Safford boys take honors at Morenci track meet

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: From left, Safford junior Sam Tobias crossed the finish line first in the 100 (11.24a); junior teammate Garrett Gonzales was third (11.75a), Morenci junior Angel Arrellin fifth (11.81a), and Pima freshman Dallin Kartchner 10th (12.09a). Tobias was also first in the other two sprints, the 200 (22.99a) and 400 (51.76).

Wildcats place fourth

By Raymundo Frasquillo

MORENCI – Safford totaled 226 points to finish first overall, 90 points ahead of runner-up Thatcher (136) following the conclusion of the Morenci Track and Field Invitational on April 3. The Bulldogs had 24 other placers, including six seconds, five thirds, two fourths, three fifths, four sixths, two sevenths, and two eighths.

Benson finished third with 87 points, Morenci fourth (84), Pima fifth (68), San Carlos sixth (49), and Willcox seventh (12).

Safford was first in 10 events, Benson in three, Morenci and Thatcher in two apiece, and Willcox in one.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Freshman Chris Wile got off to a fast start in the 300 hurdles, but placed eighth (47.40a). Safford senior Dominic Gutierrez won the race (41.74a), San Carlos senior Raymond Sneezy was second (43.77a), and Benson senior Steven Coleman third (43.99a). Gutierrez also won the 110 hurdles (15.55a), Wile was second (15.94a), and Coleman third (15.96a).

The Bulldogs got first place efforts from junior Sam Tobias in the 100 (11.24a), 200 (22.99a) and 400 (51.76a); junior Jacob Urea in the 800 (2:09.78), 1600 (4:49.22a) and 3200 (10:25.64a); senior Dominic Gutierrez in the 110 hurdles (15.55a), 300 hurdles (41.74a), and high jump (5-10); and senior Emit Post in the pole vault (12-00).

Other event winners were Benson seniors Adrian Teso (SP, 46-06; D, 133-03) and Kassiah Ross (LJ, 20-00); Morenci’s 1600 relay (3:52.44a) and 3200 relay (8:51.38a); Thatcher senior Brock Jones (TJ, 38.02a) and the 400 relay (45.71a) of seniors Jonah Kamae and Riley Morris plus sophomore Tevin Keith and junior Bretton Dodge; and Willcox junior Heber Miller (javelin, 127-07).

Morenci boys

Morenci’s winning 1600 relay team included seniors Ruben Valle-Ramirez and Jonathon Merino, freshman Christian Mutengela, and senior Matthew Silvester while the 3200 relay team had Silvester, Ramirez, plus juniors Dante DeAnda and Jordan Mares.

Event runners-up were Mares (1600, 4:58.49; 3200, 10:54.89), freshman Chris Wile (110 H, 15.94), and Mutengela (LJ, 19-11); in third were the 400 relay team (47.40) of senior Mario Esquivel, Arrellin, Silvester, and Mutengela; and fourth were Silvester (800, 2:13.23a) and senior Beau Wagner (SP, 41-05.00).

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo, Gila Herald: Morenci senior Beau Wagner begins a delivery in the shot put, placing fourth with a personal best 41-05 toss.

Finishing fifth were Arrellin (100, 11.81a) and Mares (800, 2:15.61a); DeAnda was sixth (3200, 11:48.11a) and seventh (800, 2:17.42a); and eighth were Mutengela (200, 24.70a), Wile (300 H, 47.40a), and junior Zach Esparza (SP, 38-00).

Mares had a team-high 22.5 points, followed by Mutengela with 13, Silvester (11.5), Wile (9), DeAnda (7.5), Arrellin (5.5), Valle-Ramirez and Wagner with five apiece, Esquivel (1.5), and Esparza (1).

Not placing were 18 other entrants. Junior Matthew Webb was ninth (3200, 12:28.61a), 12th (800, 2:36.44a), and 13th (5:37.65a); junior Victor Laborin ninth (D, 106-06) and 16th (SP, 32-04.50; javelin, 65-11), Merino 10th (299, 24.76a), DeAnda 10th (1600, 5:22.16a), Arrellin 11th (200, 24.82a), Wagner 11th (javelin, 89-11) and 16th (D, 91-02), Esquivel 12th (100, 12.55a; 200, 25.32a), senior Christian Jones 15th (94-01), sophomore Billy Damian 15th (3200, 14:03.11a) and 18th (1600, 6:26.47a), freshman Jericho Sanchez 17th (SP, 31-10.50), and sophomore Joseph Hernandez 21st (100, 13.84a).

The Wildcats competed in Benson for the Jerry Lee Invitational on April 6 and will compete in their last meet in Graham County at the Safford Rotary meet Thursday, April 12.