Carson’s Favero gunning for fast times, title
When the NIAA Division I track trials kick off today, Carson High junior Athena Favero will be one of the busiest Carson High performers.
Not only is Favero defending her championship in the 300-meter hurdles, she’s also running the 110-meter hurdles and running the lead leg on the 400 and 800-meter relay squads.
The objective is the same for all four events today — run well enough to advance to next Saturday’s region finals and from there go to state on May 14-15 in Las Vegas.
Favero’s ranked seventh in the state and fourth in her division in the 300 hurdles. At 47.60, she has the fastest time among the D-1 hurdlers in the north this season, and she’s anxious to defend her title.
Because of weather and other commitments, this will be her first 300 race in three weeks. She said she isn’t running just to qualify, she wants to post a good time, too. Her biggest competition could come from McQueen’s Emily Pennington, who has run a 47.66 this year.
“I want to see how fast I can go this week,” she said earlier this week at practice. “I haven’t had a lot of serious competition. I want to be pushed.
“I got my PR last year at state (46.21). I was running in the 47s last year until state when I got my 46. I’m hoping that happens this year.”
Jim Reid, who coaches hurdlers, has been happy with Favero’s progress thus far.
“She hasn’t hit her PR from last year, but she’s right on track,” said the veteran assistant coach. “We train to peak at the end. We want our kids to be running their best at the end of the season.”
Favero seems more comfortable with the longer hurdle race. She has a good chance to reach the regional finals in the 110 race, but she would have to PR to get to state in that event. On paper, she’s a shoo-in to advance in the 300-meter race.
“I do cross country during the fall, so I seem to have the endurance for the longer race,” Favero said. “The 110s you have to have perfect rhythm; the three-step rhythm between hurdles. I’ll three step over the first four or five hurdles and then I go four or five steps. In the 300, I go over whatever leg I need to. The 300 is a longer race and you have time between the hurdles to get back in step.”
“She has more endurance than speed,” Reid said. “The last 110 she ran, she three-stepped eight hurdles and had her best race of the year. In the 300, if she comes out and does what she normally does I have no worries about her winning regionals.”
Hurdling is all about technique, which can help shave valuable seconds off your time. Favero has been fine tuning things in the last couple of weeks.
“Coach wants me to snap down with my trail leg,” Favero said. “I’m in the air too long.”
“What I stress is getting over the hurdle lower,” Reid said. “We want her to get on the ground quicker.”
Favero is a lot calmer this season, and that comes with maturity and postseason experience. She was eighth in the state as a freshman and fifth a year ago. She no doubt wants to improve her state placing this year.
“I was ranked sixth going into the 300 race my freshman year,” Favero said. “There were so many fast girls. It got into my head. Last year I was third coming around the last turn. I was struggling, and I got passed at the last hurdle. I was a little tired, and I could feel myself slowing down.”
The competition at state, providing Favero is successful in her regional quest, seems tough but not overwhelming. Coronado’s Charleen Jordan has run a 45.62 and Alyviah Brouchet of Canyon Springs has done 46.75. Palo Verde’s Jessica Fields is at 47.15. That is what Favero could be looking at in the next couple of weeks.
“There is nobody running 43s this year,” Reid said. “There is one girl in the high 45s and several in the high 46s or low 47s. Athena has been running well.”
Favero is excited about the 800 relay. Carson is ranked third in the state behind Arbor View and Centennial.
“I like it (the relay),” she said. “I’m pretty good out of the blocks. I can get a good start.”
And, today she wants to get her postseason off to a flying start.
Favero won’t be the only girl expected to move on. Madison Preston should move on in the high jump, long jump, triple jump and 800 relay. She is ranked third in the state in all three individual events. ValerieSue Meyer, who’s coming back from a knee injury, could challenge in the open 400 (60.23) and she also is part of the 800 relay squad along with Favero, Preston and Sahara Winder. That quartet is ranked third in the state. Winder (26.92) could advance in the 200.
On the boys side, it remains a secret what Reid will be doing this weekend. The logical bet is the 200 (22.02), 400 (47.37) and high jump (6-5 1/2). In the two sprints, he’s tops in Northern Nevada. The fourth event would likely be one of the hurdle races where he’s run 14.90 and 39.17, respectively. Asa Carter should move on in the long jump (20-3) and the triple jump (44-9). Ian Schulz has been impressive all year in the shot (48-1) and discus (163-3). Greg Wallace is tops in the high jump at 6-6 and Chris Miranda hopes to break through in the shot put (48-1) and discus (136-1).