Thatcher girls run away with honors at Morenci track meet

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Pima sophomore Nevaeh Grant, right, sprints to the finish line, placing first (12.98) ahead of Thatcher sophomore Mazie Hunt (13.34h) and freshman Shanda Peterson (13.40h) in the 100-meter dash.

Place first in six events on way to capturing team glory

By Raymundo Frasquillo

MORENCI – Thatcher ran away from six other teams at the Morenci Track and Field Invitational in Lawson Stadium on April 3. The Eagles scored 241 points, more than two times as many as the runner-up Safford Bulldogs (103).

Pima finished third with 100 points, Benson fourth (72), Morenci fifth (62), San Carlos sixth (45), and Willcox seventh (28).

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Thatcher senior Becca Nicholas, right, clears the final hurdle to begin her sprint to the finish line. Nicholas finished first (16.04a), Morenci junior Desiree Babb, middle, was second (16.37a), and Thatcher senior Jaydin Brown, left, was third (16.59a). Nicholas was second (15.34), Babb fourth (16.88), and Brown seventh (17.42) in the state Division IV rankings prior to the meet.

Thatcher had six event winners, Morenci and Pima three apiece and Safford, Benson, and San Carlos two each won.

The Eagles had 34 additional placers, seven seconds, eight thirds, eight fourths, six fifths, three sixths, a seventh, and two eighths.

Thatcher senior Becca Nicholas (400, 1:02.98a; 100 H, 16.04a), senior Kloee Mattice (HJ, 4-08; TJ, 35-03), junior Akala Hatch (LJ, 16-04.5), and the 1600 relay (4:32.07a) came in first. The 1600 relay had junior Hailey Udall, freshman Madi Hughes, junior Elliana Windsor, and Hatch.

Pima sophomore Nevaeh Grant (100, 12.98a), freshman Aubrie Sherwood (200, 28.07a), and the 400 relay team (52.22a) of freshmen Ashlie Sherwood, Aubrey Sherwood, Saydee Allred, and Maya Mattice were first.

Morenci sophomore Kayla O’Connell was first in the 1600 (6:09.91a) and 3200 (13:22.66a) while junior Desiree Babb won the 300 hurdles (49.60a).

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Morenci coach Rigo Padilla checks individual equipment prior to the start of the meet.

Safford junior Rachel Fox placed first in the shot put (31-04) and senior Jessica Bright-Shade in the javelin (101-07); Benson senior Sabrina Stergion in the discus (85-05) and junior Amanda Nelson in the pole vault (8-06); and San Carlos sophomore Shanaya Victor in the 800 (2:47.94a) and in the 3200 relay (11:33.87). The relay team members were sophomore Marissa Barrassa, sophomore Kayoni Casey, junior Aaliyah Haozous, and Victor,

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Safford junior Rachel Fox released the shot put for a meet-best 31-04.

Morenci Girls

Eight of 24 other Morenci entrants ended in the top eight places. Babb placed second in the 100 hurdles (16.37a) as did the 1600 relay team (4:44.88) of freshman Zenayah Cortez, junior Kaleena Carlin, sophomore Jadah Cortez, and Babb.

In fifth was Babb in the javelin (79-09); sixth were Zenayah Cortez (300 H, 56.30a) and senior Emily Lundeen (6-00); in seventh were junior Yrliana Molina (1600, 7:17.42a) and senior Camry McBride (16:34.21a); and eight were Molina (3200, 16.59.44a) and Jadah Cortez (300 H, 57.52).

Babb contributed 24 points, O’Connell 20, Zenayah Cortez six, Lundeen and Molina three apiece, and Carlin, Jada Cortez and McBride two each.

Not placing in the top eight to score team points were Zenayah Cortez (9th, 100, 14.12a), Molina (9th, 800, 3:14.45a), McBride (9th, 1600, 7:22.25a; 11th, 800, 3:19.44a), Carlin (12th, 200, 32.45a; 12th, LJ, 12-03; 13th, javelin, 53-03), senior Brea Smith (12th, 800, 3:21.10a; 13th, 200, 34.51a; 15th, 400, 1:19.81a), and freshman Mikayla Albers (12th, SP, 22-95.50; 14th, D, 50-05).

The Wildcats head to Benson for the Jerry Lee Invitational April 6 and to Graham County for the Safford Rotary meet Thursday, April 12.