Hawley, Ply to lead Dayton track
Zach Hawley and J.J. Ply dominated the 1A track scene as underclassmen a year ago, and there’s no reason to expect anything different this season.
Hawley, who won the shot put and placed second in the discus, and Ply, who placed fourth in the hurdles, fifth in the high jump and fourth in the pole vault, are expected to carry the load for a Dayton boys team which was hurt by graduation.
The Dust Devils, who have just 26 athletes on their squad, start the season on Saturday with a conference meet at Fallon.
“The numbers for both boys and girls are a little down,” Dayton coach Mike Paul said. “We are used to having between 35 and 40. We have a lot of kids (boys and girls) that are untested.”
So, the load to producing points falls mostly on the broad shoulders of Hawley and Ply. The duo is certainly capable of scoring between 40 and 50 points every meet.
Hawley had a season-best throw of 57-9 3/4 in the shot and 164-5 in the discus. Paul believes his senior thrower can improve both marks this season.
“We’ve been training pretty much year round,” Paul said. “Zach has put in a lot of work. I’ve seen him throw in the low 60s which would put him in a pretty elite class. He has had some training throws around 180 feet. It’s a matter of cleaning things up and doing it in competition.”
Paul said Hawley has attracted interest from several colleges.
Ply had season bests of 6-4 in the high jump, 13-feet in the pole vault and 15.54 in the high hurdles.
“I expect him to beat those marks this year,” Paul said. “He works extremely hard, and he’s matured physically.”
Prescott Jones and Brandon Wood, both of whom ran relays last year, will run sprints. Jones will be concentrating on the 100 and 200, and Wood may run the 400 this year.
Jones ran the 100 (12.54), 200 (25.42) and 400 (57.34) last year. Wood ran 12.24, 25.10 and 56.26, respectively.
Brady Heusser heads Dayton’s distance contingent. He was fifth at regionals last year.
“He had a good cross-country season,” Paul said. “I expect him to have a good year.”
Jason Sanborn, the team’s No. 2 weight participant, broke a collarbone and will miss the season.
“We are going to miss him,” Paul said.
Paul has 23 girls out this season, but he will be without top sprinter Sydney Strickler, who suffered a broken leg when she landed wrong after shooting a basketball..
The Dust Devils’ top performer very well could be Zaria Landis, who fnished third in state in the 1600 last year (5:23.68). She could run anything from the 800 to 3200.
“She came on late in the season,” Paul said. “It took some time for her to understand what it takes to run distances well. The 1600 is her best event.”
Rebecca Mason was sixth at state in the high jump at 4-6, but she has a PR of 4-10. She also runs the 200 (29.65).
Ashley Mason will run the 100 and 200 (13.70 and 27.96). She logged a 14-8 mark in the long jump.
Macie Callan (100 and 200) returns as do Stella Taylor and Jessie Ingham. All three can run the 100, 200 and 400.
Samantha Cassinelli, and Kassie Strong will compete in the shot and discus.
The Dust Devils lost, via graduation, state placer Kaylee Turner.