There’s strength in numbers.
If you subscribe to that theory, then it should be a big year for the Carson High track program. Entering Saturday’s meet at McQueen, Carson has 120 student-athletes currently in the program, 80 boys and 40 girls.
“It’s one of the largest (boys) groups we’ve ever had,” CHS head coach Robert Maw said before a recent practice. “I see a really good year for us coming up.”
Maw is hosting four meets this year, including the 26-team Carson Invitational on April 18 and the Division I regionals the first two weekends of May. Maw said he’s entertaining thoughts about making the Carson Invitational a two-day meet.
The boys group is led by the versatile Corey Reid, the defending 400-meter state champ. Maw will be counting on jumper Asa Carter, Ian Van Rensselaer (middle distance-distance), Miles Bean (distance), Aaron Woodbury (vault and jumps), Greg Wallace (jumps and sprints), Chris Miranda (weights), Ian Schulz (weights), Corey Jasper (weights) and Hector Gomez-Barrios (400) for points and high placement at the various events.
Maw said Reid will move around to various events to help prepare for the decathlon at Arcadia on April 9-10.
Reid has a best of 11.13 in the 100, 23.54 in the 200, 47.15 in the 400, 1:58.06 in the 800, 15.32 (high hurdles), 39.24 in the 300 hurdles, 6-6 high jump, 38-3 in the shot put, 111-3 in the discus and 13-6 in the pole vault. In nearly all of those events, he’s ranked in the top 10 at CHS. You would be hard pressed to find a better all-around athlete in the state.
“We’ll see where we can get the most points from him,” Maw said. “It’s nice to have somebody like Corey who is so good at so many events.”
Reid won the 400, was fourth in hurdles and fifth in the high jump at last year’s state meet. Reid may vault at times to pick up points in dual meets.
Carter was sixth in the triple jump at last year’s state meet, but he has run both hurdle races and the 400, too. He goes 20-5 3/4 in the long jump.
“We may run Asa in an open 400 or run a 400 relay leg,” Maw said.
“I expect him to make state in both jumping events.”
Van Rensselaer recorded a top-20 finish at state cross country this year, and was 18th in state skiing. Maw hopes he can parlay those into a successful season on the track.
Barrios has battled injuries each of the last two seasons, but ran a 24.19 and 52.40, which ranks him just behind Reid.
Woodbury is the team’s second-best vaulter at 13-feet, and he recorded marks of 20-2 in the long jump and 42-4 1/4 in the triple jump. Maw said Woodbury can contend for state in all three events.
Miranda has a best of 44-7 in the shot set back in 2013. Jasper has thrown 40-3 and Schulz has a best of 43-7. Schulz threw 153-7 last year in the discus, but failed to reach state.
Bean should help the Senators in both the 1600 and 3200.
The girls are led by Maddie Preston, who has made state the past three years. She is the school leader in the long jump (17-9), triple jump (37-3 3/4 ) and the high jump (5-2). A year ago at state, Preston was fourth in the long jump at 17-1 3/4, second in the triple jump at 37-3 3/4 and eighth in the high jump at 4-10. She’s the leading triple jump qualifier returning.
Other top performers are Valerie Sue Meyer (400), Athena Favero (400, hurdles), Caroline Gubica (triple jump), Sahara Winder (200, 400), Hailey Palotas (long jump, relays), Alison Greene (200, 400), Lauren Hudak (400, 800), Eveline Delgado (800, 1600, 3200), Jessie Balkwell (800, 1600, 3200), Teresa Boehmer (weights) and newcomer Maddie Jergesen (weights).
Meyer won regionals as a freshman and then ran a 57.37 to finish second at state. She suffered a knee injury during club soccer workouts and was slowly rounding into shape.
“The doctor has cleared her to run,” Maw said. “We’re going to ease her back in until she’s 100 percent.”
Favero won the 300 hurdles at regionals and was fifth at state in 46.21. Boehmer missed state last year in the shot after placing ninth in 2013. She was eighth at regionals a year ago. Delgado, a standout cross country runner, finished seventh in the 3200 last year and ninth in the 1600. Balkwell was 10th in the 1600 last year. Delgado, Hudak and Balkwell led CHS to a fifth-place finish at state in the 3200 relay. Gubica is a transfer from Bishop Manogue, who couldn’t compete last year.
“Right now, she’s right there with Maddie,” Maw said.