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2017 Girls Track and Field Team Capsules


Head coach: Melanie Johnston, fourth season

Returning letter winners: Twenty-eight

Top athletes: Aelicia Taylor (Sr.), Genevieve Basso (Sr.), Alexis Caston (Sr.), Hannah Esparza (Sr.), Kaitlin Gibb (Sr.), Reina Martin (Sr.)

Outlook: Taylor, Basso, Caston and Esparza teamed to win the 800-meter relay and finish second in the 400 relay at last year’s Division I state meet.

Gibb (pole vault) and Martin (shot put) both won a Sunset Region title. Gibb was second in the state meet in the 100 hurdles, and Martin placed fourth in the shot put at state.

“We have strong leadership in all events and have a good mix of developing talent,” Johnston said. “We hope to pull together as a team to improve from last season and build up the younger athletes.”

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Head coach: Scott Cooley, sixth season

Returning letter winners: Eleven

Top athletes: Jill McPherson (So.), Georgia Ohiaeri (So.), Gwen Bobowicz (So.), Taylor Girard (Sr.), Elizabeth Jamrozy (Jr.)

Outlook: The Gaels return a handful of state meet placers in McPherson (fourth in discus), Ohiaeri (sixth in high jump), Bobowicz (sixth in triple jump) and Girard (seventh in long jump).

Jamrozy was a region finalist in the 400.

The Gaels are hoping for another successful season.

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Head coach: Bruce Eubank, 12th season

Top athletes: Zowie Manuma (Jr.), Michelle Angulo (Sr.)

Outlook: The Bengals are hoping to improve throughout the season and be ready for the Sunset Region meet.

“The girls team will be young and limited on experience,” Eubank said.

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Head coach: Sara Fisher, first season

Returning letter winners: Eleven

Top athletes: Jordyn Trobiani (Sr.), Kenadee Bailey (Sr.), Sierra Selinger (Jr.)

Outlook: Bailey placed third in the triple jump in last year’s Division I-A state meet and is joined by returning state qualifiers Trobiani (400, high jump, triple jump) and Selinger (1,600 and 3,200) among 11 returning letter winners.

“We have a lot of fresh faces with a lot of potential as well as some key solid returning athletes,” Fisher said. “Senior captains and state finalists Kenadee Bailey and Jordyn Trobiani are showing excellent leadership with some great girls that are ready to push each other.

“I’m looking forward to a phenomenal first year as head coach. We also have some new assistant coaches eagerly leading these athletes to an amazing season.”

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Head coach: Roy Session, eighth season

Top athletes: Alexis Gourrier (Jr.), Cheyenne Jones (So.), Elize Larsen (Sr.), Julia Weaver (Sr.), Julianne Manning (Jr.), Kaitlynn Menger (Sr.), Karina Haymore (Sr.), Kayla Roberts (Sr.), Kennedy Brace (Fr.), McKenzie Morgan (So.), Paris Walsh (So.), Talie Bonds (Sr.)

Outlook: The winners of the last six large-school state titles, the Bulldogs have a ton of returning state meet experience, yet not a lot of seniors.

Haymore had four top-four finishes in the state meet last year, including winning the 800-meter and 1,600 runs and running a leg on the winning 1,600 relay team.

Gourrier and Jones also return from that winning 1,600 relay unit.

Weaver and Roberts ran legs on the winning 3,200 relay team.

Bonds (hurdles) took home two top-three finishes.

“Our girls team is young with a few senior leaders to guide the way,” Session said. “We hope to win the state championship and go undefeated during the season.”

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Head coach: Jeff Carter, third season

Top athletes: Tiara Martin (Sr.), Naja Muhammad (Jr.)

Outlook: The Cowboys are hoping to show improvement during the season and be at their best as the postseason arrives.

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Head coach: Scott Thrasher, 15th season

Returning letter winners: Ten

Top athletes: Angela Hammond (Sr.), Ariel Washington (Sr.), Koryel Godbolt (Sr.), Ejanae Coopwood (Sr.)

Outlook: The Desert Shields return a handful of athletes who won multiple state championships last year in Hammond (200, 400 relay, 800 relay), Coopwood (400 relay, 800 relay) and Washington (discus and shot put).

Godbolt was second in the shot put and fifth in the discus in the state meet.

“We should be strong in the sprints, throws and relays,” Thrasher said. “We have a good core group of seniors. If they can stay focused and healthy, it could be an exciting season.”

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Head coach: Jennifer Powell, fifth season

Returning letter winners: Fifteen

Top athletes: Eden Tesfay (So.)

Outlook: The Dragons are hoping for a successful season.

“We are looking forward to the new season,” Powell said. “We are excited about our returning athletes and their determination to succeed this season. In addition to our returners, we have a great group of new athletes that have joined our team that will fill in spots that we need.”

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Head coach: Jesi Colston, third season

Returning letter winners: Twenty-one

Top athletes: Teviah Butler (Jr.), Madelyn Doerr (So.), Erin Gibson (Jr.), Neva Newling (Sr.), Isabel Sullivan (Jr.), Nicolette Marriott (Jr.), Kayla Williams (Jr.), Megan Adams (Sr.)

Outlook: The Diamondbacks have returning talent in a variety of events with experience in the sprints, distance, jumps and throws all present.

“The girls are looking really strong this year,” Colston said. “We have numerous returners that will continue to make our team competitive as well as some incoming freshmen and transfers that you should watch out for.”

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Head coach: Doug Anderson, fourth season

Returning letter winners: Ten

Top athletes: LaShae Warren (Sr.), Isabella Yotter (Sr.), Deszarai Bellender-Thomas (Sr.)

Outlook: Warren (throws), Yotter (hurdles) and Bellender-Thomas (sprints) all were Sunset Region meet qualifiers last year and lead a group of 10 returnees.

“We have a few seasoned veterans and a large group of newcomers,” Anderson said. “We are looking for them to improve each week as they learn their events.”

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Head coach: Devin Mecham, second season

Returning letter winners: Twenty-four

Top athletes: Mohn’Ai Roberson (Jr.), Vanesa Ayala (Sr.)

Outlook: The Sundevils are continuing to build under Mecham, who is optimistic about this season.

“We have a young team looking to build experience and confidence,” Mecham said. “We have several newcomers we expect to be able to contribute. We are excited to build on our program’s improvements from last year.”

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Head coach: Dan Kober, fourth season

Top athletes: Bryanna Neagle (Sr.), Xori Green (Jr.), Kendall Larson (Jr.)

Outlook: Neagle finished second in the high jump in last year’s state meet, and Green took third in the 200.

Larson was sixth in the state in both the 1,600 and 3,200.

“Bringing in a young team, led by a few key returners, we are looking to compete right away in Class 4A while building for the future with a lot of talented underclassmen,” Kober said. “We will be looking to find points in the throws and a few of the jumps.”

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Head coach: Kevin Soares, second season

Returning letter winners: Fifteen

Top athletes: Frankie Morrill (Jr.), Sarah Vanderhoven (Jr.)

Outlook: Morrill ran on the Falcons’ 1,600 relay team at the state meet and was a regional qualifier in the long jump. Vanderhoven was a regional qualifier in the 1,600.

“We’re looking to improve on last year’s finish,” Soares said.

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Head coach: Vanessa Pike, second season

Top athletes: Deborah Grant (So.), Isabel Madrid (Jr.)

Outlook: Grant won the Sunrise Region title in the 100 and finished second in the 200 in the region meet last year. She was fourth in the state in both events.

Madrid took second in the region and fifth in the state in the 100 hurdles.

“I am very excited to start the track season,” Pike said. “Our freshmen group is the largest I have seen the last eight years at Green Valley. Great experience on our senior side will help our younger group.

“The girls hurdle and sprint group will be great this year. Hopefully we can get a few surprises from the younger group.”

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Head coach: Greg Sellers, second season

Returning letter winners: Eight

Top athletes: Teleda Williams (Jr.), Armonnie Byrd (Sr.), Khaylah Banks (So.), Naikiee Bovia (Jr.)

Outlook: The Wildcats have only eight returning letter winners and are hoping to have some new faces step up and contribute to the team’s success.

“The Wildcats should have a good crew of kids in position to qualify for state by early May,” Sellers said.

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Head coach: Tyrone Armstrong, first season

Returning letter winners: Fifteen

Top athletes: C’Aree Stevenson (Jr.), Alexis Saiz (Sr.), Brianna Clark (Sr.), Amiah DeSouze (Jr.), Tyrah Florence (Sr.), Keshauna Myles (Jr.), Malaysia Montgomery (Jr.), Imee Dichoso (Jr.), Jaiden Terasa (Jr.), Rebecca McKenzie (Sr.)

Outlook: A long-time track coach, Armstrong takes over a program primed for success.

“This year, the Longhorns hope to make a strong run for the state championship,” Armstrong said. “We are a little more balanced than last year. We hope that we can build on last year’s success and qualify more young ladies to state.”

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Head coach: Geoff Walker, third season

Returning letter winners: Eighteen

Top athletes: Skyler Free (Sr.), Gabby Carson (Jr.), Atheya Iese (Jr.), Amanda Pemberton (Sr.)

Outlook: Free (1,600 and 3,200) and Carson (pole vault) both competed in last year’s Division I state meet.

Pemberton (100 hurdles, 300 hurdles) was a region finalist.

The team also should get a boost from Iese, who transferred from California.

“The team looks to compete for the Sunrise Region championship,” Walker said.

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Head coach: Tony McFarland, first season

Returning lettermen: Six

Top athletes: Emily Herndon (So.), Ellen Hirsberg (Jr.), Ashley Lee (So.), Beau Thistle (So.), Peri Pascal (So.)

Outlook: McFarland takes over a squad that returns six letter winners and has plenty of youth among its top athletes.

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Head coach: Brandon Jones, 10th season

Returning letter winners: Fifteen

Top athletes: Ashlyn Western (So.), Natalie Mills (Jr.), Alexis Schraft (Jr.), Bailey Bunker (Jr.), Shelby Olson (So.)

Outlook: Western was fourth in last year’s Division I-A state meet in the 1,600 and fifth at state in the 800. She also joined Schraft, Bunker and Olson on the 3,200 relay team that was fifth in the Southern Region meet.

Mills took sixth in the 100 hurdles at the region meet.

“The strongest part of our team is middle distance and distance,” Jones said. “The girls finished ninth in the region and sent one girl to state, which was an improvement from the previous season. We have a good group of distance runners, and we are hopeful that more girls can qualify for the state meet.”

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Head coach: Shenoa Davis, sixth season

Returning letter winners: Nine

Top athletes: Anahi Rosales (Jr.), Destini Bolden (Jr.), Ty’Jae Harrell (So.), Elena Salazar (So.), Ariiyana Ringgold (So.)

Outlook: The Rattlers may be young, but they’re talented.

Rosales (distance), Bolden (throws), Harrell (sprints), Salazar (distance) and Ringgold (hurdles, relays) all competed in the state meet last year.

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Head coach: Frank Messina, sixth season

Top athletes: Jacquelyn Fields (Sr.), Esperanza Mireles (Sr.), Emma Wahlenmaier (Sr.)

Outlook: Fields (jumps), Mireles (sprints) and Wahlenmaier (distance) highlight a large group of returnees for the Panthers, who hope to compete for one of the top spots in the Sunset Region.

“Both the boys and girls teams return some top contenders for the 2017 season,” Messina said. “We intend to feed off the energy from these returners to turn in some top performances as the season unfolds and as it approaches the postseason.

“Even will the loss of some key seniors, the Palo Verde Panthers will still compete and provide quality competition to our local rivals.”

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Head coach: Ryan Quinn, fifth season

Returning letter winners: Ten

Top athletes: Amina Banks (Jr.), Sarriah Brown (So.), Audrey Dayton (So.), Veronica Niamba (Sr.), Kayla Smith (Sr.), Baileigh Sundin (Jr.), Emma Zeigler (So.)

Outlook: Brown (middle distance), Dayton (hurdles, springs, long jump), Niamba (jumps), Smith (sprints, long jump), Sundin (distance) and Zeigler (middle distance) all were Division I-A state meet qualifiers last season. Banks (high jump) was a region meet qualifier.

“We are looking to build upon our success last year and send more competing athletes to the state track meet,” Quinn said.

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Head coach: Jerry Oliver, 13th season

Returning letter winners: Twenty

Top athletes: Micayla Kelley (Sr.), Suzie Guerrero (Jr.), Chase Jenkins (Sr.), Sydney Jenkins (Sr.), Francesca LoCascio (Sr.)

Outlook: Kelley was a state meet qualifier in both the long jump and triple jump last year, and Guerrero competed in the pole vault at the state meet.

They join Chase Jenkins (distance), Sydney Jenkins (distance) and LoCascio (pole vault) among 20 returnees for the Skyhawks.

“We have the smallest and youngest team in Silverado history,” Oliver said. “We are looking for our young athletes to step up and contribute right away.”

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Head coach: Anthony Brown, first season

Top athletes: Maranda McGuigan (Fr.)

Outlook: The Lions will compete for the first time this season.

“For our first year as a program, I believe we will improve dramatically throughout the season,” Brown said. “We have a very young team, but should compete well against the smaller Class 1A schools and charter school programs.”

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Head coach: Maurice Senters, second season

Top athletes: Kapua Pulotu (So.), Dior Griffith (Jr.), Jamile Cano (Jr.)

Outlook: Pulotu placed third in the shot put in last year’s Division I-A state meet.

“We are excited about this season’s potential to finish strong,” Senters said. “Our focus is on attitude and effort, which we believe will carry us all the way to state.”

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Head coach: Sergio Segura, first season

Returning letter winners: Twelve

Top athletes: Isabella Davis (So.), Angelique Laizure (Jr.), Almond Slayton (Jr.)

Outlook: Davis, Laizure and Slayton all were Sunrise Region meet qualifiers last season and should be among the team’s leaders this season.

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Head coach: Gary Hartman, fifth season

Returning letter winners: Ten

Top athletes: Abby Barnum (Sr.), Emma Barnum (Sr.), Bernice Fiso (Sr.), Macee Bundy (So.), Viviana Vega (Jr.)

Outlook: The Bulldogs bring back 10 letter winners and are hoping for a successful season.

“Our girls have a chance to have a solid team,” Hartman said.

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