A fresh START | NevadaAppeal.com

A fresh START

Thomas Ranson
Fallon's Sierra Hickox competes in the triple jump at the Reed-Sparks Rotary Invitational.
Thomas Ranson / LVN |

Forget about any broken records throughout the regular season.

A false start, bad exchange in the relays or a series of scratches could be the difference in sending an individual or team to the state meet.

The road to state gets tougher this weekend with stricter qualifications as the Northern 3A will send only three in each event to the state from this weekend’s region championship at Carson High School. The meet, which includes all four regions (1A through 4A) begins today at 3 p.m. and continues Saturday as the region’s best compete to advance to next week’s final tournament of the season.

“We are at a disadvantage. Top three is tough,” Fallon boys coach Steve Heck said. “No one will be able to have a bad day and qualify. The competition is just too good. A bad start, a stumble, a couple sectored throws, get boxed in or have a few poor jumps, and you will be watching from the sidelines the following week.”

It helps tremendously that Fallon was strong in last weekend’s trials on the home track. The Greenwave continued to achieve personal bests during the last month and Saturday was no different.

“Their strong performances at the trials really has put them in a great position,” Heck said. “We also want to qualify as many as we can for the state meet. We just really need to be mistake free and do what we know we can. This group of boys has a lot of postseason experience and I think they will rise to the occasion. They don’t get intimidated or rattled, so I am hopeful that we will be taking a bunch down to Vegas.”

On a different note, Fallon approached the trials with the mindset of doing enough to qualify to save their best for this weekend.

“We just tried to qualify. We didn’t have our big throws or times,” Fallon girls coach Paul Orong said. “We basically tried to one-jump them just to qualify (in the long and triple). Now, it’s a different ball game. We expect to be at our best for this. It’s the next step on going to state. But they all have great chances. We’re sitting pretty nice. In a lot of things, we’re sitting right there.”

Skabelund looks to repeat, lead jumping group to state

Senior Whitney Skabelund will defend her regional jumping titles but also has the chance to qualify for two more individual events — the 100 and 300 hurdles.

The Utah State-bound athlete finished second in the 100 hurdles at 15.98, which was 0.73 seconds from first, and was fourth in the 300 hurdles at 49.91, which was almost 3 seconds from the leader. Skabelund jumped 15-11.25 in the long and 33-0.75 in the triple, but her best marks this season have been 17 and 36 feet, respectively.

In addition to Skabelund, Fallon has three more jumpers vying for one of the three state bids. It’s a strong possibility that the Lady Wave could sweep both jumping events.

“That’s a tough one for this being the first year for the top three getting to go instead of the top four,” Orong said, referring to the jumping corps. “It’s going to be tough. We’re going to try and go and sweep it anyway. We’re going to have to be at our best. It’s a bummer that we don’t get to take four.”

Cassidy East won the long jump at the trials at 29-11.5, followed by Sierra Hickox at 31-02.5 and Brynlee Shults at 32-2.25. Shults had Fallon’s best mark in the triple at 15-10.5, while East had a leap of 16-1 and Hickox finished at 14-9.25.

Kyndal Collins had the third-fastest time in the 100 trials and fourth-fastest in the 200 after running in 12.88 and 26.89, respectively. Amanda Pursley will run in the 3200 after finishing with a season-best 14:47.02. She will need to cut her time by almost 3 minutes to qualify for state.

Misaki Claire is in good position in both throwing events by finishing second in the trials in the shot put at 30-4.25 and sixth in the discus at 99-05. Allie Lister qualified in the pole vault at 8 feet, which was the second-best mark in the trials, and Savannah Robinson snuck in at the high jump at 4-8, but was only 2 inches from first.

“This week, the kids are very excited. We’ve been trying to give them fresh legs,” Orong said. “They’re excited and nervous. They’re ready. We’re going to surprise some people.”

Emily Evett, Sierra Hickox, Shults and Collins will run both the 4×100 and 4×200 relay teams with Shelby Hickox and Lister as the alternates. The 4×400 team includes Shelby Hickox, Chandler McAlexander, Lister and Robinson with Corin Ramos and Mayla Dahl as the alternates. The 4×800 team is the same except Jordyn Dahl’s in for Lister.

Fallon boys possess multiple threats

Don’t count out Fallon from winning a team title this weekend. The Greenwave’s no stranger to team championships after already winning state titles in 2011 and 2012.

“We will be looking to score a lot of points and hopefully place well as a team,” Heck said. “We are sitting about fourth or fifth right now, so if we could move up a spot or two that would really be a great accomplishment for this group of boys.”

Colton Peterson leads the boys on the track after possessing the fast time in the north in the 200 meters and second fastest in the 100 during the trials. Broder Thurston qualified for the 200, which features a total difference of 1.08 second between the first- and ninth-seeded sprinters. It’s tighter in the 100 as 0.55 seconds separates top from bottom.

Jacob Weber was the biggest surprise from the trials as he qualified in the 400 at 57.02 but he will need to shave about 3 seconds from his time to be in the running with the top three. Joe Terry and J.R. Demillo will run in the 800 with Terry having a time of 2:07.44 in the trials and Demillo being 7 seconds behind. The best times in the 800 were between 2:02.16 and 2:04.73.

Terry’s also competing in the 1600 and will need to cut his time from 4:59.79 in the trials into the 4:45 range to keep up with the leaders. Garrett Tognazzini will be running in the 3200 and had a best time of 11:55.30 during the season. The mark to hit will be in the 10-minute range.

In the hurdles, Trevor Brown, Trevor East and Reid Clyburn will vye for one of the three state qualifying positions. Brown qualified in the trials for the 110 hurdle race and has been in the 18-second range but will need to shave about 2 seconds off to stay in the running. Clyburn has a strong shot in the 300 hurdles as he has the third-fastest time in the trials at 42.49. East is right behind him at 43.43.

In the field, T.J. Mauga’s been the most consistent competitor as he owns the best mark in the discus in the trials and second-best in the shot put. Mauga threw the discus 157 feet, 6.5 inches and was less than 4 feet from first in the shot at 46-10. Ben Dooley qualified in the discus at 129-9.

Bryan Duenas has been the go-to jumper in the pits as he ranked second in the long jump in the trials and fifth in the triple with marks of 19-1.25 and 38-11.25. John Kirkland also qualified in both jumps with marks of 18-4 and 36-08.75, while East qualified in the triple at 38-11.75.

Justin Cathey qualified in the high jump with a mark of 5-6, which is tied for sixth.

Drake Copley, Thurston, Peterson and Clyburn will run both the 4×100 and 4×200 relay events with Clayton Steelmon being an alternate for both and Duenas for the 4×100 and East for the 4×200. Thurston, Copley, East and Terry will run the 4×400 with Weber and Demillo as the alternates, and Justin Cathey, Terry, Ugalde and Demillo running the 4×800. Kirkland and Tognazzini are the 4×800 alternates.