State track: Sierra Lutheran girls win 4th straight title |

State track: Sierra Lutheran girls win 4th straight title

Darrell Moody
Dayton's Ashley Mason finished second in the triple jump at the NIAA State Track and Field Championships.
Courtesy Sean Davison |

HENDERSON — It was a good, no, make that a great day for the Sierra Lutheran High School track team.

The Falcons, led by Elaina Marchegger’s two individual wins, wrapped up their fourth straight NIAA state title Saturday at Foothill High School.

The Falcons, unofficially, finished with 144 points. Wells was second with 83, Tonopah was third with 77.

And, to make things even sweeter, the Falcons also brought home the state academic title with a team 3.8 GPA.

“It was a very good day,” Sierra Lutheran coach Steve Kubel said. “I’m so proud of them. They came and performed well.”

“It’s so amazing,” Marchegger said. “Everybody worked so hard. We worked well together as a team. We did a lot together this year; spent a lot of time together on the track.”

And, Marchegger was the catalyst. She won the 800, 1600 and 3200 this weekend, and she ran a leg on the winning 3200-meter relay team.

Her state meet haul for three years is impressive. She won three straight 800 and 1600-meter individual titles, and won two 3200-meter titles.

She had a tough time in both the 800 and 3200 on Saturday. The weather was a factor, and so was the schedule. She had to run both events with less than an hour break.

In the 800, Jackpot’s Briana Leon stayed with her the entire way and came within .06 of pulling off an upset. The 1600 went pretty much the same way, as Eureka’s Katie Damele dogged Marchegger from the outset.

Marchegger held off the late challenge. She ran a 12:27.27, winning by .50.

“They were really close,” Marchegger said. “It’s good to run those kind of races, because they keep you going as fast as you can.”

Marchegger wasn’t the only Sierra Lutheran winner on Saturday, as Grace Bonafede, despite only getting one legal jump in, took the triple jump with a 32-9 1/2.

Bonafede suffered a knee injury and got a late start to the season.

“It’s been a long, hard road to get where I am right now,” she said.

The Falcons’ 400 and 1600-meter relay squads both placed second as did Aleyna Gilson in the 100 (13.24).

Taylor Davison grabbed two medals (4th in 3200 and 800) and Rachel Hall was third in the 300 hurdles.

3A: Mason 2nd, relay team 3rd

Junior Ashley Mason capped off a successful weekend by placing second in the triple jump and running a leg on the Dust Devils’ third-place 1600-meter relay team that included anchor Rebecca Mason, Sydney Strickler and Grace Wells.

Mason started slow with two 34-foot jumps and a foul, but she eclipsed 35-feet on two of her final three jumps. She had wanted to break the school record, but was pleased with her performance.

“I’m happy I placed,” she said. “I’ll chase the school record next year.”

“I think she had a good meet,” Dayton assistant coach Rob Turner said. “She is a really good junior, and I think she’ll have a good year next year. I don’t know what the school record is, but she will have a good chance to break it. The runway was an issue, and they (meet officials) wouldn’t change it even though they did it for the 4A boys.”

4A: Woodbury 5th in triple jump

Carson’s Anya Woodbury was sitting a solid third until jumps by Bishop Gorman’s Gwenavere Bobowicz and Reed’s Taylor Anderson knocked her down to fifth place in the triple jump.

Woodbury finished with a mark of 35-9 1/4. Teammate Abbey Paulson was ninth with a 33-7 1/2.

Woodbury started with a 35-7, got to 35-8 on her fifth jump and then put up a 35-9 1/4. Unfortunately Bobowicz had a 36-5 3/4 and Anderson nailed a 36-3 1/2 on her final jump. Woodbury had one foul when she missed her mark by the smallest of margins. It easily was a 37-foot leap.

“It was sad, the one really good job was a scratch,” Woodbury said. “It probably would have been a PR.”

Paulson scratched her first three jumps before settling down. Still, her 33-7 was well short of what she jumped at regionals.

“It was really sad to see her go from third to fifth,” Carson coach Robert Maw said. “A couple of her jumps could have been in the 38 range. She scratched on the one and missed her mark on the other. Overall, she jumped well and had a good season.

“Abbey was extremely nervous. It’s part of her personality. She had been jumping really well. She was never comfortable. She is used to our place.”

Abby Pradere, who was battling the flu, tried to give it a go in the 800, and she was last, barely finishing the race. She was helped to the medical tent afterward and spent at least 15 minutes stretched out on the trainer’s table.

The Senators’ 1600 meter squad, without Pradere, finished eighth in 4:14.14.