2018 Girls Track Capsule Previews

(as submitted by coaches)


Head coach: Scott Cooley, eighth season

Returning letter winners: Eighteen

Top athletes: Gwenavere Bobowicz (Jr.), Jill McPherson (Jr.), Olivia Smith (Jr.), Lindsey Hightower (Sr.), Jayden Krmpotich (So.), Emilia Puskas (Fr.)

Outlook: Bobwicz finished third in the triple jump in last year’s state meet and was joined at state by McPherson (discus) and Hightower (pole vault).

Smith was a region finalist in both the high jump and triple jump.

Krmpotich gives the Gaels a weapon in the distance events, as does Puskas, who finished eighth in the state cross country meet in the fall.

“We have a lot of experienced returners in the program,” Cooley said. “We’re looking forward to a successful year.”

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Head coach: Chelsea Nuttall, first season

Returning letter winners: Eight

Top athletes: Zowie Manuma (Sr.), Charlene Beck (So.), Madisen Cherry (So.)

Outlook: Manuma finished fifth in the shot put in last year’s Class 4A state meet.

Beck and Cherry both were Sunset Region meet qualifiers in sprint events. They’re among eight returning letter winners for Bonanza.

“The girls team is young and lacking depth, but the kids are working hard to improve,” Nuttall said.

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Head coach: Sara Fisher, second season

Returning letter winners: Six

Top athletes: Sierra Selinger (Sr.), Taylor Tenney (Sr.), Geri Wachtel (Jr.), Hannah Miller (Sr.)

Outlook: Tenney is the defending Class 3A Southern Region champion in the long jump.

Selinger took third in the 3,200-meter run and fifth in the 1,600 in last year’s region meet.

Along with Wachtel and Miller, they’ll be among the leaders on the team.

“We lost some key senior athletes last year, but have some young fresh faces that are excited to learn and work hard,” Fisher said. “I am excited to see what the potential these girls have.”

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Head coach: Roy Session, 10th season

Returning letter winners: Sixteen

Top athletes: Quincy Bonds (So.), Kennedy Brace (So.), Alexis Gourrier (Sr.), Ashley Moore (So.), McKenzie Morgan (Jr.), Josephine Ruggieri (So.), Cheyenne Jones (Jr.), Anyese James-Kirkland (Sr.), Julianne Manning (Sr.)

Outlook: The Bulldogs look to run their state championship streak to eight this season.

Gourrier is the defending Class 4A state champion in the 1,600-meter run and finished second in the 800 and fourth in the 3,200.

Bonds was the state runner-up in the 100 dash and third in both the 100 and 300 hurdles, and Moore finished second in the triple jump, third in the long jump and fourth in both the 100 and 300 hurdles.

Ruggieri (fifth in 1,600 and 3,200), James-Kirkland (sixth in high jump) and Manning (sixth in pole vault) also are returning state meet placers.

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Head coach: Briana Budwit, third season

Returning letter winners: Seven

Top athletes: Loriel Williams (So.), Angelika Tabujara (Jr.), Cynthia Mejia (Sr.), Naja Muhammad (Sr.), Nya McGaughey (So.)

Outlook: Williams finished third in the 100-meter dash and fifth in the 200 in last year’s Class 3A state meet.

Tabujara and Muhammad ran on the Cowboys’ 400 and 800 relays that both placed second in the state meet.

They’re among seven returning letter winners for Chaparral.

“Our overall team goal is to improve our scoring at the regional championship,” Budwit said. “We anticipate a return to the state championship in the 100, 200, 400 relay, and 800 relay.

“We look forward to a great season with a large team and lots of potential talent.”

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Head coach: Tyrel Cooper, first season

Top athletes: Caitlin Shannon (Jr.), Reagan Raimer (Jr.), Madison Zarley (Jr.)

Outlook: Shannon, who is coming off another huge season in flag football, qualified for the Class 4A state meet in the 800-meter run last year.

Raimer was a state qualifier in the 300 hurdles, and Zarley was a Sunrise Region meet qualifier in the sprints.

“The team returns a lot of great athletes with regional experience and a handful with state experience,” Cooper said. “The team was young last year and will look for added success with a year of maturity.

“The athletes have been responding well to a new coaching staff and training system. Our goal is to build a balanced roster that is competitive in each event on the track and in the field.”

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Head coach: Darrel Brown, first season

Top athletes: Markay Merchant (So.), Charleyanse Howard (So.)

Outlook: Howard finished fourth in the high jump and sixth in the triple jump in last year’s Class 3A state meet. She will be one of the young leaders along with Merchant, who placed fifth in the state in the long jump.

“This season our goal as a team is to win a state title,” Brown said. “Our athletes are expected to be prepared to achieve this goal.”

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Head coach: Lizbeth Aguilar, first season

Returning letter winners: Ten

Top athletes: Nayeli Perea (Jr.), Jazmin Felix (So.), Marshay Bradford (Jr.), Betzabet Eliazarraras (So.)

Outlook: Felix finished second and Perea seventh in the Class 3A state cross country meet in the fall. Together with Eliazarraras, they give the Jaguars a formidable group of distance runners to go along with Bradford in the sprints.

“The Jaguar girls have a strong foundation,” Aguilar said. “They are looking to build on that and have a productive season.”

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Head coach: Doug Anderson, fifth season

Returning letter winners: Ten

Top athletes: Mandy Ta (Fr.), Jocelyn Jauregui (Jr.), Andrea Godinez (So.), Paige Landers (Fr.)

Outlook: The Trailblazers return 10 letter winners, but are a young team.

We have the best numbers that we have had in several years,” Anderson said. “We have a lot of young athletes that we trying in several different events to see where they fit in.

“We are looking for some regional placers this year.”

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Head coach: Devin Mecham, third season

Returning letter winners: Thirteen

Top athletes: Mohn’Ai’ Roberson (Sr.), LaDavis Pierson (So.), Devyn Swain (So.), Mauriceia Roberson (Jr.), Joneisha Thomas (Sr.)

Outlook: Mohn’Ai’ Roberson finished seventh in the high jump in last year’s Class 4A state meet and was in the top six in the Sunrise Region in both the long jump and triple jump.

Pierson finished sixth in the region in the 200-meter dash and joined Thomas on the 800 relay team that finished fourth in the region. Swain was seventh in the region meet in the high jump.

“Our girls team returns 10 regional participants,” Mecham said. “Among those are the top freshman sprinter in the region and the top freshman jumper in the region from last season. We also return a state qualifier to our program for the first time in six seasons.

“We are excited to see how our girls rally around our improvement from last year. With some strong, dedicated leaders, we think we can see significant improvement this year.”

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Head coach: Dan Kober, fifth season

Returning lettermen: Seventeen

Top athletes: Alexi Johnson (Jr.), Kendall Larson (Sr.), Xori Green (Sr.)

Outlook: Johnson (400-meter dash) and Larson (1,600) both finished fifth in last year’s Sunset Region meet.

Green was a region finalist in the 100.

They’re among 17 returning letter winners for the Crusaders.

“We bring back a good strong core of upperclassmen we will lean on early in the season, but also bring in a lot of talented newcomers we hope to see develop into contributors as the season progresses,” Kober said. “We hope to compete for a top-five finish at the region meets.”

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Head coach: Andrew Risheg, first season

Outlook: Risheg takes over a squad that is hungry for success and hopes to build and improve quickly.

“​We are a young team and are hoping to be able to compete,” Risheg said.

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Head coach: Vanessa Pike, third season

Top athletes: Deborah Grant (Jr.), Isabel Madrid (Sr.), Mia Smith (Jr.)

Outlook: Grant is the defending Sunrise Region champion in both the 100-meter and 200 dashes. She also finished second in the 400 at the region meet.

Madrid was second in the 100 hurdles in the region meet.

They’ll be among the leaders on a team that hopes to contend for the region title.

“We hope to have a great year, work hard and have fun every day,” Pike said. “We want each student athlete to excel in the classroom.

“May this sport give each athlete some motivation and confidence.”

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Head coach: Jeff Newton, first season

Returning letter winners: Zero

Outlook: The Eagles hope to continue to build their program.

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Head coach: Jimmy Brimmer, first season

Top athletes: Maritzia Robinson (Jr.), Khayla Brown (Jr.)

Outlook: Brimmer takes over a team that is deep in talent, but not so much in experience.

“We expect to return to regionals and state,” Brimmer said. “This is a development year with a lot of young talent.”

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Head coach: Geoff Walker, fourth season

Top athletes: Gabby Carson (Sr.), Athiya Iese (Sr.), Aaliyah Soa (Jr.), Brianna McDaniel (So.), Alyssa Carson (Fr.)

Outlook: Gabby Carson was the state runner-up and Sunrise Region champion in the pole vault. She also was a region finalist in the triple jump and long jump.

“Gabby Carson has multiple Division I scholarship offers as a pole vaulter and is a superior overall athlete, student, and competitor,” Walker said.

Iese was the state runner-up in both throws, and Soa, who sat out last season after transferring from Bishop Gorman, give the Patriots a one-two punch in the discus and shot put.

McDaniel was a member of the 800 relay team that advanced to the region final.

“The throws, with Iese and Soa, and the Carson sisters will be the backbone of this team,” Walker said. “We hope to be healthy at the right time and to compete for the Sunrise Region championship.”

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Head coach: Elbert Gray, first season

Returning lettermen: Two

Top athletes: Ellen Hirsberg (Sr.), Ashley Lee (Sr.)

Outlook: Hirsberg is one of the top runners in Class 2A, having easily won the 400-meter dash, the 800 and the 1,600 in last year’s state meet. She’ll have one last go at racking up a few more state titles.

Lee finished second in the 3,200 at the state meet and will aim for the top spot this year.

“We have a small team but should be very competitive in our individual events,” Gray said.

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Head coach: Brandon Jones, 10th season

Returning letter winners: Sixteen

Top athletes: Ashlyn Western (Jr.), Shelby Olson (Jr.), Natalie Mills (Sr.), Bailey Bunker (Sr.)

Outlook: After a seventh-place finish in last year’s Class 3A state meet, the Pirates are hoping for even more success this season.

Western, Olson and Bunker each ran a leg on the Southern Region champion 3,200-meter relay unit. Western also won the region title in the 800 and 1,600. Olson won the region title in the 3,200 and finished second to Western in the 1,600.

Mills finished second in the region in the 100 hurdles and joined Bunker on the runner-up team in the 1,600.

“We return all the girls who qualified for state,” Jones said. “We should be good in the distance and mid-distance races. In order to compete for region title, we need to improve in the field events.”

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Head coach: Shenoa Davis, seventh season

Top athletes: Jasmine Kaufman (So.), Destini Bolden (Sr.), Anahi Rosales (Sr.), Elena Salazar (Jr.)

Outlook: Rosales was a Class 3A state meet qualifier in the 1,600-meter run, the 3,200 and the pole vault.

Bolden qualified in both throws, and Kaufman (discus) and Salazar (800) also are returning with state meet experience.

“We are encouraged by our upperclass leadership on the girls’ side to increase participants,” Davis said.

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Head coach: Fred Schmidt, first season

Returning letter winners: Fifteen

Top athletes: Diamond Sonderholm (So.), Cynthia Martin (Sr.), Eliana Datillo (Jr.), Annabelle Brophy (Sr.), Samantha Mansuy (Jr.), Jessica Turner (Sr.), Deja Jackson (So.), Mary Quinteros (Sr.), DeAnndra Shaw (Jr.), Quiandra Randolph (Jr.), Jazmyne Turner (So.)

Outlook: Datillo was a Class 3A state meet qualifier in the high jump last year and is among 15 returning letter winners for the Trojans.

“Our girls team was young last season, and they have all returned this season,” said Schmidt. “They have brought with them focus and desire to perform at a higher level this season.

“We are expecting an increase in performance at the peak times this season. Most of all we are expecting to have fun competing with all the other hard-working teams in the valley this season.”

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Head coach: Nick Meis, first season

Returning letter winners: Ten

Top athletes: Jacqueline Fields (Sr.), Teyah Holliday (Sr.), Sam Meyer (Sr.), Caroline Piazza (Sr.)

Outlook: Fields is the defending Class 4A state champion in the high jump.

Holliday and Meyer each ran a leg on the Panthers’ 400-meter relay team that took sixth in the state meet, and Piazza was on the 3,200 relay team that took seventh at state.

They lead a list of 10 returning letter winners for Palo Verde.

“We will be looking at getting better each day with the goal of peaking at the end of the season,” Meis said.

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Head coach: Ryan Quinn, sixth season

Returning letter winners: Ten

Top athletes: Amina Banks (Sr.), Sarriah Brown (Jr.), Audrey Dayton (Jr.), Baileigh Sundin (Sr.), Emma Ziegler (Jr.), Audra Billingsley (Jr.)

Outlook: Billingsley, Brown and Ziegler each ran a leg on the Mountain Lions’ 3,200-meter relay team that finished third in the Class 4A state meet last year.

Dayton was eighth in the state in the long jump.

They’re among 10 returning letter winners for the Mountain Lions.

“We are looking to build upon our success last year, and send more competing athletes to the state track meet,” Quinn said.

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Head coach: Jerry Oliver, 14th season

Returning letter winners: Seventeen

Top athletes: Suzanne Guerrero (Sr.), Grace Cunningham (Fr.), Amira Mathews (Fr.)

Outlook: Guerrero finished third in the pole vault in last year’s Sunrise Region meet, but the Skyhawks lost some big contributors to graduation.

“We lost jumper Micayla Kelley, who is now competing for Long Beach State, and Mikaila Becze, who is throwing for UNLV,” Oliver said. “We have a group of young girls who are ready to step up and contribute this year.

“We look to be competitive at the region meet.”

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Head coach: Anthony Brown, second season

Returning letter winners: Four

Top athletes: Maranda McGuigan (So.), Alexandria Wimberley (Jr.)

Outlook: Still a year away from joining Class 3A as full members, the Lions will use this season to prepare for the jump.

McGuigan (distance) and Wimberley (sprints) will be among the leaders on the team.

“Somerset-Losee expects to continue to grow and improve as a team,” Brown said. “We want to set regional qualification marks to set us up for next year when we are a part of the Class 3A in the NIAA.”

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Head coach: Sergio Segura, third season

Top athletes: Isabella Davis (Jr.), Angelique Laizure (Sr.), Frida Reyes (Jr.)

Outlook: Davis broke the school record in both the 1,600-meter run and the 3,200 last year and was a Sunrise Region finalist in both events. Laizure also was a region finalist in the 3,200.

Together with Reyes, a region finalist in the 800, they’ll give the Vikings a potent distance lineup.

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Head coach: Gary Hartman, fifth season

Returning letter winners: Ten

Top athletes: Macee Bundy (Jr.), Emily Teerlink (Sr.), Emma Wilson (Jr.), Nakita Eskelsen (So.), Viviana Vega (So.), Alyssa Ponce (So.)

Outlook: Eskelsen finished fourth in the long jump, Bundy sixth in the 400-meter dash, Vega sixth in the 3,200, and Wilson seventh in the pole vault in last year’s Class 3A state meet.

They’re among 10 returning letter winners for the Bulldogs.

“The team has quality but limited numbers,” Hartman said.

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Head coach: Wesley Stephens, first season

Returning letter winners: Two

Top athletes: Ayleen Coronado (Sr.), Ana San Juan Agustin (Jr.)

Outlook: Coronado, was a state qualifier in cross country in the fall. She and San Juan Agustin were members of the 3,200-meter relay team that qualified for the Class 3A state meet last year.

“The Warriors will rely heavily on senior Ayleen Coronado and junior Ana San Juan to make an impact in the mid-distance and distance events,” Stephens said. “Look for some fresh faces to compete for the Warriors in the sprints as the girls will try to become competitive by the end of the season.”

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