State track berths on the line at regional meet
The top track and field performers will be on display Friday and Saturday when the NIAA regional championships take place at the Jim Frank Track & Field Complex at Carson High School.
This is the first time all four finals will be held at the same site. Action gets underway Friday at 3 p.m. and Saturday’s events start at 8:30 a.m.
The top three finishers in each event advance to next week’s state meet at Foothill High School in Henderson.
Carson’s girls’ effort will be led by Abby Pradere, who’s ranked first in the 800 (2:15.45) and third in the 1600 (5:13.55). She also is running a leg on the 1600-meter relay which qualified first last week in rainy conditions and is currently ranked fourth. Annika Wick, Jaidyn Shepard and Ashley Britt ran with Pradere.
Britt, who has been improving every week in the 300 hurdles, is ranked just outside the top three in the north. She won the Sierra League title last week and has a 47.92. McQueen’s Destiny Tolliver has a PR of 45.30 and the next four girls are between 47.21 and 47.70.
The Carson 3200 relay quartet of Rheanna Jackson, Gabriella Fernandez, Hannah Kaiser and Jaidyn Shepard has the fourth-best time in the north at 10:08.62, six seconds behind the third-best team.
Coach Robert Maw said he has high hopes for triple jumpers Anya Woodbury and Abbey Paulson. The latter led qualifiers with a career-best leap of 34-5, while Woodbury is ranked second with a 34-11 leap. Both girls are entered in the long jump, but both will have to jump well to advance. Woodbury has a best of 16-7 3/4.
“They both have a definite shot in the triple jump,” Maw said. “The 1600 and 3200 girls teams have a chance, too.”
On the boys side, hurdlers Harry Meyer (110 highs and 300s) and Brandon Copeland (300s) are hoping to break through this weekend. Copeland ran a PR of 42.29. Meyer is ranked in the top eight in both events and Copeland moved up to sixth in the 300s.
High jumper Greg Wallace will battle Reed stars Robert Ferrel and Michael Spivack, and Reno’s William Grinsell. Ferrel has cleared 6-4 this year while Wallace and Spivack have cleared 6-3.
“Greg has been jumping well since he had his wisdom teeth pulled,” assistant coach Julie Reid said.
Carson’s best relay shot might be in the 1600, which ran a 3:35.8.
3A: All eyes on Ply
J.J. Ply, one of the best track athletes in the state, comes off a record-setting trials last week at Fallon. The Dayton senior set school records in both hurdle events (14.63 and 39.13). The 39.13 is the best in the north in any division.
Ply has cleared 6-10 twice this year, and he’s improving in the pole vault. He has an excellent opportunity to win three events this weekend.
Carson Crosby has a good chance to move on in the 400 and Jeffrey Walker has a good opportunity in the 300 hurdles (43.10). Discus thrower David Delfin, who was fifth at 133-7 last week, may have to throw 135 feet to move on.
On the girls side, Ashley Mason has a good opportunity to move on in the triple jump (33-10 1/2 last week) and long jump (16-0 1/2).
1A: Gilson in three finals
Sierra Lutheran’s Aleyna Gilson has a good chance to move on in the 100, 200 and 400. She qualified first in the 400, second in the 200 and third in the 100.
The Marcheggers, Jared and Elaina, should move on in at least two events each. Jared is favored in the 1600 and 3200, and he’s also a strong 800 runner. Elaina, meanwhile, is favored in the 3200 plus she qualified second in the 800 and she’s ranked in the top three in the 1600. Elaina is the defending state champ in the 1600 and 3200.
Ricky McNeely is top ranked in the 3200, second in the 1600 and third in the 800, and obviously has a strong chance to move on in all three events. Peyton Hedwall has a good chance to move on in the shot (42-4 1/2) and discus (110-9). Teammate Jeremy Hellwinkel is also a contender in both weight events.
Virginia City’s Cole Hess is the top contender in the 400 and 800.