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Top talent gathers for regionals

Some of the nation’s top track and field talent will be on display at Southern Nevada’s regional meets, which begin Wednesday at Del Sol.

Centennial boys distance runner Nick Hartle and Legacy girls thrower Avione Allgood are heavy favorites to claim multiple Sunset Region titles.

Hartle, a junior, is ranked No. 1 in the nation by athletic.net in the 800-meter run. He also is entered in the 400 and the 1,600, and will be a favorite to win all three events.

Allgood, the defending state champion in the shot put and the discus, is ranked No. 3 in the nation in the shot put, and No. 1 in the state in the shot put and discus. The junior could see competition from Palo Verde freshman Ashlie Blake, ranked No. 2 in the state in both events.

Legacy girls hurdler Candice McFarland is a strong favorite in the Sunset 100 and 300 hurdles.

Another athlete to watch in the Sunset is Centennial senior Karli Johonnot, who has signed with Duke.

Johonnot, the defending state high jump and 300 hurdles champ, is ranked in the top five in the state in six events:  200, 800, both hurdles, high jump and long jump. She likely will not compete in the long jump or 800 as athletes are limited to four events.

Johonnot helps make Centennial one of the favorites among Sunset girls teams.

“The girls have the potential to score in 17 of 18 events,” Centennial coach Jessica Scobell said. “We have a lot of young talent but (LaTangie) Richard and Johonnot provide terrific leadership.”

Two distance runners to watch will be Palo Verde freshman Katie Gorczyca, the defending girls 4A state cross country champion, and Del Sol senior Colin Smith.

Gorczyca and Smith lead all comers in Nevada in the 3,200.

Major competitors to Gorczyca’s dominance in the 1,600 and 3,200 include Centennial freshman Sydney Badger and Arbor View junior Andrea Gonzalez. Smith’s likely challengers include Silverado senior Dante Carter and Green Valley senior Carl Greene.

The boys pole vault already has seen three seniors top 15 feet this season: Blaze Galardy of Basic, Nick Stearns of Pahrump Valley and Jack Leavitt of Faith Lutheran. Stearns and Leavitt will contest for the Sunset title, while Galardy’s closest competitor in the Sunrise is Green Valley’s Simon Mitchell, who has cleared 14 feet.

Silverado senior boys sprinter Ladale Jackson, the defending state 400 champion, should be in the mix in the Sunrise Region 100, 200 and 400.

Team titles also will be on the line. In the Sunrise, Silverado, Canyon Springs, Green Valley and Foothill should lead the pack among the boys, while the girls competition could be more closely contested. Coronado, Green Valley, Canyon Springs and Valley are among the favorites.

In the Sunset, Centennial is favored to win both championships, but the Bulldogs could get a run from Palo Verde, Arbor View and Bishop Gorman for the boys title and Palo Verde, Faith Lutheran and Legacy for the girls crown.

Finals will take place for the 3,200-meter run, the 3,200 relay and all field events on Wednesday and Friday.

All other events this week will be preliminaries, with finals scheduled for May 13.

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