Bonanza's girls track team had two girls qualify for the state meet last season, and they shared more than a team name. Sisters Shirley and Alice Pitts were the Bengals' only qualifiers, and both are back looking to lead the team this season.
Senior Shirley Pitts won the 400-meter dash, and Alice, a junior, was fourth in the high jump.
Both participate in volleyball and basketball in addition to track.
Shirley led the volleyball team in most statistical categories and was an All-Southwest League pick in basketball. She recently signed a letter of intent to compete in track at New Mexico.
Bonanza track coach Chad Robertus called Shirley the Bengals' "best female track athlete since Ronda Williams," who won state long jump and high jump titles in 2001.
Robertus is counting on Shirley to lead the team's sprinters and Alice to be the top jumper.
"Basketball season was great," Shirley Pitts said. "But I'm ready to go to work on the track."
She had better be. In her bid to repeat as the state champion in the 400, she'll face stiff competition from Western's Unique Conner.
Conner was runner-up in 2008 and won state titles in 2006 and 2007.
Coincidentally, both Shirley Pitts and Conner might find themselves competing against each other beyond high school. Conner has signed a letter of intent to run track at Texas Christian.
Shirley Pitts and Conner have continued a long tradition of strong 400 runners out of the Sunset Region.
The state record (54.23 seconds) has been held by a Sunset runner since 1985, and the state title has been won by a Sunset runner every year since 2001.
Shirley Pitts ran a personal best of 56.2 to win state last season.
Alice Pitts has her eyes on winning state, too. She had a personal best of 5 feet, 2 inches in the high jump last year and is the top returnee in Southern Nevada this season.
"My personal goal this year is to high jump at least 5-6 before track season is over," said Alice Pitts, who also will compete in the long jump and triple jump.
With four-time state high jump champion Langley Iverson of Galena having graduated, Alice Pitts' chances of winning at state have improved.
Shirley and Alice have good athletic genes. Both of their parents as well as their older brother, Gerald, were strong athletes.
The Pitts sisters are nearly inseparable. "My sister Alice and I are very close," Shirley Pitts said. "We work out together and go everywhere together."
Both girls have their eyes set on a bus ride to Del Sol in May for the state meet.