Track Wildcats bound for Buckeye meet Saturday; Mares, Mpoyo, O’Connell set personal bests at Thunder Invite

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Desert Vista senior Jacob Bagby, junior Luke Stulus, and senior Parker Navarro finished one (15.54a), four (15.66a), and seven (16.59a), respectively, in the 110 hurdles during their own meet Feb. 29.

By Raymundo Frasquillo

BUCKEYE – Morenci will be competing in its second 2020 track and field meet, the 64th Buckeye Lions Club Lanier Calvert Memorial Invitational on Saturday, March 7.

Nine Wildcats competed in the 21-team Phoenix Desert Vista Thunder Invite, with team scores not being kept, on Feb. 29.

Participating teams included Buckeye Verrado, Chandler Hamilton, Chandler Lincoln Prep, Chandler Seton Catholic, Cottonwood Mingus Union, Desert Vista, Gilbert Perry, Gilbert Williams Field, Laveen Cesar Chavez, Mesa Desert Ridge, Phoenix Saint Mary’s Catholic, Prescott, Queen Creek, Queen Creek American Leadership, Queen Creek Casteel, Scottsdale Arcadia, Sierra Vista Buena, Tempe, Tempe Marcos de Niza, and Yuma Gila Ridge.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Christian Mpoyo lines up for the long jump. The Morenci sophomore reset his best effort with a 21-foot mark.

Morenci senior Jordan Mares surpassed his 2019 personal best in the 3200 (10:32.36a) with a 10:28.77a clocking to finish 11th of 46. He also ended 21st of 69 in the 1600 with 4:56.43. His 2019 best was 4:48.23.

Sophomore Christian Mpoyo also set a personal best in the long jump with a 21-foot taping for fourth of 56, two inches further than last season. His 200 time (25.00a) was for 52nd of 81.

The 3200 relay (9:05.00a) would have earned team points in eighth of 13, with freshman Gavin Baca, sophomore Nicholas Patterson, senior Nathan Webb, and Mares. The 1600 relay (3:48.50) finished ninth of 10. It had Baca, senior Ramsey Schenk, sophomore Christopher Wile, and Mpoyo.

Wile clocked in at 17.25a (110 HH) for 13th of 31; Schenk at 23.62a (200) for 25th and at 11.76a (100) for 33rd of 87; Baca at 25.18 (200) for 54th; and senior Angel Arrellin at 12.30a (100) for 61st and at 25.58a (200) for 63rd.

Senior Zach Esparza had a toss of 33-5 in the shot put for 42nd of 70 without warm-up throws.

Event winners included Casteel senior Isaac Davis in the 100 (10.93a), Desert Vista junior Zach Weinman in the 200 (22.23a), Desert Vista senior Samuel Van Alstine in the 1600 (4:25.49a), Casteel junior Dayton Carlson in the 3200 (9:51.08a), Desert Vista senior Jakob Bagby in the 110 hurdles (15.61a), Queen Creek sophomore Payton Barlow in the long jump (21-7), and Desert Vista junior Mason Hickel in the shot put (57-6.75).

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: The 3200 relay team, from left, Gavin Baca, Nicholas Patterson, Nathan Webb, and Jordan Mares, finished in 8th out of 13 teams.

Morenci Girls

Senior Desiree Babb and junior Kayla O’Connell represented the Wildcats at Desert Vista.

O’Connell set personal bests in the 1600 (5:33.31a) for sixth of 54 and 3200 (11:57.39a) for fifth of 23. Her 2019 bests were 5:50.40 (1600) and 12:21.00 (3200).

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Desiree Babb clears the first hurdle ahead of American Leadership heat mate. The Morenci senior finished sixth of 28 with a 17.27a clocking.

Babb finished sixth of 28 in the 100 hurdles (17.27a) and 13th of 40 in the 300 hurdles (52.20a). Her 2019 bests were 16.37 (100H) and 49.60a (300H).

Event winners were Desert Vista junior Grace Ping in the 1600 (5:02.91a PR), Desert Vista freshman Lauren Ping in the 3200 (10:40.88a), Prescott junior Emma Lloyd in the 100 hurdles (16.09a), and Gilbert Perry senior Olivia Harambasic in the 300 hurdles (47.87).