Carson High, Dayton, Sierra Lutheran track teams have share of state hopefuls |

Carson High, Dayton, Sierra Lutheran track teams have share of state hopefuls

Darrell Moody
Sierra Lutheran's Jared Marchegger runs the 1A 1600 meter finals at the NIAA State Track Championships last year.
Courtesy Sean Davison |

Wet and snowy weather has put a damper on track workouts for athletes at Carson, Dayton and Sierra Lutheran high schools.

All three schools, two with new coaches, kicked off their seasons last weekend. Carson, under the guidance of new coach Steve Nelms, participated at Galena over the weekend and has another league meet on Saturday at Wooster. Sierra Lutheran is being guided by newcomers Kitty and Daniel Murphy. Dayton’s David Palmer, who was a co-head coach last season, is now in charge after Mike Paul stepped down.

“We are young (in some areas),” Nelms said. “We have a lot of young kids in the sprints and some of the jumps.”

On the boys side, Carson had a good performance from Ben Granados in the 100 and 200. He won both events, and Nelms believes he has a chance to crack the 11-second barrier before the season is over.

Darryll Heyward will run the 200 and 400. Freshman Parker Lehmann ran a season-opening 2:12 last week. Hunter Rauh, Zach Sever and Ethan Byasse, all cross-country runners, will run the 1600 and 3200. Gabe Gabica is the top pole vaulter while Dallin Shaffer and Brandon Macias lead the way in the shot and discus.

“I project Ben to be in the 10s and make state,” Nelms said. “Heyward is looking good. He ran a 56 in the first meet, and the weather was terrible, cold and rainy. It’s still early, and distance kids do start differently. Parker ran a 2:12, so there is a lot of room for growth. I see Hunter having a good year. He ran a 4:45, Sever ran a 4:47 and Byasse ran well. They are all under 5 already, so that’s a pretty good start.

“Gabe got 12 in the pole vault. Hopefully we’ll get 13. The jumpers are a little green. Dallin threw 116, and that is a pretty decent throw for him. It’s still early, and I expect Dallin and Brandon to improve as the season goes along.”

On the girls side, Carson is led by Ashley Britt (200, both hurdles), Abigail Pradere (800, 1600, 3200), Annika Wick (100, 200 and 400), Abbey Paulson (100, long and triple jump), Erica Basa (100, long and triple jump), and Gabi Fernandez (distance). Paulson made state in the triple jump a year ago.

“Pradere ran a 2:24 which is good for an opening meet,” Nelms said. “She will probably run the 800, mile relay and either the 1600 or 3200. Annika will run the 100, 200 and 400. We’ll see where she is in the north when it comes to times in terms of where we’ll use her. Abbey (Paulson) came in pretty good shape. We’re hoping her and Erica can get in the 13s in the 100. Annika needs some reps and block work.

“Rheanna (Fallini-Jackson) had a great season in the fall, and she ran 12:12 on Saturday which is pretty good. Taryn Encinas won the high jump last weekend at 4-6, and she just learned how to high jump the previous day. Might be a good find for us.”

Alyssa Rowe and Amanda Schulz lead the shot and discus contingent.


The Dust Devils lost multi-talented J.J. Ply to graduation, but still have several athletes capable of reaching the state meet this year.

The Masons, Rebecca and Ashley, both reached state last year, and should do it again this year.

Ashley excels in the long, triple and high jump events, and Rebecca runs hurdles and high jumps. Both run the relays.

“I would think so,” head coach David Palmer said. “They are looking really strong right now.”

Palmer is high on Sydney Strickler, who will run the 100 and 200 plus the 400 and 800 relay groups. Strickler, Macie Callan and the Masons combined for a season-best 1:43.8 last year in the 800 relay.

“I think they can push that number down,” Palmer said. “They are already ahead of where they started.”

Jeff Walker excels in the pole vault and 300 hurdles, and David Delfin looks like a good bet to make state in the shot and discus.


The name to remember for the Falcons is Jared Marchegger, who’s one of the premier distance runners in the state.

Marchegger got off to a fast start over the weekend, running a 4:53.69 to win the 1600 at Silver Stage. Peyton Hedwall (shot and discus), Bret Walker (shot and discus) and Grant Goins (high jump, sprints) are the top returners.

On the girls side, Rachel Hall (hurdles), Taylor Davison (distance), Emily McNeely (distance) and Abby Ferenz are expected to be the top performers.

Look for the Falcon girls to do well in the distance events and the distance relays. Their numbers are a little down, however.