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Head-to-head matchups spice Las Vegas Track Classic field

A field of nearly 1,300 athletes from 37 schools makes the Las Vegas Track Classic at Del Sol one of Nevada’s premier early-season invitationals.

With teams entered from as far away as New York, meet director John Dixon expects great competition and hopes for favorable weather for the two-day event.

Today will feature freshman-sophomore competition, starting at 3:30 p.m., and Saturday is limited to varsity and open events, starting at 9 a.m.

Twenty-two of the 31 Class 4A schools in Southern Nevada will be represented, and the meet will pit most of the best local track athletes head-to-head.

The sprints offer some of the top matchups. Cimarron-Memorial’s Stephen Nixon, the two-time state 100-meter champion, will be challenged by Western’s Aaron Harris, Liberty’s Shawn Murray and Chaparral’s Joeal Hotchkins. Harris and Hotchkins are the top seeds in the 200.

The girls 100 features Tiarra Tyler of Western, the defending state champion and No. 2 seed, going against top-seeded Darriel Banks of Legacy.

The girls 400 includes defending state champion Shirley Pitts of Bonanza, runner-up Unique Conner of Western and Jamila Pullem of Canyon Springs.

The distance events will feature Foothill’s Leah Leedy and Pahrump Valley’s McKenzie Dean, who are both entered in the 1,500 and 5,000. Dean is the defending state 3A champ in the 800, 1,600, and 3,200, and Leedy was third in the 4A 3,200 last year.

The top-seeded runners in the boys 1,500 and 3,000 are from Mira Mesa and Fountain Valley, Calif., but they should be challenged by locals Nathan Williams (Centennial), Carl Green (Foothill) and Zack Smith (Palo Verde).

The girls meet will mark the invitational debut of Avion Allgood, a freshman thrower from Legacy who was ranked nationally in the shot put and discus as a youth USATF competitor in 2008. She has posted distances this year in the shot put (42 feet, 6 inches) and discus (133-6) that would have won both 4A state titles last year.

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