Legacy sprinter Jerry Martin didn’t qualify for the Class 4A state track meet last season.
So he spent the last several months ensuring he would this season.
Martin ran the 100-meter dash in a personal-record time of 10.71 seconds on Saturday morning at Desert Oasis to claim the Mountain Region championship and an automatic bid in the state meet next week. The sturdy senior doubled as a running back for Legacy’s football team and said he started preparing for track season after football concluded.
“The start of the season, I didn’t come out that good, but I’m lucky to finish out like this,” said Martin, who advanced to the region final last year. “I know what I can do against these other guys, and I came out prepared.”
Martin used the first 50 meters to build a lead, and held off Las Vegas High’s Devin Perkins and Canyon Springs’ Javion Davison down the stretch. Perkins finished in 10.86 seconds and Davison in 11.04.
“When track came I knew I had a big season ahead,” Martin said.
He certainly did.
Martin’s heroics, though, weren’t nearly enough to lift Legacy to a team title. That trophy went to Centennial, which scored 155 points to claim its ninth region title in the last 10 seasons.
The Bulldogs won the 3,200 relay in 8:01.13 and the 1,600 relay in 3:22.78. Jordan McGilbra won the triple jump (42 feet, 11 inches) and long jump (20-10¾).
“When it comes to this time of year, we make it about team,” Centennial coach Roy Session said. “They really bought into that concept and wanted to fight for each other.”
Centennial’s Alex Miller also claimed the the 3,200 last week in 9:42.97, and Davone Walden cleared 6-5 to win the high jump. Faith Lutheran finished second with 92 points and Las Vegas High third with 79.
Desert Oasis distance runner Conner Nicholas wanted to win the Desert Region championship in the 1,600.
Bishop Gorman miler Massimiliano Swenson wanted to win a little bit more.
Swenson lunged ahead of Nicholas at the finish line the finish line to claim the 1,600 in a time of 4:31.71. Nichols, who won the 3,200-meter run last week, finished in 4:31.77.
“At the end, it just came to endurance and who was willing to go through the hurt,” Swenson said. “Whenever I’m with top competition, that pushes and motivates me.”
The two rivals and friends both led the pack for the majority of the race, but Nicholas seized a lead in the final 200 meters. Swenson’s kick propelled him to first-place in a photo finish.
“They were really pushing hard,” he said. “They really wanted it.”
Swenson’s victory helped the defending state champion Gaels claim the team title with 161½ points. Gorman won the 3,200 relay in 8:16.72 and the 400 relay in 42.44.
Sprinter Kyu Kelly also won the 100 (10.74) and the long jump (22-4½).
Rome Odunze won the 200 in 21.51.
“The kids are getting used to having some success, and I think they’re building on that,” Gaels coach Scott Cooley said. “They realize that the training is working and their times are dropping, and as competitive kids, you just buy in that much more.”
Coronado scored 135½ points to finish in second place, and Liberty scored 71 for third.
Class 3A Southern Region
At Overton, Noah Thompson and David Warren each had a hand in four event wins as Mojave cruised to the Class 3A Southern Region title.
Thompson won the 100 in 10.82 and the 200 in 22.09. Warren won the long jump with an effort of 21-4 and the triple jump with a mark of 45-10. Both ran on ththe winning 400 and 800 relay teams for the Rattlers, who had 196 points. Moapa Valley was second with 78.
Mojave’s Isaiah Harper cleared 6-4 to win the high jump and won tthe 110 hurdles in 16.31.
Valley’s Christian Franklin also had four event wins.
Franklin won the 800 (1:59.59), 1,600 (4:30.37) and 3,200 (9:40.64) and helped the Vikings’ 3200 relay team to victory.
Class 2A Southern Region
At Overton, White Pine used its depth to rack up 247 points and win the Class 2A Southern Region meet.
Lincoln County was second with 101 points. Calvary Chapel had 74 points, and Laughlin had 73.
Lincoln County’s Noah Smith won the 100 (11.12), 200 (22.84) 400 (50.85) and 110 hurdles (16.25). The Lynx’s Cody Zile won the long jump (19-9) and triple jump (39-11½).
Laughlin’s Gonzalo Sanchez won the 800 (2:04.27) and 1,600 (4:47.19).
Class 1A Southern Region
At Overton, Zakari Tucker won four individual events to lead Spring Mountain to the Class 1A Southern Region title.
Tucker won the 110 hurdles in 16.65. He cleared 5-8 to win the high jump, took the long jump with an effort of 18-11¾ and had a mark of 42-4 to win the triple jump.
The Golden Eagles had 301 points. Beatty was a distant second with 123 points. Pahranagat Valley was third with 116.
Beatty’s Jose Granados won the 800 (2:01.03), 1,600 (4:39.27) and 3,200 (10:29.03) and ran on the winning 3,200 relay team.
Tonopah’s Brandon Scobee won the 100 (11.46) and 400 (51.91), and teammate Max Swanson won the shot put (42-7) and discus (115-10).