Dayton High’s Mason twins seek elusive state title
STATE TRACK MEET
When: Friday (3 p.m.) and Saturday (8:30 a.m.)
Where: Carson High School
Admission: $10 for adults, $5 for students, $3 for seniors 62 and over, and kids 8 and under are free
Ashley and Rebecca Mason are your typical identical twins.
They share wardrobes, but don’t wear the same outfits at the same time. They admit to finishing each other’s sentences but swear they don’t do it on purpose, and once in a while they’ll say the same thing at the same time.
They also share the same interests in athletic pursuits, starring for the Dayton High track and volleyball teams the past four years. And, as expected, they’re highly competitive with each other.
“We push each other,” Ashley admitted. “We try to beat each other whenever we run.”
And, the twin sisters agree bringing home a gold medal from this weekend’s NIAA State Track and Field Championships at Carson High would be the icing on the cake.
The twins have enjoyed plenty of success the last two years at the regional level, but have yet to win that elusive gold medal in an individual event or relay event.
Ashley won long and triple-jump titles last week at Yerington, and she placed second in both events last year at state. Rebecca, meanwhile, was third in the 400 last week, and was fifth and sixth in the high jump the past two years.
“It would be my first state title,” Ashley said before Tuesday’s practice. “It would show everybody that somebody from Dayton can win.”
“It would mean all the hard work we put in over the last four years has paid off,” Rebecca said.
Ashley came close at the 2017 state meet in Las Vegas, finishing second in both jumps. This could be the year for her individually, as she’s ranked first in the long jump (17-4 3/4) and second in the triple jump (35-11 1/4).
Her closest competitor in the triple jump is Del Sol’s Charleyanse Howard, who PRd at 36-2 1/2 last week. Ashley’s best career jump came at the Carson Invite. In the long jump, Ashley comes in seeded second to Virgin Valley’s Nikita Eskelsen, who qualified with a 16-6, a half-inch ahead of Mason’s 16-5 1/2.
“It’s a good runway,” Ashley said. “Last year at Vegas, the runways were shorter because of the pole vault pit.
“I’m trying to PR and get the school record in the triple jump,” Ashley said. “I’m going to do my best and try not to think about it.”
The school record is 36-1 set in 2009 by Tegan Volberding. Volberding’s best in the long jump was 16-2.
Rebecca Mason is seeded third in the 400, her only individual event of the meet. Lowry’s duo of Shelby Garrison (1:00.09) and Hailey Hinkle (1:00.90) are just ahead of her. The top seed from Southern Nevada is Julia Ramirez of Virgin Valley.
“My goal is to run a 60-second flat,” Rebecca said. “My first 200, if I can pick that up, and run maybe a 29 in the first 200.”
The Masons, along with Sydney Strickler and Macie Callan, have performed well in both the 800 and 1600 relay events. The quartet ran a 1:46.28 to set the school mark this year, shaving off more than two seconds off their previous school record, and they set a school record with a 4:09.93 this year, breaking the old mark of 4:13.79.
“I like it (800 relay) more because I’ve been doing it since grade school,” Ashley said. “We are super close with the other two girls (Strickler and Callan). We have a super-close bond.”
Dayton ran 4:09.93 in the 1600 relay last week, losing by 1.25 seconds to Lowry.
“We can get down to 4:05 if we really push ourselves,” Ashley said.
“You (normally) get PRs when you have a lot of competition,” Rebecca said. “Last week we were chasing Lowry, and Truckee was right behind us.”
Pole vaulter Jeff Walker and discus thrower David Delfin both have a good chance to medal this weekend.
Walker, who has cleared 12-6 this year, qualified with a mark of 12-feet. Moapa Valley’s Josh Lee is the favorite with a qualifying mark of 13 feet.
Delfin PRd last week at 144-10, and he’s seeded third coming into the meet. Pahrump’s Jeremy Albertson qualified at 162-4.