Howard, Sanchez, 3200 relay are first at Morenci track meet

Photo By Raymundo Frasquillo: Thatcher junior Luis Lopez-Aguilar, second from right, ran a personal record 11.23a to place first in the 100 as 14 of the 19 finishers set personal records. From left, Pima senior Aaron Judd, placed fourth (personal record 11.54a), Safford sophomore Sam Tobias was fifth (personal record 11.56a), Thatcher junior Riley Morris was third (personal record 11.47a), and Bisbee senior Alexander Gribble, right, placed second (personal record 11.36a). Safford won the overall meet.

Safford takes first while Morenci places fourth 

By Raymundo Frasquillo

MORENCI – Safford ran away with the overall title at the 8-team Morenci Track and Field Invitational on April 12.

Morenci placed fourth with 74 points, getting personal bests from 13 of 30 individual entrants and three season bests, but not all placed in the top eight to contribute team points.

Photo By Raymundo Frasquillo: Senior Isiah Sanchez was one of 13 Morenci entrants who set personal best distances or times in the home meet. Two Wildcats also had season-best efforts during the Morenci Invitational on April 12. Sanchez recorded a 2-foot, 1.5-inch improvement from a month earlier with a 47-foot, 6-inch mark in the shot put to place first.

Seniors Skylar Howard scored in the 800 (season-best 2:12.65) and Isiah Sanchez did his damage in the shot put (personal record 47-06). Sanchez surpassed his earlier mark (44-8.5) by nearly four inches while Howard’s personal best is 2:11.93 in 2017.

Sanchez also ended second in the discus (136-02) and Howard third in the 400 (54.36a),

The 3200 relay team of juniors Alex Garcia and Ruben Valle-Ramirez, sophomore Jordan Mares, and junior Shawn Kartchner turned in the event’s fastest time (9:09.37a) for first place.

Placing fifth were Mares in the 3200 (11:58.84a) and junior Jonathan Merino in the high jump (5-06); sixth were Valle-Ramirez in the 400 (56.75a), sophomore Cameron Bailey-Garcia in the 1600 (5:13.96a), and freshman Cade McBride in the pole vault (personal record 9-00); seventh were sophomore Angel Arrellin in the 200 (personal record 24.58a), Bailey-Garcia in the 800 (personal record 2:20. 60a), mares in the 1600 (personal record 5:14.59a), and Markus Sanchez in the javelin (85-02); and eighth were Arellin in the 100 (personal record 11.99a), Kartchner in the 800 (personal record 2:20.87a), sophomore Dante DeAnda in the 1600 (5:24.29a), junior Tengis Uranzorig in the 3200 (personal record 12:23.95a), and sophomore Victor Laborin in the discus (personal record 99-01).

Photo By Raymundo Frasquillo: The third heat of the boys 400 had the top three finishers running neck and neck during the first straightaway, but Safford sophomore Sam Tobias, middle, took home the gold medal with a 53.30a clocking, San Carlos senior Aloysius Case Jr., left, was second with a personal record 53.77a, and Morenci senior Skylar Howard, right, finished third in 54.36a. Howard turned in a season-best 2:12.65a for first in the 800.

Not placing were Garcia in the 400 (9th, 59.71a) and 3200 (11th, personal record 12:28.43a), DeAnda in the 800 (9th, personal record 2:22.89a) and 3200 (9th, 12:25.47a), Markus Sanchez in the discus (9th, 95-06) and shot put (11th, season best 32-02), sophomore A.J. Hudman in the 300 hurdles (10th, 50.33a), Kartchner in the 1600 (11th, personal best 5:33.87a), sophomore Zach Esparza in the shot put (12th, 31-10) and discus (15th, season best 76-09), freshman Thaddeus Gray in the 300 hurdles (13th, personal record 53.78a), and Laborin in the shot put (13th, 30-07).

Meet results

Safford placed first in eight events and totaled 181 points to finish first overall, 66 points ahead of runner-up Thatcher (115) following the conclusion of the Morenci Track and Field Invitational.

Pima placed third with 91 points, Benson fifth (67), Bisbee and San Carlos tied for sixth with 57 points apiece, and Willcox eighth (31).

Photo By Raymundo Frasquillo: Safford sophomore Jacob Urea, second from right, topped a field of 18 in the boys 1600 with a time of 4.56.80a. The Bulldogs finished first with 181 points or 66 more than runner-up Thatcher.

Excluding the 11 relay teams completing the course, 78 of 217 individual entrants notched personal records, but not all finished in the top eight to score team points. The fastest two events, the 100 had 14 of 19 turn in personal records and one a season-best while the 200 had 19 of 21 with personal records and one with a season-best. They were all wind-aided times.

Safford got first place efforts from freshman C.J. Scrivner in the 200 (personal record 22.31a) and 300 hurdles (41.54a), sophomore Sam Tobias in the 400 (53.30a), sophomore Jacob Urea in the 1600 (4:56.80a) and 3200 (11:00.77a), senior Ralph Frias in the discus (personal record 142-03), senior Stratton Baldwin in the high jump (6-00), and sophomore Jacob Fox in the triple jump (40-06).

For Thatcher, junior Luis Lopez-Aguilar finished first in the 100 (personal best 11.23a) and 110 hurdles (14.81a), and the 1600 relay team (3:50.50a) of Aguilar, plus juniors Rulon White, Hunter Stailey, and Riley Morris.

Pima senior Bradyn Brown placed first in the long jump (20-02) as did the 400 relay team (46.10a) of Brown, freshman Uriel Murrieta, and seniors Trey Thompson and Aaron Judd.

Benson sophomore Thade Hough in the pole vault (11-06) and Willcox junior Tanner DeBaun in the javelin (124-11) were the other event winners.