All eyes are on Liberty’s Ashlie Blake and Reno Tu’ufuli when they step into the throwing circle at a track meet.
On a given day, each could top personal records, which rank among the nation’s best.
Both continued raising the bar for Nevada competition by sweeping the throwing events in the Las Vegas Track Classic on Saturday at Desert Oasis.
“You’re looking at one of the best combos in Nevada history,” Liberty throws coach Tim Cagle said. “You’re not going to see elite throwers like this.”
Tu’ufuli broke a seven-year-old boys’ shot put record by posting a mark of 58 feet, 1 inch, and shattered his own discus record by a remarkable 10 feet, 7 inches (179-7). He sees room for improvement.
“I should’ve been better,” Tu’ufuli said. “I had the discus record, so I broke my own record from last year. My personal record is 185, so I was about 6 feet under. I’m still trying to fix everything. I haven’t found my best technique yet. My goal is 200 feet (in discus) and 60 feet (in shot put).”
Blake, a UCLA signee, broke the girls’ shot put record by posting 51-7¼ and won the discus with a mark of 149. Her shot put was 15 feet farther than the second-place finisher and just 2¼ inches away from the nation’s top throw.
“I felt pretty good,” said Blake, who started throwing when she was 7 years old. “I just want to (set a personal record) every meet and get to 55 feet before the end of the season.”
Blake and Tu’ufuli were named the most outstanding field athletes for boys and girls. Cagle has high expectations for the two going forward.
“Our sight is on four state rings this season,” Cagle said. “I don’t know if that’s ever been done before. We got three last year.”
No team scores were kept, but Centennial was the most impressive team. The Bulldogs had 10 individual winners and five second-place finishers. Three of their relay teams won, one finished second, and Dajour Braxton and Tiana Bonds were named the most outstanding track athletes.
Braxton broke meet records in three events. He won the 1600-meter run in 4 minutes, 23.67 seconds and the 3200 in 9:49.26, and he was on the record-breaking 3200 relay team (7:58.26).
Bonds, an Arizona signee, shattered the 100 (14.36) and 300 (43.26) hurdles marks and was second in the 200 with 25.18. She also ran on the 800 relay team that was .17 seconds away from the 2010 meet record (1:41.44).
“We are right where we need to be right now,” Centennial coach Roy Sessions said. “They are running absolutely wonderful.”
Arbor View’s Ivy Dobson set a record in the 200 with 21.57. Two-time state champion Jayveon Taylor of Bonanza did not participate. After winning the 100 in 11.12, Taylor sat out the 200 because of a sore hamstring.
Foothill’s Drea Austin won the girls 100 in 12.31 and broke the 200 record with a 24.84.
In total, 13 records were broken.