It took six school years, but Williams Field now has a championship trophy to call its own.
The trophy arrived Saturday night after the Black Hawks' boys scored 82 points and took first at the Division III track and field state championship at Mesa Community College.
“I think, for these guys, it's pretty special,” said Williams Field coach Steve Campbell, who called it, “awesome for our school,” not only because it's the first in school history, but it came a year after Williams Field had knocked on the proverbial door and taken third overall in state.
This year's team featured a number of athletes who competed in 2012, including hurdler Quincy Stokes, who also finished a disappointing third in the 110-meter hurdles last year but went on to win the event this year.
“I wanted to go out big in my senior year,” he said.
Also contributing to Williams Field's victory were the performances of the school's gold-medal winning 4x100 meter relay team, which shaved a half-second between the preliminary and final runs to best Payson. The individual performances of sprinters Terrance Payne and Kenneth Owens, with Payne earning second in the 100- and 200-meter dashes.
Taking first in those two events was Higley senior runner Tristan DaCosta, who earned a first-place finish in the 400-meter run and ended the night by running a leg of Higley's first-place 4x400-meter relay team. DaCosta's first-place finishes accounted for almost half of the 65 points the Knights scored on Saturday during their second-place finish.
DaCosta's goal heading into the championship meet was to nail the trifecta and win the 100-, 200-, and 400-meter races and join what he described as an “elite group” of high school runners. Despite barging his way into the collective and becoming the first Higley athlete to do so, DaCosta still scolded himself for falling short on his attempt to set the school record in the 200.
“I've got to keep working; I've got to get faster,” he said.
On the girls side, Higley garnered 52 points and took third overall behind Sedona Red Rock and Div. III-champion Cottonwood Mingus.
Leading the way for Higley were sophomore Sydnie Martindale and senior Courtney Jackson, who took second and third, respectively, in the triple jump, as well as junior Darreyl Woodson's second-place finish in the long jump.
Saguaro, which finished fifth as a team, was buoyed by senior Katie Fleming's victory in the 300-meter hurdles.