When Sunrise Mountain’s Manuel Hernandez took the baton to run the anchor leg of the boys 3,200-meter relay with a three-step lead over Faith Lutheran on Saturday, the only drama remaining was if the Miners could set a new Class 3A/Division I-A record.
The Miners didn’t just break the record, they shattered it.
Hernandez crossed the finish line at 8 minutes, 9.32 seconds, setting a mark that will be tough to beat. The previous best of 8:25.83 was set in 2008 by Moapa Valley.
“I wasn’t surprised,” Hernandez said. “I knew my team had the strength to give me a good lead. During the last 100 (meters), I was really pushing myself. (Friday) I ran good races in the 800 and 4×400, but I was kind of burned out. But I kept pushing and kept remembering what I was doing it for: our legacy, the school and my team.”
The relay record wasn’t the only race to stand out for the host Miners as they took the team championship at the Division I-A Southern Region track and field meet with 121 points. Faith Lutheran was second with 104 points, followed by Desert Pines (95) and Boulder City (85).
“This was impressive,” Sunrise Mountain coach Cooper Harris said. “It takes a lot of training by the kids and a lot of effort by our coaching staff to make sure our athletes are healthy by monitoring their bodies, their diets, their sleep and anything else that goes into helping these athletes perform at the highest levels. I cannot do it all. The assistant coaches put in a lot of time with these athletes and track all the information to make sure these kids are ready to be successful on the track.”
The 3,200 relay started as a three-team race, with Sunrise Mountain’s Kalvin Hernandez, Faith Lutheran’s Jordan Morino and Desert Pines’ Albino Gonzalez running neck-and-neck in the opening leg. The three teams stayed together throughout the second leg before Sunrise Mountain’s Musio Jimenez and Faith Lutheran’s Austin Hunt began to pull away in the third leg.
Hunt led most of the way, but Jimenez overtook him in the final 100 meters to give Manuel Hernandez a slight lead at the handoff.
Faith Lutheran anchor Chase Wood kept Hernandez in his sights, but Hernandez turned on the burners in the final 100 yards to set a new region record. Cyrano Veal ran the second leg for the Miners.
Manuel Hernandez also set region records in the 800 meters on Friday by running a 1:55.74 and ran on the record-setting 1,600 relay team Friday with Daquwan Doyle, Veal and Darnell Calahan.
“All the hard work has paid off. All the 5 a.m. and 8 p.m. runs were worth it,” Manuel Hernandez said. “All the times I felt sore and I kept running and pushing was worth it. All the times people said I wouldn’t achieve anything, I can now say I have achieved something.
“This is for my parents, my friends, and my friend who is blind. I dedicate these medals to them.”
The Miners also set a record in the 800 relay with Doyle, Ronald Gipson, Romello Tatum and Sherman Nash running a 1:28.05.
Nash won the 400 in a meet record 49.43. Javon Banks won the triple jump with a mark of 40 feet for the Miners, and teammate A.T. Sanders took the high jump (6-4).
Faith Lutheran’s Mark Rubalcaba set meet records in the long jump (23-7) and triple jump (45-7½).
Wood won the 1,600 (4:33.95) and 3,200 (10:00.17), Desert Pines’ Eric Wilkes won the 100 (10.99) and 200 (22.17), and Pahrump Valley’s Devon Montgomery took the 110 hurdles (14.6) and 300 hurdles (38.93).
Faith Lutheran’s Cayla Nikodemus was first in three events as the Crusaders took the Division I-A girls meet with 188½ points. Sunrise Mountain (115) was second, followed by Cheyenne (88) and Mojave (57).
Nikodemus won the 100 (12.23), 200 (25.31) and high jump (5-1).
Clarissa Maxey took the 400 (57.7) and was second in the 100 and 200 for Faith Lutheran, and teammate Haley Vinson won the triple jump (34-9¾).
Sunrise Mountain’s Brittany Veal set a meet record in the 300 hurdles (45.03) and also won the 100 hurdles (15.72). Teammate Ebonique Diaz was first in the 1,600 (5:28.1) and 3,200 (12:24.02).
In Division III, Laughlin’s Anthony Escarzaga won the boys 800 (2:03.96), 1,600 (4:54.66) and 3,200 (10:58.49). The Meadows’ Mark Woodson was first in the shot put (51-0) and discus (147-3).
White Pine took the boys team title with 162 points, with Calvary Chapel second.
In Division III girls, Delaney Gosse and Dani Chami each won two events to lead The Meadows to a second-place finish as a team with 164 points. White Pine won the title with 202.
Gosse won the high jump (5-0) and 800 (2:26.51), while Chami won the pole vault (9-0) and long jump (16-9½).
Calvary Chapel’s Phallen Nelson was first in the 200 (26.7) and 400 (1:01.03).
In Division IV, Domineaq Wilson won three events as Spring Mountain won the boys team title with 217 points. Beatty was second with 166.
Wilson was first in the triple jump (36-8½), high jump (5-8) and discus (122-2). Teammate Lagarrian Jones won the 400 (52.45) and shot put (41-11¾).
Tonopah’s Scotty May won the 100 (11.81) and 200 (23.86), and Beatty’s Enrique Orozco was first in the 800 (2:12.37) and 1,600 (4:53.24).
In the girls Division IV meet, Beatty’s Jasmin Pelayo and Christina Thompson each took three events as the Hornets won the team title with 240 points, well ahead of second-place Indian Springs (88).
Pelayo won the 800 (2:42.9), 1,600 (6:08.55) and 3,200 (13:25.77), and Thompson won the long jump (15-9¼), triple jump (32-5) and pole vault (6-6).
Kelsea Reid added wins in the 100 (13.96) and 200 (30.47) for Beatty.