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Southern 4A Regional Preview

Published by
John Dixon of RS/NV   May 3rd 2012, 5:46am

By Phil Lawton

If their track team is any indication, Centennial should change their mascot from the Bulldogs to the Greyhounds.


A year ago Centennial dominated both Sunset track regionals, winning by scores of 155 over runner-up Arbor View 98 (boys) and 195 over second-place Palo Verde 89 (girls).


“I believe both teams are just as strong if not stronger than last year’s teams,” said Head Coach Roy Sessions. ”Some of our young kids have really stepped up in some places we needed them to; it allows us to move the kids around. Also, Sydney Badger is having the kind of season we were hoping for, running really well. Jackson Carter has been a big surprise on the boys side since this is his first year running track.”


And then there’s Nick Hartle.


As a junior last year Hartle won both the 800 and the1600 at state, shattering records in both. This year Hartle is ranked #3 in the USA (according to dyestat.com) in the 800 and is #1 on the southern Nevada Honor Roll for the 400, 800, 1600, and the 3200.


“Nick will have a full plate again this year,” said Sessions. “He would like to go out with a track team state title (to go with his cross country titles). And, yes, one of his main goals is to go after the 3200 state record.”


Last year Hartle bypassed the 3200 at state, instead running on the 4X400 Meter Relay team.


And how dominant will Centennial’s girls be at the Sunset Regional? They top the Sunset Honor Roll in every running event—including both hurdles and all four relays—as well as the high jump and long jump. Sydney Badger tops the Nevada Honor Roll in the 800, the 1600, and the 3200.


It may not be quite so easy for the boys. “Arbor View, Palo, and Gorman have some really good teams that can give us a solid challenge,” said Sessions.


Not likely.


Over in Sunrise, the completion should be tighter, but Canyon Springs, both boys and girls, are favored to win the regional, according to John Dixon, Competition Director (Chief Operator of Nevada Track Stats).


“Both teams are especially strong in the sprints and relays,” said Dixon.


The boys are led by Donnel Pumphrey, Isaiah Charles, and Diamonte Luna. The Canyon Springs girls feature Courtney Robinson, southern Nevada’s top hurdler; Mandy Chitwood, a top Sunrise 400 & 800 meter runner; and sprinters Quinisha Hicks, Bridget Payton, and Mia Russell.


On the boys’ side, Silverado, the defending state champs, feature overall depth and figure to give the Pioneers a run for the title. Coronado and Green Valley also have strong boys’ teams. Coronado’s Alan Ekanger is #2 on the Sunrise/Sunset Honor Roll for the 3200 (behind Hartle), and Green Valley’s Durrell McDonald is one of the top high jumpers in the USA.


The Canyon Springs girls will likely get their toughest competition from Coronado, led by Sara Dort, who tops the Sunrise Honor Roll in all three distance races: 800-1600-3200.


Sunrise and Sunset Regionals take place over two weeks, starting on Wednesday and Friday (May 2 and 4) at Silverado, with finals in all field events and the 3200 Meter Run and 4x800 Meter Relay. Finals for the remainder of the running events take place on Friday, May 11th


(Phil Lawton)










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