 which is a new school record. Faith Lutheran’s Clarissa Maxey has a Vegas-best of 56.86 entering the weekend. Meyer was in total control, making up the stagger within the first 120 meters. She finished well ahead of Douglas’ Olivia Abbott. The CHS freshman isn’t intimidated in the least by her surroundings, and that’s a good thing. She displays the confidence that good runners need to be successful.
“Coming into the year I was just hoping to break a minute,” said Meyer, who was a standout on the CHS soccer team. “All year I’ve been up and down, but every time I run against Olivia or Samantha (King-Shaw of Reed) I run well. Maybe having them in there pushes me to be the best I can be.
“I know that there was a girl that ran 58 last week. I feel good coming into state. As long as I keep running like I am ...”
Preston won the triple jump with a mark of 36-4 3/4. She was third in the long jump at 16-11 and third at 5-feet in the high jump.
“I’m happy I’m going in all three events,” Preston said. “I could have done better in the long jump. I’d like to get to 5-2 or 5-4 in the long jump next week, get in the high 17’s or low 18’s in the long jump and get back into the 37’s in the triple jump.”
Maw believes those marks are possible. He would, however, like to see Preston run with emotion; feeling.
Like Carter, Preston said she needs to work on her approach among other things.
“The approach has to be perfect,” she said. “You’re not just running. There are other things involved (like changing speeds on the approach).”
Reid also will move on in three events.
The talented junior vaulted a PR of 13-6, but found himself in a tie for fourth, one spot away from qualifying. He was impressive in the high jump with a mark of 6-3, and he was barely nosed out by Sebatian Feyersinger of McQueen in the 400 — 47.915 to 47.919.
“The first 200 I tried not to let them (Connor Ross and Feyersinger) get too far ahead,” Reid said. “I tweaked my ankle a little (in the high jump). I got to state, and that’s all I was trying to do today.”
It was the 300-hurdle race, which he ran about 15 minutes after his grueling 400 race, which was talked about. Coming down the backstretch, Reid appeared headed for another fourth-place finish. Galena’s Isaac Artinger tumbled over the last hurdle, and Reid was able to nose out Reno’s Alex Cordisco for the last qualifying spot.
“It was hard getting out of the blocks,” Reid said. “I was stiff.”
It was a bittersweet day for Baker, who failed to defend his regional title in the 300 hurdles (42.03), and was fourth in the 110-meter high hurdles (15.21). He did, however, high jump 6-2 which was a career high. He had been stuck at 6-feet for the past two years.
Daggs ran a clean 100-meter hurdle race, taking second in 16.23. She is happy to be returning to state for the first time since her freshman season. She missed the last two years with a knee injury.
The quartet of Drozdoff, Balkwell, Delgado and Hudak have their sights set on the school record of 9:46. Delgado and Hudak both ran 2:26 splits. The Senators ran a 9:56.28 en route to a third-place finish behind Damonte and Douglas.
“We have one more chance at the school record,” said Drozdoff, who has been hampered by a leg injury all year.