Copley’s state title leads Fallon to 4th-place finish
CARSON CITY — A couple hours after their team took second in the 4×200 relay, Fallon senior Drake Copley was down to his final race, his final chance at winning a state title.
As Copley came off the turn in the 200-meter dash, he gained speed down the fourth lane and leaned at the finish line, 0.01 seconds ahead of Western’s Kory Powell-Oliver to win the Division 3A state title Saturday afternoon at Carson High School. Copley won with a time of 22.28 seconds and teammate Colton Peterson finished third in 22.38 with both times being personal bests.
“It surprised me. I got off the corner and thinking I’m right next to these guys and I started gaining and gaining,” said Copley, who leaned too much and fell past the finish line. “We were at the point where it was neck and neck and that’s when I tried to lean and just fell. I was just focused on keeping form and not tightening up. I felt like I ran a pretty good race.”
Copley’s win gave Fallon its only state title as the boys finished fourth — the highest of the northern region teams — and the girls finished 16th.
Mojave won the boys division with 110 points over Desert Pines (100) followed by Pahrump Valley with 78.50 and Fallon with 59.50. Spring Creek finished fifth with 42 points. Lowry won the girls division over Truckee, 72-63, followed by Sunrise Mountain with 58 points and Spring Creek with 55. Fallon, which qualified in three individual events and one relay, finished 16th with 20 points.
Senior Brynlee Shults and junior Reid Clyburn captured second-place finishes, sophomore Kyndal Collins had third- and fifth-place finishes, and junior Justin Cathey finished fifth in the high jump to lead Fallon.
Shults, competing for the last time before going to Southern Utah University in the fall, jumped a personal best 35 feet, 2.5 inches to take second in the triple jump, her only individual event. Shults, who was the third leg on the 4×100 relay team, watched from the track as Dayton’s Ashley Mason, also a senior, bested her leap with a personal-best 36-4 to win the event.
“It was all really bittersweet being my last competition. I jumped my heart out, and it showed,” said Shults, who beat her previous mark by a foot. “Going into the competition, I really wanted to win, but I was so incredibly excited for Ashley when she PR’d on her very last career jump, even though it bumped me down to second. It was the most perfect competition I could have asked for to end my high school triple jump career with. It has only left me extremely excited for my hopeful future collegiate triple jump career at Southern Utah University.”
Clyburn finished second in the 300 hurdles with a time of 41.38, about a half second behind Desert Pines’ Jamel Brown for first.
“The only thing that I really screwed up is I stuttered on my first hurdle and I stuttered on my last hurdle,” Clyburn said. “I’m very grateful I’m second best in the state now.”
Collins finished third in the 100 in 12.96 and fifth in the 200 in 26.32. She was 0.43 seconds from winning the 100 and 0.68 seconds from winning the 200. Copley also finished third in the 100 in 11.13.
Trevor East finished fifth in the 110 hurdles in 16:15 and Clyburn was eighth in 17.27. East took fourth in the triple jump at 42-4.75 and Justin Cathey tied for fifth at 5-10 in the high jump.
The 4×100 team of Aisha Sharron, Sierra Hickox, Shults and Collins finished seventh in 52.47.
“Nobody did worse today. Nobody did less than their PR,” Fallon boys coach Keith Sluyter said.