Distance runners again push Centennial to title


Heading into the final 200 meters of the Division I boys 1,600-meter run Saturday at the state track and field championships at Silverado, six runners were in the lead pack vying for a state title.

But it was only a matter of moments before the rest of the field fell victim to “The Centennial Sweep.”

Jackson Carter, Dajour Braxton and George Espino emerged from the group to cross the finish line 1-2-3 for the Bulldogs to become the first trio from one team to sweep the largest-classification race in state meet history.

The sweep helped power Centennial to its second straight boys team championship, as the Bulldogs finished with 88 points. McQueen was second with 67.

“We needed points for the team, so we huddled before the race and said we have to go 1-2-3 because we have the speed. So we went out and did it,” said Carter, who won the race in 4 minutes, 20.72 seconds. “That was the most stacked field I’ve ever run a mile with. Everyone was just going all out.”

Braxton, who won the 3,200 on Friday, said they were inspired to pull off the triple after regionals.

“Last week at regionals, we heard them say it was ‘The Centennial sweep,’ ” Braxton said. “That sounded so awesome, and we did it again.”

Centennial opened competition Saturday by blazing to first place in the 3,200 relay with a time of 7:56.92. Espino, Braxton, Dominic Roberts and Justin Galaviz teamed for the performance in that race.

After all the hard work leading to the Bulldogs’ success, Carter said the teammates already had a celebration in mind.

“Now that we are done, we are going to go eat donuts,” Carter said.

Also in Division I boys competition, Randall Cunningham of Bishop Gorman didn’t set out Saturday to break the state record in the Division I boys high jump.

He was aiming to soar much higher.

Cunningham posted the top high jump mark in the country, bounding over the bar at 7 feet, 3¼ inches to take the state title and eclipse the old mark of 7 feet set in 1983.

“The goal going into today was 7-5, but the goal for the season and the summer is 7-6,” Cunningham said. “Once I got the (state) record, I felt I could get 7-5. But I wasted a lot of jumps early. It’s a great feeling. But I know I just have to work harder to become the best in the world.”

In Division I-A, Mojave racked up 80½ points to capture the boys team title, outdueling Churchill County (73) and Chaparral (71).

Tyreek Carter won the 400 (50.01), and the Rattlers won the 800 relay (1:29.90) Saturday to win the team championship.

D’Khari Hicks of Faith Lutheran broke the state record in the Division I-A 200, finishing in 21.93.

In Division III, The Meadows finished second in the team standings behind Yerington, 138-85½.

Also in Division III, Calvary Chapel’s Cameron Murphy won the 400 with a state-record time of 48.66.

In Division IV, Spring Mountain won the title behind freshman Bruce Travis Collins. Collins won the 110 hurdles by the smallest margin of any race at the meet, nipping Lund’s James Harris by .001 seconds to win with a time of 16.872.

Spring Mountain also won the 3,200 relay.

 

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