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NIAA Nevada State Meet

Fri.-Sat., May 16-17, 2008

Damonte Ranch HS, Reno NV

"ONE FOR THE AGES" Meet Commentary by Phil Lawson - Results courtesy John Dixon & NIAA - Class 4A - Class 3A - Class 2A - Class 1A

Team Champs
  • 4A - Reno girls 55 over Western 51; Damonte Ranch boys 55 over Galena 54
  • 3A - Boulder City girls 99.50 over Spring Creek 93; Boulder City boys 98 over Fernley 87
  • 2A - Whittell girls 147 over North Tahoe 98; Independence boys 132 over White Pine 112.5
  • 1A - Laughlin girls 126 over Smith Valley 59; Calvary Chapel boys 114.5 over Spring Mountain 107.5

4A Highlights
  • Galena sr Joseph Abbott US#5 meet record 1:50.78 800, 4:22.18 1600, plus 48.43 400 (2nd)
  • Carson sr Kayla Sanchez 4th straight 200 (24.21, +1.9w) and 300H titles (44.40) / 17-04.25 LJ (won tiebreaker on 2nd jump) / 2nd 100 (12.12)
  • Spring Valley sr Jordan Rincon wins 3rd straight 400 here, 47.82, plus 1:51.14 400 (2nd)
  • Bishop Manogue sr Joe Bartlett 2 meet records - 60-08.25 SP / 199-08 DT double
  • Foothill sr Darryl Trotter 49-01 TJ (+1.5w) (Hug jr Duke Williams 49-00, +0.3w)
  • Cimarron-Memoria soph Stephen Nixon 10.61 100 (+0.1)
  • Valley soph Garic Wharton meet record 21.10 200 (+0.6w)
  • Bonanza jr Shirley Pitts 56.20 400
  • Western girls meet record 47.17 4x100, 3:53.25 4x400
  • Shadow Ridge girls meet record 1:40.90 4x200
  • Hug boys 41.53 4x100
  • Green Valley boys 1:28.71 4x200 (Damonte Ranch 1:28.85) and 3:18.08 4x400
  • Carson sr Mike Arnold 15-06 PV
  • South Tahoe so Kelsey Smith 5:17.34 1600 / 11:29.46 3200 double
3A Highlights
  • Pahrump Valley sr Kyle Mills meet record 46-02.50 TJ (0.3w) / 20-07.75 LJ (-0.7w) double
  • Dayton fr Erika Garcia 12.79w 100 (+2.2w) / 26.24 200 (nwi) / 58.83 400 triple
  • Pahrump Valley jr McKenzie Dean 2:22.63 800 / 5:31.42 1600 / 12:32.96 3200 triple
  • Dayton sr Trace Feemster 11.25 100 (-0.9w) / 22.29 200 (0.0w) double
  • Boulder City soph Matt Lundgren 4:39.64 1600 / 10:15.83 3200 double
  • Virgin Valley sr Spencer Planck 48-09.25 SP / 148-00 DT double
2A Highlights
  • Independence sr Thomas Cameron meet record 22.21 200 (+0.3w) / 50.78 400 / 20-11.25 LJ (-1.1w) triple, 2nd 100
  • North Tahoe jr James Laughlin 47-03.25 SP / 156-03 DT double
  • Silver Stage so Mariah Gramolini 59.44 400 / 2:24.94 800 / 33-10.50 TJ (-1.7w) triple
  • Whittell so Shannon Marshall meet record 5-02 HJ / 48.29 300H double, plus 2nd 100H
  • Whittell so Hannah Daly 12.88 100 (+1.9w) / 36-11.75 SP double, 2nd 800
  • Battle Mountain sr Steven Heberlein 2:05.39 800 / 4:51.49 1600 double
  • Whittell girls meet record 4:09.10 4x400
1A Highlights
  • Trinity Christian so Budweiser Hawkins meet record 6-07 HJ / 20-06 LJ (-1.7w) double, 2nd 100 and 200
  • Laughlin jr Ariana Hardy meet record 5-05 HJ / 27.46 200 (+1.1w) / 16-02.25 LJ (+0.6w) triple
  • Sage Ridge sr Nathan Chellman 2:00.17 800 / 4:25.70 1600 double, 2nd 3200
  • Smith Valley so Wade Meddles meet record 9:53.00 3200, 2nd 1600
  • Spring Mountain fr Joseph Hart 17.00 110H (+1.3w) / 43.54 300H double
  • Indian Springs sr Forrest Kelly 134-11 DT / 43-07.25 SP double
  • Sage Ridge jr Claire Kelley 5:51.26 1600 / 12;20.58 3200 double

One for the Ages

By Phil Lawton, Nevada Selection Chair, GSW Track & Field Classic

I’ve been involved with high school track meets for more than fifty years, competing, coaching, officiating, or just watching, and I thought I had seen it all, but this weekend’s Nevada State Track Championships at Damonte Ranch in Reno were something else. 

It had it all:
  • Blanket finishes in the boys’ 100, with three runners running between 10.61 and 10.66;
  • Two discus throwers, double winner Joe Bartlett of Bishop Manogue (shot and discus) and Tyler Johnson of Bishop Gorman (runner-up in the discus), both flirting with 200 feet;
  • Several heartbreaking DQ’s;
  • Superb multi-performance accomplishments by McKenzie Dean of Pahrump, Erika Garcia of Dayton, Mariah Gramolini of Silver Stage, Ariana Hardy of Laughlin, and Thomas Cameron of Independence, to name five and, especially, by Kayla Sanchez, the Carson Cannonball, in winning three events—the 200 (with a PR), the 300 low hurdles, and long jump—to go with a second place in the 100;
  • And a girls’ 800 in which four girls were under 2:20 and the pacesetter, Ashley Wimmer of Palo Verde, nearly collapsed just before the finish line and had to settle for third place, behind Brittney Washington of Cheyenne and Michaelanne Laurent of Coronado.
Yet all of that somehow paled compared to two races to follow, the first a battle between Joe Abbott of Galena and Jordan Rincon of Spring Valley in the 4A 800.  Here was the classic North versus South match-up.  Fifty minutes earlier, Jordan had bested Joe in the 400 – the defending 4A champion, Rincon, first in 47.82, and Abbott, who had already won the 1600 the day before, in 2nd at 48.43.  They would meet now in each runner’s best event – at least according to DyeStat rankings – the 800.  Before Saturday, Abbott was ranked #5 in the USA in the 800 with a 1:51.64 and Rincon #14 with a 1:52.72, both run in the same race at Arcadia, by the way.  But I digress.

Everyone present who has followed the fortunes of boys 4A track all season anticipated this race.  Not only did it feature Abbott and Rincon, but four other runners in the field of eight had run 1:57 or better—Tailhar Hasson of Centennial, Matt Moyer of Damonte Ranch, Aaron Adkins of Las Vegas, and Nick Tatro of Galena.  It was arguably the finest field of eight to run a high school half mile in Nevada, ever.

The race lived up to the billing.  With Abbott taking the lead on the back straight of the first lap, he led at the bell with a split around 55.  Rincon was five meters back in fifth or sixth place.  Using questionable race tactics but sensing he had to make a move now, Jordan went wide on the first turn.  By the time he hit the back straightaway he had moved into 2nd, and he went after Joe.  He finally caught him, but by then the far turn was approaching.  Again running wide and paying the price of running extra distance as a result, Rincon briefly led coming off the turn.

The two warriors raced home neck and neck from there, with Abbott reaching the finish line first by just over a quarter of a second, 1:50.78 to 1:51.14.  Both runners broke every Nevada record in the books and turned in the 5th and 7th fastest boys’ high school 800s run in the USA this year!  Moyer was third in 1:55.18, his best time ever, and Hasson got the fourth-place medal with a 1:56.45.  And that brings me to the other race that was special for me. 

After his fourth in the 800, Tailhar Hasson was ready to scratch out of the 3200 and call it a day.  After all, he had already gotten a silver medal the day before, losing to Abbott in the 1600, and also on Friday he had run a leg on the Centennial 3200 meter relay team.  He was tired and didn’t feel well.  Besides, Centennial had no chance of winning the team title.

Talihar’s distance coach, Jessica Scobell, pulled him aside. “Just run the race and don’t worry about it,” she said.  “No pressure.  Run for pride; run for fun.  After all, no one expects you to win the race…”  Not coming off that 800 and against a fresh Bryan Tibaduiza, the defending state champion and Joe Abbott’s teammate, or Bonanza’s Jake Thornell, the fastest qualifier from the south and also fresh.  It was a classic “psych job” by Coach Scobell and Tailhar bought it.

Run for fun?  I have watched Tailhar run all year.  He only knows one way to run: from the front.  If he were a horse he’d be called a “pace-setter.”  He almost stole the Sunset Regional by scorching the first mile and building up a huge lead.  But then he faded badly and was “run down” by both Thornell and his own teammate Nathan Williams.  He only qualified for the 3200 at State because his third-place time was faster than the third-place time in the Sunrise Regional. 

So what does he do in the race this time?  Off at the gun, per usual, he goes through the first lap like it’s a 1600, leading, running just over 65 seconds.  Tibz and Jake, bide their time, knowing that Tailhar is just being Tailhar.  Lap after lap go by.  Hasson has slowed down but he still leads the field.  The mile time is around 4:40. 

By lap six, the field has strung out; it’s only Tibz who has stayed close.  Tailhar is running well, but surely he must be tiring.  Tibz moves up on his shoulder on the seventh lap, but Tailhar won’t let him pass, so the Galena runner falls back, a stride behind.  At the bell, with a lap to go, the crowd is anticipating the big surge from Tibz, just as he has always done in past.

But for Tailhar all of a sudden he’s in a one-lap race and he’s leading.  He’s Big Brown at Churchill Downs and the Preakness.  By the back straightaway, Hasson has found another gear, has extended his lead to 10 meters and it’s over!  He crosses the line in 9:29.87, a big time PR.  Tibz finishes second in 9:36.26, a good time on the hottest day of the year in Reno but not good enough.  The race belonged to the kid from the South who was supposed to be running for fun.  It was one of the gutsiest races I have ever watched.  And what a way to cap the meet.  Next year’s meet at Del Sol will have a tough act to follow.

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