Daggs, Baker seek state meet return
For Josilyn Daggs and Dakota Baker, the end is near.
The two Carson High senior hurdlers, who won’t compete in the sport after the school year ends, hope to extend their last track seasons by one more week when they compete in the Northern Division I Track & Field Championships on Saturday at the Jim Frank Track Complex at Carson High.
Both will carry heavy workloads into Saturday’s meet. The top three finishers in each event advance to state May 23-24 at Carson.
Daggs is seeded No. 2 in the 100-meter hurdles (16.49) and No. 8 (50.90) in the 300-meter hurdles. She is also running a leg on the Senators’ 400-meter relay team. Baker will be in the 110-meter high hurdles (No. 3, 15.63) and No. 5 in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles (41.84). He is also in the high jump and the 800-meter relay.
“I feel like high school was a good experience,” said Baker, who plans to attend Utah State in the fall where he will follow his dream of being a firefighter. “It was a great experience. I am moving on with my life. I’m not in a position to continue in sports because I’ll be financially independent.
“I’m going to work fighting fires this summer in Winnemucca. I’m going to be on an engine crew. I’m excited. I start right after graduation.”
While Baker says he won’t compete again, Daggs is just ending her track career. Daggs received a soccer scholarship to the University of Idaho.
“I don’t think the (soccer) coaches would let me run track,” Daggs said. “The next two weeks are the last that I will run track. I’m going to focus on soccer and my future goals.
“I mainly did track to stay in shape. It’s bittersweet. Of course I’ll be sad. Track was fun, and it’s a nice feeling to make it this far and hopefully to state. I’m happy I’m going on to the next level (athletically).”
Baker’s best chance would appear to be in the 110 highs. He has a best of 15.09 this year, and Alex Cordisco of Reno and Isaiah Clark of Hug ran 15.06 and 15.08, respectively.
“My PR is 15.09, and I’m feeling like I have to PR (to advance),” Baker said. “I’m hoping to get in the 14s in the 100.”
“He’s had a really good year,” said CHS assistant Jim Reid, who coaches hurdlers. “He’s been around 15 seconds all year. If he doesn’t hit a bunch of hurdles like he did last week, I think he can get into the high 14s.”
Baker said getting under 15 is “all about who wants it more and having better technique.”
Moving on in the 300 could be a bit tougher. Clark and CHS teammate Corey Reid both went under 41 last week, while .72 seconds separated Cordisco, Isaac Artinger of Galena and Baker.
“I’m going to need to trim at least a second on the 300,” Baker said. “I’m happy about what I’ve been able to accomplish.”
“This year he’s struggled (at times) in the 300,” Reid said. “He was an underdog last year (in the 300) and he came out and ran a great race and won.”
Baker was one of 10 jumpers to go 5-10 in the high jump, and more than likely it will take 6-1 or 6-2 to advance. Again, he’ll be going up against Reid in this event.
“It’s going to take 6-1 or 6-2 to advance, or have fewer misses,” said Robert Maw, CHS head coach. “It’s a pretty strong field (in terms of depth).”
Daggs qualified for state as a freshman hurdler, and then suffered a knee injury and missed two track seasons. She would like nothing better tan to end her high school track career with a second state-meet appearance.
“I have no doubt that she would have made state the past two years,” Reid said. “She has had a good year, especially for somebody who missed two years. She has gotten more confidence as the season has gone along. She had a lot of talent when she came in as a freshman. She came to me with pretty good form.
“I think if Josie runs low 16’s she’ll advance to state. She is capable of running in the high 15s.”
Damonte’s Gabriella Jacobs of Damonte comes in with a 15.33 from last week. Only .16 separates Daggs from Galena’s Megan Farrell, Reno’s Melanie Murphy, Galena’s Emily Etter and McQueen’s Kimmie Platter.
Daggs wasn’t planning on hurdling this year. She was primarily going to run sprints and relays.
“I was afraid to go over the hurdles; afraid of if I landed wrong, and my knee would go out on me,” Daggs said. “I didn’t want that to happen.
“I’m feeling pretty good about the 100 hurdles.”
Daggs’ style in the 100 hurdles is unique. She uses a four-step approach when most hurdlers go with a three-step approach, and Maw points out that some runners have used a five-step approach.
“I used to three-step,” she said. “On the last two hurdles I didn’t know if I was going to make it, so I stopped. I didn’t want to put myself through that, so I decided to change to four-step approach.”
Daggs knows she will have to drop her time by a couple of seconds in the 300 hurdles to have a chance at moving on.
Carson’s Athena Favero ran 47.53 last weekend to knock off Jacobs, who qualified with a 48.19. Three other runners got in under the 50-second mark.
“It’s going to be a big challenge (in the 300 hurdles),” Daggs said.