Going into the season, Pahrump Valley track coach Fred Schmidt was hopeful the girls team was ready to make major strides.
After the first of the spring’s weekday meets Tuesday, March 13, at Western, he’s a bit more sure he was right.
“After this first full-on track meet, we have a clearer picture of our projected outcome of this season,” Schmidt said. “The most encouraging takeaway from Tuesday night was the competitive nature of the core of this girls team. The next few weeks we feel will reveal marked improvement in performance.”
Schmidt sees a stronger work ethic and more grit on this year’s team, which already has met or exceeded 17 qualifying marks for the Class 3A Southern Regional meet in May at Moapa Valley. And freshmen have already shown they are willing to step up.
“This season we have two freshmen who are showing themselves to be head and shoulders above the competition we are facing so far,” Schmidt said. “Makayla Gent and Madelyn Souza both qualified for the regional meet at the first meet last week for newcomers.”
That was the Las Vegas High School Newcomers meet back on March 8. Gent won the 800 (2 minutes, 43.11 seconds), the 1,600 (6:00.44) and the 3,200 (13:11.47) while Souza won the 400 (1:05.06) and placed second in the 800 (2:44.47).
In the meet at Western, Souza suffered a strain and was pulled from the 4×400. Grace Plumb, who had just finished running the 3,200, stepped up and joined Gent, Sydney Dennis and Diamond Sonerholm to finish second in 4:50.
“I want to tip my hat to Grace, who had just completed the 3,200 race and did not hesitate to step up for her team in need,” Schmidt said. “Plumb ran a very strong leg of the relay despite just having taken second place in the two-mile with a time of 13:53.”
Dennis won that 3,200 in 13:30, with Katherine Goodman fourth in 15:18. Gent (2:41), Souza (2:47) and Grace Gundacker went 1-2-3 in the 800, with Goodman fourth. Gent (5:51) and Sonerholm (6:02) took the top spots in the 1,600 with Plumb fourth.
Jazmyne Turner finished third in the 100 (13.5) and 200 (29.4), while Souza and Gundacker finished first and second, respectively, in the 400.
“These girls have placed themselves well in the state in relays, top three in the 4 x 800 , top six in the 4 x 400 and 4 x 200 and top five in the 4 x 100,” Schmidt said.
Pahrump Valley was dominant in the field events as well. Eliana Datillio won the high jump at 4 feet, 10 inches, with Annabelle Brophy second at 4-6. Datillio has the No. 2 jump in the state thus far, and Brophy sits at No. 7.
The long jump was all Trojans: Cynthia Martin first at 12-9, Dattillio second at 12-5, Brophy third with an 11-8, Amber Heaney fourth at 11-7 and Samantha Mansuy fifth with her 11-5.
Datillio and Brophy also topped the triple jump, with Datillio qualifying for regionals with a winning 27-5 and Brophy second with a 26-0.5. Pahrump Valley took the top four places in the discus with Jessica Turner winning with her throw of 75-11 followed by DeAnndra Shaw (74-2), Deja Jackson (74-2) and Quiandra Randolph (67-5).
“Keep track of these ladies,” Schmidt said. “They will be a force to be reckoned with come the postseason.”
Sports Editor Tom Rysinski at email@example.com On Twitter:@pvtimes