By Vern Hee
To return to greatness, the Lady Trojans track team has to look at each individual event and not take any effort for granted.
Ed Kirkwood, head track coach, sees big points in the girls hurdle events, both the 100-meter and the 300-meter hurdles.
Kirkwood believes Naomi Argabright is the girl to beat who will get him those points.
Argabright, or better known as “Little A,” feels she can go to state in these events.
She stands at just over 5′ 3″ tall, hence her nickname. This is not the ideal height for a hurdler, but that disadvantage in short legs does not deter her from her goals of being the best hurdler in the region.
On the girls track team this year, the Trojans will field two seniors, Argabright and Sarah Dennis. Argabright does both hurdles; Dennis does just the 300-meter.
Argabright is the queen of the hurdles. She will be heavily favored in the 1A to win both events based on times generated in last year’s regional competition.
Last year neither hurdler, Argabright or Dennis, qualified for state in the 100-meter or the 300-meter hurdles. This year, Argabright wants to change that.
Competing in the tough 4A against the top track team in the region, Centennial High School, Argabright finished in the top 10 in the Sunset League. She was number six in the 100-meter and eighth in the 300-meter.
The top runner for Centennial was Tiana Bonds, a junior. She was the person to beat from Centennial High School in the 100-meter and the 300-meter hurdles.
Bonds had an exceptional speed of 14.74 seconds in the 100-meter and 45.30 seconds in the 300-meter hurdles. Take out Bonds and that leaves Argabright and her co-runner Sarah Dennis at the top of the list in the 1A in the 300-meter.
The closest to them was Macy Helm, also a senior at Faith Lutheran, at 49.43 seconds in the 300-meter hurdles. Helm also ran a fast 100-meter at 17.42 seconds.
Faith finished second in the regional meet last year to Centennial, who was first and Pahrump finished in third.
Track is a matter of seconds. Shave off a second here at the start, shave off another because of effort, shave off another one due to form and this earns hurdlers valuable seconds.
Jill Harris, Trojans hurdler coach, loves working with Argabright and feels she can shave some seconds off with good form.
“Naomi Argabright is a great little hurdler,” said Harris. “Her height makes her a deceptive hurdler. She doesn’t have the long legs that you associate with hurdlers, but she is quick, flexible and she has a great stride. In order for her to get her times down a little more she is going to have to work a little more on stepping off the three strides in between the hurdles. That will come with confidence because in practice she is able to do it more often than in competition. Naomi is a great kid to work with. She has a fun attitude. And she is encouraging to her younger teammates.”
Argabright said she will work hard to improve her times this year.
“I practice my form to improve my time. In the 300-meter I need to push myself in the sprinting. In the 100-meter it is all form. I need to get a good start and good form in the 100-meter. The event is just too quick.”
This year she is all set to work hard in her events to make state.
Dennis, her own teammate, will be her best competition in the 300-meter event with Dennis running a 49.33 seconds at regionals. Running full-out with her should improve Argabright’s time.
“I want to do my best and just have fun doing it. I will push myself as hard as I can. My goal this year is I want to make it to state in an individual event like the 300-meter hurdles or the 100-meter hurdles and if my efforts get me a scholarship, I can use it,” she said.
Argabright feels she has a better chance to make it to the state finals in the 300-meter.
“The 300-meter gives me time to make up for mistakes if my form is not good. I don’t have as long of legs so I am a better sprinter,” she said.
“Little A” has run track since the seventh grade. This will be her fourth varsity letter in track.