East Valley preps: Boys track & field preview - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

East Valley preps: Boys track & field preview

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Posted: Wednesday, March 1, 2006 1:31 am | Updated: 4:55 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The 2006 prep track and field season opens with some interesting questions. The Wolves broke Mountain View's two-year hold on the 5A championship and appear talented enough to make it two straight of their own.

With outstanding sprinters, hurdlers and relay teams, the Wolves will be difficult to beat this season in 5A Division I, but Desert Vista and Mountain View will take their chances.

In 2A, Valley Christian looks to continue its dynasty and run its state title streak to six straight.

The rest of the conferences are toss-ups, as many teams find themselves competing against unfamiliar foes due to the division splits in 4A and 5A.

In 5A, the division split shook up the state qualifying process. Instead of taking the top four from each region, now just the region champion is guaranteed a spot at state. Everyone else must either meet the pre-qualifying standards during the regular season or wait and see if their region time is good enough to get them in the state field.

TEAMS TO WATCH

1. Chandler: Defending champs have plenty of points returning in Ashtyn Lamb and Mikhail Barton and coach Steve Carson's program continues to grow.

2. Mountain View: Once again, the Toros enter the season with a bunch of unknowns, but will likely contend for a state title. Strength of team is a deep distance corps.

3. Desert Vista: The Thunder return distance standouts Garrett Kelly and Matt Swift-Kraemer and also have some emerging sprint and field event stars.

4. Valley Christian: The Trojans are going after their 6th straight championship and have plenty returning to do it. Distance runner Corey Botma and a strong group of throwers will lead the way.

5. Westwood: Coach Harold Smith has plenty of depth to go along with standout sprinter/hurdler Cylend Simmons and the Warriors will be nipping on the heels of Mountain View in the East Valley Region.

TOP 5 PERFORMERS

Cylend Simmons, Westwood: Defending state champion in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles will set his sights on winning multiple titles.

Shea Kearney, Desert Vista: Surprise, surprise, another great pole vaulter comes along for the Thunder. Junior has already cleared 16feet, inch during indoor season.

Phil Feinberg, Corona del Sol: While playing basketball will keep him busy for the next week or so, the junior will jump right back into being the best high jumper in the state. Next goal is the 7-foot barrier.

James Bogner, Paradise Valley: As a junior, the Columbia University-bound Bogner was sick during the final weeks of the season and enters his senior year with his sights set on erasing that disappointment. He is the favorite in 5A Division II in the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs and may well end up the best in all the classes in those events.

Mikhail Barton, Chandler: Choosing just one from an outstanding group of Wolves is difficult, but Barton will be right there among the front runners in the 100 and 200 meters.

OTHER ATHLETES TO WATCH

5A

Wil Ramsey, Basha, Sr., sprints

Shane McBurney, Basha, Sr., hurdles/jumps

Jeremy Lashinske, Brophy, Jr., pole vault

Ray Polk, Brophy, So., sprints/hurdles

Anthony Hooks, Brophy, So., sprints

Ashtyn Lamb, Chandler, Jr., sprints/hurdles

Kyle Ellsworth, Chandler, Jr., pole vault

Jim Burnett, Chandler, Sr., sprints

Brenden McMaster, Corona del Sol, Sr., distance

Matt Moseley, Corona del Sol, Jr., sprints

Alex Lowen, Desert Mountain, Sr., sprints

Matt Swift-Kramer, Desert Vista, Jr., distance

Garrett Kelly, Desert Vista, Sr., distance

John Kline, Desert Vista, So., distance

Josh Embree, Dobson, Sr., throws

Mike Rodriguez, Dobson, Sr., distance

Marcus Richmond, Dobson, Sr., sprints

Matt Petrucci, Marcos de Niza, Sr., distance

Joseph Santillian, Marcos de Niza, Jr., distance

Marcus Clanton, Mountain Pointe, Sr., hurdles

Justin Hackitt, Mountain View, Sr., distance

Brock Hogan, Mountain View, Jr., sprints/jumps

Dontay Moch, Hamilton, Sr., sprints

Tyler Arnold, Highland, Jr. sprints

Andrew Price, Horizon, Jr., distance

Jim Walmsley, Horizon, So., distance

Joe Riccio, Horizon, So., throws

Josh Jarvis, Mesa, Sr., sprints

Marcos Gonzalez, Mesa, Jr., hurdles

Brian Rudd, Mesquite, Sr., jumps

Mike Williams, Paradise Valley, Jr., sprinter

Cory Grant, Red Mountain, Sr., sprints

Jay Petsch, Red Mountain, Sr., hurdles

Mark Brown, Westwood, Sr., throws

Anthony Turner, Westwood, Sr., sprints

4A-3A-2A

Reed Blochberger, Arcadia, Sr., distance

Matt Hull, Arcadia, Sr., pole vault

Tyler Porras, Saguaro, Sr., jumps/hurdles/sprints

Omar Khalil, Saguaro, Sr., throws

Talon Allen, Queen Creek, Sr., sprints/jumps

Jon Arnett, Queen Creek, Sr., hurdles/jumps

Ryan Lee, Higley, Jr., distance

Nick Tooker, Chaparral, Sr., sprints

Xavier Lucas, McClintock, Sr., sprints

Austin Bailey, Cactus Shadows, Sr., sprints

Patrick Cronin, Cactus Shadows, Sr., distance

Eric Gorraiz, Cactus Shadows, Jr., throws

T.J. White, Coolidge, Jr., sprints

Jesse Wheeler, Coolidge, Jr., sprints

Jaime Cassillas, Coolidge, Sr., sprints

Jeff Sandell, Seton, Sr., distance

Corey Botma, Valley Christian, Jr., distance

Nick Hernandez, Valley Christian, Sr., throws

Shawn Vance, Valley Christian, Sr., pole vault

Calvin Drenth, Scottsdale Christian, Sr., distance

Josh Fredericks, Scottsdale Christian, Sr., distance

John Cox, Horizon Honors, Sr., hurdles

WHAT'S NEW

Honoring Barry: Chandler High will host a Meet of Champions on May 20 in honor of the late Arizona Interscholastic Association historian Barry Sollenberger. The meet, held May 20 (a week after the state meets wrap up), will try to draw the top teams and individuals from all classes.

Wynn-Zucco growing: The name got longer over the years and so did the meet, but this year's Wynn-Zucco Tempe Relays will be a doozy. All three days (April 13-15) of the meet will be held at Arizona State University in conjunction with the Sun Angel Classic, and the meet is open to the first 45 teams to enter.

New places: Longtime Mountain Pointe boys track coach Karl Kiefer stepped down and in stepped Kris Alexander, and John Prather went from Desert Mountain to coaching boys and girls track at Saguaro. Another new face is in control at Westwood, where Harold Smith coaches the boys team. Also, Fred Clare went from Gilbert High School to Queen Creek. Also at Queen Creek, Ellie Hardt, mother of cross country star Kari, takes over the girls program that is coming off back-to-back 3A championships.

New standards: Coaches in 4A Division I and II were no doubt surprised to see the automatic qualifying standards for the state meets. In the majority of the events, the qualifying standards in 4A were much higher than those in 5A. Some 4A coaches are currently trying to get the AIA to reconfigure those standards, but nothing has changed as of the start of the season.

Last hurrah: Paradise Valley boys coach Bob Cayton is beginning his 13th and final season.

KEY DATES

Friday: The season kicks off with a pair of quality meets, the Desert Classic, which starts at 9 a.m. at Queen Creek, and the Paradise Valley Relays, which begin at 3 p.m. at Paradise Valley High School.

Saturday: Aztec Invite at Corona del Sol

March 24-25: Chandler Rotary Invitational at Chandler High School

April 1: Freshmen Showcase at Cactus Shadows; Valley Classic at Alhambra High School

April 7: Scottsdale Running Co. Distance Classic at Saguaro High School; Kiwanis Invitational at Casa Grande High School

April 8-9: Arcadia Invitational, Arcadia, Calif.

April 13: Opening day of three-day Wynn-Zucco Tempe Relays/Sun Angel Classic at Arizona State University; Gilbert Invitational at Gilbert High School.

April 21: fLost Dutchman Invitational at Apache Junction High School; Tribune Invite at Westwood High School

April 26: Scottsdale City Meet at Desert Mountain High School

May 3-5: Region Meets

May 10-13: State meets: 5A-I and 5A-II at Arizona State; 4A-I, 4A-II and 2A at Mesa Community College; 3A and 1A at Mesa High School.

— Compiled by Steve Burks

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