Carson track qualifiers seek top-3 finish
It’s place in the top three or go home.
That’s what members of the Carson High track team face today in the Northern 4A regional track trials today (8:30 a.m.) at Damonte Ranch High School.
The top three finishers in each event advance to the state meet which is scheduled for May 18-19 at Damonte Ranch.
One of Carson’s busiest athletes today will be Chance Quilling, who in his first year of track has become one of the biggest producers on the team.
Quilling will compete in the 300 hurdles, triple jump, 800 relay and 1600 relay. He went 42-4 to finish third in the triple jump trials and he was second in the 300 hurdles.
“I think Chance has a good chance to go first or second in both the triple jump and hurdles,” Carson coach Robert Maw said. “He just started running the triple jump a few weeks ago, and he’s one of the top guys in Northern Nevada.”
Quilling teams with Clint Page Corey Reid and Taylor Bradshaw in the two relay events. The Senators were fourth in 1:33.38 in the 800 and second in the 1600 at 3:32.64.
“I think we have a chance to go second or third in the 800,” Page said. “We’ve been together all year. We need to shave a second or a second and a half. That’s just handoffs.”
The 1600 will be tough with Spanish Springs, McQueen and Damonte Ranch coming in with faster times. Maw moved Reid into the mix, and he thinks that could make the difference, and he expects to move on.
Besides the two relay events, Bradshaw will run the 400. He qualified fourth last week, running a 51.54. He expects to be in the top three today.
“I gave about two pints of blood last Thursday,” Bradshaw said. “I was really slow that day. I’ve never run the 400 that hard.”
Bradshaw would have been an easy qualifier in the 800, but the recovery time wasn’t great between events, so the coaching staff put him in the 400 last week. He has a best of 1:59.80 in the 800, and he admits that he’s more comfortable in longer events because of his cross-country experience. Bradshaw admitted that he was mad and almost didn’t show up for the trials.
In the high jump, Reid has been one of the best in what has been a down year for high jumpers in Northern Nevada. He high jumped 6-2 on April 7 in Stockton.
Dakota Baker has an outside chance in the 110 high hurdles and the high jump. He has cleared 6 feet in the latter event, but will need to knock a full second off his hurdle time.
Nathan Hazard has thrown 45-5 3/4 in the shot and has a best of 146-8 in the discus. He was eighth and sixth, respectively in the trials last week. He only threw 131 last week, and he’s capable
“Nathan broke his finger last year, and he’s still throwing,” said Mike Louisiana, Carson’s throws coach. “He’s been throwing well in both. He’s been coming on in the shot put, but his best chance is probably in the discus.”
On the girls side, Alex Drozdoff will run the 1600 and 3200. She qualified fifth in the 1600 in 5:32.83 which was a full eight seconds behind the third qualifier, Laura Palacios of McQueen. Drozdoff has run a best of 12:08.88 in the 3200.
“The 3200 is her best event,” Maw said. “She could get through in the 1600.”
Maddi Saarem faces a tough challenge in the pole vault with Douglas’ Amanda Brazeau, Manogue’s Madison Mills and Wooster’s Alexis Romero all have gone 12 feet. Saarem’s best this year is 10-7 back on April 7.
“Maddi has been jumping real well in practice in Reno this week,” Maw said. “She’s been clearing 12 feet. You don’t know what’s going to happen until the competition starts.”
In the 1600 relay, Maw said he was going to pull Sahara Winder in the open 400 and have her just run in he relay event with Elena Thurman, Kaitlyn Holmes and Kayla Aikins. Carson qualified sixth last week with a 4:19. Maw expects Carson and Douglas to fight for the third spot.
“We’ve been battling with them for that third spot all year,” Maw said.
Carson will be heavily represented in the girls’ throwing events.
Tiana McAllister-Daggs (31-10), Courtney Hack (31-2 3/4), Makayla Ragnone (30-10) and Ali Fleming (30-3 3/4) all placed in the top eight in the shot put last week. In the discus, Fleming was third (99-10), McAllister-Daggs (91-7) sixth and Erika Valenzuela (90-3) ninth.
“We have a very strong group; probably the strongest group I’ve ever coached, including Nathan,” Louisiana said. “Our guys (except for Nathan) weren’t as strong for one reason or another.
“All of them have a chance today,” Louisiana said. “We’re pointing toward that first throw. If the first throw is good that will be huge.”