Safford boys net nine firsts in taking own track and field meet

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Safford senior Jacob Urrea leads the 1600 pack around the first turn before it thinned out. He ran a season-best 4:38.12a for first, senior Jordan Mares a season-best 4:45.46a for second, and Thatcher sophomore Joby Rojas a personal-best 4:57.40a for third. Urrea also finished first in the 800 (2:03.67a PR) and in the 3200 (10:00.78a SR). Safford emerged as the meet team champion March 13.

Editor’s Note: This event took place Friday, March 13, just prior to the suspension of sports due to the COVID-19 epidemic.

By Raymundo Frasquillo

SAFFORD – As a society, we are repeatedly advised to do our best regardless of the situation. A rain delay did not prevent participants in the local outdoor athletic event from posting personal best or season-best efforts. The hosts totaled 34 personal bests, tied a previous one, and had five season bests. The rest of the visiting teams also notched unanticipated marks.

Host Safford tallied 209.5 points to place first in its own 9-team track and field invitational March 13. The Bulldogs had 67 points more than runner-up Show Low (142.5), with 32 placements plus six ties including nine in first, three in second, four in third, four in fourth plus two ties, two in fifth plus a tie, seven in sixth plus two ties, two in seventh plus a tie, and one in eighth.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: State and national hall of fame Safford Coach Herman B.B. Andrews checks official results with an assistant.

Junior CJ Scrivner had a trio of firsts in the 100 (10.40a), 110 hurdles (15.95a), and 300 hurdles (41.51a SR); senior Jacob Urrea took the 800 (2:o3.67a PR), 1600 (4:38.12a SR), and 3200 (10:00.78a SR); senior Gunner Higgins set a personal best leap in the high jump; and both the 400 relay (45.00a) and 1600 relay (3:42.02a) teams also placed first. The 400 relay members included junior Jared Garcia plus seniors Lyn-Jun Crimmins, senior Jarel Montierth, and Sam Tobias. The 1600 relay members were Tobias, Crimmins, Urrea, and Scrivner.

Thatcher senior Bretton Dodge posted a personal best in the javelin (150-0), senior Kyle O’Donnal had a season-best in the triple jump (40-3), and the 3200 relay (9:03.29a) team was first. Relay team members were sophomore Dean Haller, sophomore Derek Beringer-Smith, junior Wesley Pena, and sophomore Joby Rojas.

Show Low had three firsts in efforts by senior Zachary Maxwell in the shot put (47-04) and discus (136-7), and junior Ty Applegate in the pole vault (11-6).

Bisbee sophomore Geoffrey Gribble turned in a personal best in the 400 (52.30a) and a season-best in the 200 (23.26a).

Third place Thatcher had 135.5 points, Bisbee (70.5), Morenci (43.5), San Simon (23), Pima (16.5), Tombstone (16), and Elfrida Valley Union (5).

Morenci Boys

Sophomore Christian Mutengela Mpoyo earned 11 points, senior Jordan Mares nine, sophomore Nicholas Patterson and freshman Gavin Baca six apiece, senior Angel Arrellin 3.5, freshman Dylan Aker two, and both seniors Ramsey Schenk and Nathan Webb one each.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Safford sprinter CJ Scrivner pulls away in the 100 to place first. The junior student-athlete was also first in both hurdle races and anchored the winning 1600 relay.

Mpoyo turned in a 20-foot, 6-inch mark in the long jump. It was good enough for first place, but short of his personal best effort of the prior week by six inches.

Mares had a season-best clocking in the 1600 (4:45.46a) and the 3200 relay team (9:14.81a) were second, and the 400 relay team tied for second (45.77a). The 3200 relay had Patterson, Baca, Webb, and Mares while the 400 relay had Baca, Arrellin, Mpoyo, and Schenk.

Patterson placed fourth in the 200 (24.66a PR), Aker seventh in the 300 hurdles (48.74a PR), and Arellin tied for sixth in the 100 (11.50h PR) and was eighth in the 200 (25.34a SR).

Non-scorers included senior Victor Laborin in the discus (99-7 SR) for 9th and shot put (37-0.5 PR) for 11th; Webb in the 1600 (5:30.06a) for 9th plus 800 (2:33.31a) and 3200 (12:41.12a) for 10th; senior Zachary Esparza in the shot put (37-2) for 10th; senior Steven Roybal in the 400 (58.28a PR) for 10th and shot put (31-1 PR) for 18th; junior Damian Billy in the 3200 (14:04.72a SR) for 11th and 800 (2:42.05a) for 15th, and 1600 (6:04.32a) for 16th.

Other non-scoring efforts included those by freshman Brady Hooper in the 3200 (14:44.21a PR) for 12th, 800 (2:51.04a) for 16th, and 1600 (6:16.53a) for 18th; sophomore Jerico Sanchez in the shot put (36-0 PR) for 13th; Aker in the 100 (12.40h PR) for 13th; senior Maximus Lagunas in the discus (83-2 PR) for 14th; freshman Jarel Diaz in the 400 (1:03.32a) for 15th and 200 (25.65a PR) for 17th; and sophomore Marcus Grijalva in the 100 (13.00h PR) for 16th.

Buckeye Invitational

Only three Wildcats scored team points. Mpoyo and Schenk set personal bests in the long jump (21-0) and 200 (22.82aw), respectively, while Esparza was short of his personal best in the shot put (37-3) by 18 inches. Mpoyo was first of 46, Schenk third of 59, and Esparza seventh of 56.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Thatcher 3200 relay runners bundle up to stay warm and dry before the event started.

Mares finished 10th of 49 in the 800 (2:10.90a); Schenk 10th of 67 in the 100 (11.78a); Sanchez 12th in the shot put (35-6.5); Aker 12th of 17 in the 300 hurdles (50.25a), 29th in the long jump (16-2), and 59th of 67 in the 100 (13.13a); Laborin 16th of 58 in the discus (94-3) and 23 rd of 56 in the shot put (33-8); Webb 25th of 39 in the 3200 (12:34.74a), 35th of 61 in the 1600 (5:27.41a), and 36th of 49 in the 800 (2:31.64a); and Lagunas 28th in the shot put (81-2).

Arrellin came in 32nd of 54 in the 400 (1:00.18a) and in the 200 (25.58a); Roybal 34th in the 400 (58.75) and 41st in the shot put (30-4.5); Billy 36th in the 3200 (14:32.35a), 41st in the 800 (2:41.36a), and 51st in the 1600 (5:57.62a); senior Phillip Provencio 37th in the 3200 (14:38.56a) and 54th in the 1600 (6:05.32a); Hooper 39th in the 3200 (16:51.62a), 46th in the 800 (2:50.88a), and 57th in the 1600 (6:13.77a); Diaz 44th in the 400 (1:02.11a) and 54th in the 200 (27.86a); and Grijalva 55th in the 200 (28.14a) and 64th in the 100 (14.12a).

The 3200 relay team was 11th (9:26.29a), the 400 relay team 12th (46.15a), and the 1600 relay team 13th (3:48.50a). The 3200 relay had Patterson, Webb, Baca, and Mares; the 400 relay Baca, Arrellin, Schenk and Mpoyo; and the 1600 relay Baca, Schenk, Mpoyo, and Mares.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Safford Bulldog Invitational participants seek shelter during a rain delay at the start of the meet.

Buckeye Youngker finished first with 94 points, Buckeye second (80.5), Lake Havasu third (68), Surprise Willow Canyon fourth (58), Avondale Agua Fria fifth (56), Buckeye Verrado sixth (51), El Mirage Dysart (45.5) seventh, Surprise Valley Vista eighth (45), Goodyear Estrella Foothills ninth (41), and Glendale Raymond S. Kellis 10th (35).

Tonopah Valley ended 11th with 28 points, Surprise Paradise Honors 13th (20), Coolidge and Phoenix Washington tied for 14th with 18 points apiece, Glendale Trivium Prep 16th (12), Wickenburg 17th (3), and Waddell Canyon View 18th (1).

Event winners were Youngker senior Jordan Creer in the 100 (10.96a SR), Raymond S. Kellis senior Corde Long in the 200 (21.92a PR), Nicholas Vargas in the 400 (50.59a), Youngker junior Keeton Sanchez in the 800 (2:02.63a), Canyon View sophomore Chaz Miller in the 1600 (4:46.58) and 3200 (10:48.76a SR), Youngker senior Cody Rennaker in the 110 hurdles (15.79a PR), Verrado senior Nicholas Perez in the 300 hurdles (41.92a), and Tonopah Valley senior Daniel Lopez in the shot put (42-7) and discus (119-10).

Buckeye finished first in both the 400 relay (44.17a) and 1600 relay (3:37.15a), and Agua Fria won the 3200 relay (8:31.40a). The 400 relay had junior Antonio Johnson, senior Justin Rallason, senior Gabriel Munoz, and junior Timothy Croskey; the 1600 relay had Johnson, Munoz, Croskey, and Justin Redmon; and the 3200 relay had sophomores Cesar Garcia, Allan Can, Oscar Gonzales, and Demitri Davis.

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