Carson High’s Pradere wins 1600, Sierra Lutheran dominates 1A at state track
Abigail Pradere failed in her quest to run a sub 5-minute 1600, but she got something better.
The Carson High standout won her first state championship, clocking a 5:03.39 on Friday at the NIAA State Track & Field Championships at the Jim Frank Track & Field Complex.
Competition gets underway Saturday at 8 a.m. at Carson High School.
Pradere wasn’t the only area athlete to grab a state title on the first day of competition.
In 3A, Dayton’s Ashley Mason won the long jump, and she ran the anchor leg on the school’s winning 800 relay squad.
As expected, Sierra Lutheran dominated the 1A. Jared Marchegger won his third straight 3200 title, Taylor Davison won the 800, Rachel Hall won the hurdles, Peyton Hedwall won the shot put, and the Falcons’ 1600 relay team also triumphed in impressive fashion with a 3:38.93.
For the second straight week, Pradere showed some impressive strength on the final lap to beat a talented field, including defending state champ Alexis Gourrier, Manogue’s Hannah Covington and Basic’s Raquel Chavez.
For 800 meters, it was a repeat of the northern regional meet with Pradere and Covington never separated by more than a few strides. Gourrier dropped back after the first lap, and was never a factor. The group was on a 5-minute pace halfway through with a 2:33.
With 200 meters left on the third lap, Pradere had pulled even with Covington. As the leaders finished their third laps, Pradere started her kick. On the backstretch Chavez made a move into second, but Pradere wasn’t going to be caught.
“It felt slow,” Pradere said describing the pace of the race. “I didn’t want to lead. I like to follow. I went because I didn’t want a kicker to out-kick me. I didn’t know she (Chavez) was there. I heard the fans, so I knew somebody was making a move.”
“She wanted to beat 5 minutes,” assistant coach Nicole Kastens said. “Laps two and three were too slow. She is so capable of doing it.”
Marchegger, a junior, cruised to an easy win in the 3200, one of the last races of the night. He and teammate Teagan Hansen led the first six laps of the race. Beatty’s Jose Granados moved into second place on the seventh lap, but Marchegger had too much juice left en route to a 10:05.53.
“I’m happy with it,” Marchegger said. “That’s three straight. The goal is a four-peat.”
Marchegger admitted the 800 took a lot out of him. He was in fifth after the first lap, as he and Beatty rival Granados were chasing Jackpot’s Ricardo Miramontes. Granados and Marchegger picked off runners in the final 600 meters, and it was Granados who emerged with the narrow win over the Sierra Lutheran standout.
“I did (put myself in a hole),” Marchegger said. “I could have played it a lot better; had better strategy. I had a pretty good time (2:02.2), so I’m happy with that.”
Hedwall didn’t eclipse the 50-foot mark like he did in Yerington the previous week, but his 49-6 was enough to beat teammate Bret Walker, who was second at 46-10 1/4.
“I was trying to get my right leg under me,” Hedwall said. “I just couldn’t do that. The distance was my second-best of the season. I wanted to do better, but it was enough to win.”
Davison continued the string of 1600 titles for the Falcons, following in the footsteps of Elena Marchegger. She ran a 5:59, which was a little slower than what she wanted.
“I was going for a PR (5:47),” said Davison, who led the last two laps. “With the wind, it was unattainable.”
Hunter Rauh, Carson’s 800 standout, wanted to be competitive and he wanted to finish under 2-minutes. Rauh went out a bit fast, and unfortunately faded down the stretch despite a PR of 2:00.73.
The top five finishers in the 4A race all went under 2-minutes.
Mason, the 3A regional long and triple jump champion, had an easy time in the long jump. She jumped 17-2 1/2 to beat Virgin Valley’s Nikita Eskelsen by nearly a foot. Mason uncorked the 17-footer on her last attempt.
Mason anchored the 800 relay team that clocked a 1:46.41 to knock off Sunrise Mountain by more than one second. Sydney Stricker, Macie Callan and Rebecca Mason were on the squad.
“It feels very good,” Callan said. “I’m so happy. We were eighth my sophomore year. It (the race) was better than last week.”
Strickler and Callan almost collided in the passing zone, but the Dust Devils still managed to win.
Dayton pole vaulter Jeffrey Walker medaled with a third-place finish. He cleared a career-best 13-feet.
For complete results go to athletic.net or NTStiming.com.