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2019 Girls Track Capsule Previews

Updated March 5, 2019 - 6:41 pm

(as submitted by coaches)

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Head coach: Chip Peterson, second season

Returning lettermen: Fifteen

Top athletes: Emoni Clark (Sr.), Ashia Martinez (Jr.), Alina Oranchak (Jr.), Rachel Jackson (Sr.), Ryen Quinn (Fr.)

Outlook: The Aggies bring back 15 letter winners and hope to move up after finishing seventh in last year’s Sunset Region meet.

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Head coach: Scott Cooley, ninth season

Returning letter winners: Fifteen

Top athletes: Emilia Puskas, Olivia Smith, Jill McPherson, Samantha Nieves, Kyndall Stansberry

Outlook: Puskas finished third in the 1,600-meter run and fifth in the 800 in last year’s Class 4A state meet.

Smith was seventh in the triple jump at state, and Kellogg was the Sunset Region champion in the discus.

In all, the Gaels bring back 15 letter winners from a team that finished second in the region meet.

“We return a lot of quality athletes with region and state experience,” Cooley said. “In addition, we have some underclassmen and some new additions to the program that will make an impact right away.”

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Head coach: Elizabeth Rice, first season

Returning letter winners: Fifteen

Top athletes: Charley Beck (Sr.), Izzy Diaz (Sr.), Felicia Sarcletti (Jr.), Iris Thaoxaochay (Jr.), Michelle Troncoso (Sr.), Maysan Raleigh (Sr.), Affiniti Hall (So.)

Outlook: Rice takes over a team that brings back 15 letter winners.

Beck and Diaz are expected to anchor the sprints, with Sarcletti and Thaoxaochay among the top distance runners and Troncoso leading the hurdlers. Hall (pole vault) and Raleigh (jumps) are expected to be among the team’s best in field events.

“The team will have a lot of new faces, and returners will be providing great marks,” Rice said.

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Head coach: Uvette Francis, first season

Returning letter winners: Nine

Top athletes: Angelika Tabujara (Sr.), Nya McGaughey (So.), Rebecca Raffta (Sr.), Tynaezia Taylor (So.), Kyara Daniels (Jr.), Keaira Wilson (Jr.)

Outlook: Francis expects Tabujara, Daniels and Taylor to anchor the sprint events and McGaughey to shine in the hurdles. She also expects Wilson to guide the throwers.

“Our overall team goal is to improve our scoring at the regional championship,” Francis said. “We anticipate a return to the state championship in the 400 and 800 relays as well as sending a hurdler. We look forward to a great season with a large team and lots of potential talent.”

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Head coach: Diane Washington, second season

Returning letter winners: Eight

Top athletes: Maleah Heard (So.), Lauryn Williams (Jr.), Angel Buchanan (Jr.), Ayala Harris (Jr.), Brielle Jefferson (Sr.)

Outlook: Heard, who placed fourth in the Class 3A state meet in the 100-meter dash last season, joins Williams, Buchanan, Harris and Jefferson in giving the Desert Shields a talented group of state-caliber sprinters.

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Head coach: Jeff Soccorsi, first season

Top athletes: Olivia Hergenroeder (Jr.), Katie Caldwell (Sr.), Makayah Curry (Jr.), Kylie Springman (Jr.), Olivia Garcia (Fr.)

Outlook: The Spartans hope to show improvement throughout the season.

“Hopefully we can qualify Olivia Hergenroader and Katie Caldwell to state in the 800 (meter) or 1,600 relay,” Soccorsi said. “Curry has a lot of potential in the long jump and 200. Kylie Springman is solid in shot put and discus.”

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Head coach: Kamara Mayberry, fourth season

Returning letter winners: Four

Top athletes: Shaquille de Guzman (Sr.), Thea Espinola (Jr.), Kaelyn Monroe (So.), Valeria Morquecho (Sr.)

Outlook: de Guzman, Espinola, Monroe and Morquecho give the Chargers plenty of depth in the sprint and middle-distance events.

“The girls expected to be state contenders in the 800-meter relay this season with returning Kaelyn Monroe, Valeria Morquecho, Shaquille de Guzman and newcomers,” Mayberry said.

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Head coach: Tyrel Cooper, second season

Returning letter winners: Twenty-eight

Top athletes: Sophia Hyman (Jr.), Erin Shannon (So.), Emi Wickens (Sr.), Reagan Raimer (Sr.)

Outlook: Hyman finished third in the pole vault in last year’s Class 4A state meet, and Shannon was the Sunrise Region champion in the 800-meter and 1,600-meter runs.

They lead a total of 28 returning region meet qualifiers.

“The girls return a core group of athletes with regional and state experience, and will look to compete in the new Desert Region,” Cooper said.

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Head coach: Darrel Brown, second season

Top athletes: CharLeyanse Howard (Jr.), Markay Merchant (Jr.), Nakala Nadeau (So.)

Outlook: Howard is the defending Class 3A state champion in both the 100-meter and 200 dashes and finished second at state in the high jump.

Merchant was fourth in the long jump in the state meet, and Nadeau took fourth in the 100 hurdles at state.

“The girls team is lead by CharLeyanse Howard, who won the 100 and 200 dashes at state,” Brown said. “The girls team will try to match her success from last year by sending multiple entries to the state meet.

“Markay Merchant and Nakala Nadeau, who also placed in their events at state will anchor the girls team.”

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Head coach: Jim Dinkel, ninth season

Returning letter winners: Fifteen

Top athletes: Endya Scott (Jr.), Jacey Wood (So.), Sydney Rios (Jr.), Mei Siaki (Sr.)

Outlook: The Diamondbacks bring back 15 letter winners after finishing fourth in last year’s state meet.

“The girls team will try to match their success from last year by sending multiple entries to the state meet,” Dinkel said. “Endya Scott, who qualified for state in three events, will anchor the girls team.”

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Head coach: Liz Aguilar, third season

Returning letter winners: Six

Top athletes: Jazmin Felix (Jr.), Nayeli Barco-Perea (Sr.), Zali Downton (So.), Marshay Bradford (Sr.), Brie Perkins (Jr.)

Outlook: Felix was a Class 3A state meet participant in four distance events last year. Barco-Perea also advanced to the state meet in three events.

Downton and Bradford were region meet finalists in multiple sprint and middle-distance events, and Perkins was a region finalist in both throwing events.

“We look to build off a strong cross country showing and go into Class 4A with momentum,” Aguilar said.

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Head coach: Doug Anderson, fifth season

Returning letter winners: Ten

Top athletes: Paige Landers (So.), Mandy Ta (So.), Jocelyn Jauregui

Outlook: Landers (1,600 meter and 3,200), Ta (100) and Jauregui (200 and long jump) all were Sunset Region meet qualifiers last season and lead a group of 10 returnees for the Trailblazers.

“The team is a mix of new and returning athletes,” Anderson said. “We have bodies to help fill out the roster this year. Our goal this year is to pick up some points in the new region.”

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Head coach: Devin Mecham, fourth season

Returning letter winners: Nine

Top athletes: LaDavia Pierson (Jr.), Devyn Swain (Jr.), Silvie Rodriguez (Sr.), Mauriceia Roberson (Sr.)

Outlook: The Sundevils must replace state long jump champion Mohn’Ai Roberson, who graduated after winning the school’s first track state title since 1995, but her success is a spark for the returning athletes.

“Our girls team will be anchored by LaDavia Pierson and Devyn Swain, who have been developing very well into one of the best sprinters (Pierson) and most versatile jumpers (Swain) in the region,” Mecham said. “We have had several girls working hard the last several years to add depth and strength to our program.

“We hope to continue the hard work in order to build on last year’s success.”

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Head coach: Dan Kober, sixth season

Returning letter winners: Twenty-four

Top athletes: Alexi Johnson (Sr.), Sanniyah Haye (Jr.), Erin Thompson (So.), Chloe Steigerwald (So.)

Outlook: Haye was third in the Class 4A state meet in the shot put and eighth in the discus. Johnson (400 meters) and Thompson (high jump) both finished fourth in the Sunset Region meet, and Steigerwald was a Sunset finalist in the 100 hurdles.

They lead a group of 24 returning letter winners for the Crusaders.

“We hope to use our veteran leadership and strong group of underclassmen to compete for a top-three finish in the region meet,” Kober said.

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Head coach: Andrew Risheg, second season

Top athletes: Elizabeth Siewert (Sr.), Erica Schulz (Jr.), Madison Morris (So.)

Outlook: The Falcons finished ninth in last year’s Sunrise Region meet and are hoping to continue to show improvement this season.

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Head coach: Amy Wetzel, first season

Returning lettermen: Zero

Outlook: The Centurions are in their first year competing against state association schools.

With only four athletes on the preseason roster, the team is focusing on building and individual improvement.

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Head coach: Vanessa Pike, fourth season

Returning lettermen: Twenty-three

Top athletes: Sierra Rivera (Sr.), Mia Smith (Sr.), Jada Bell (So.), Marin Houlihan (Jr.)

Outlook: Rivera finished third in the Class 4A state meet in the 100-meter and 400-meter dashes and fourth in the 200.

Smith was sixth in the state in the 3,200, and Bell took sixth in the 300 hurdles. Houlihan was seventh in the high jump.

They’re among 22 returning letter winners for the Gators.

“We are looking forward to a great year,” Pike said. “This is a very fun group. Keeping student-athletes focused in the classroom is our main goal this year; this will help the team performance improve on the track.

“The team consists of mostly sophomores and juniors. With dedication and working hard during practice the team can achieve great things this season.”

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Head coach: Jason Varughese, second season

Top athletes: Chloe Lamb (Sr.), Faythe Jones (So.)

Outlook: The Guardians still are in the building stages.

“We have a very young team,” Varughese said. “This team works extremely hard and strives to improve every day. They are self-motivated and choose to have fun every day.

“The potential for this team is very high, and I look forward to witness them accomplish their goals this season.”

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Head coach: Ashley Lively, first season

Returning letter winners: First-year program

Top athletes: Olivia Pinocci-Wrightsman (Fr.), Sara Bautista (Fr.)

Outlook: Henderson International is returning to Nevada’s athletic scene after a near decade-long absence.

“This is our first year with track being our first high school sport,” Lively said. “We currently only have freshmen at our school.”

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Head coach: Jeff Newton, second season

Top athletes: Lauren Byrnes (Sr.), Shelbi Shaw (Sr.)

Outlook: Still in the growing stages of their program, the Eagles hope their second year will be even more successful than last year’s debut.

Byrnes, who finised second in the 100-meter dash, 3rd in the 200 and fourth in the 400 in last year’s Class 2A state meet, leads a small crew of returnees that also includes Shaw, a state-qualifier in the 800.

“We are working hard attempting to grow the program,” Newton said. “We are hoping to add more particpants compared to last year, relying on several returning athletes from last year. Our hope is that their leadership will help build this program and compete at the 2A level.”

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Head coach: Rick Teller, first season

Returning letter winners: Fifteen

Top athletes: Aaliyah Soa (Sr.), Brianna McDaniel (Jr.), Kady Schwietz (Fr.), Dana Callis (So.), Hannah Burke (Sr.)

Outlook: Soa was the Class 4A state champion in the shot put last year.

McDaniel and Callis both were Sunrise Region meet finalists.

“The Liberty girls are young,” Teller said. “Soa returns as a senior to defend her state championship in the shot, and aspires to set the state and school record set by Ashlie Blake in 2014.

“We have great numbers and good athletes, but it will take us the first half of the season to see how it all fits together. We always look to compete for a regional championship.”

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Head coach: Elbert Gray, third season

Returning letter winners: Three

Top athletes: Giselle Kimball (Jr.), Lauren Tsuchiyama (So.), Elle Riggio

Outlook: The Mustangs return only three letter winners

“It’s a rebuilding year for The Meadows,” Gray said. “Our numbers are down, but there is good quality in the events we will compete in.”

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Head coach: Nick Meis, second season

Returning letter winners: Six

Top athletes: Hailey Hill (Sr.), Nicola Lai (Jr.), Mya Boykin (Sr.), Lemesia Holloway (So.)

Outlook: Boykin ran on the Panthers’ 400- and 800-meter relays in last year’s Class 4A state meet. Hill and Lai ran the 3,200 in the Sunset Region meet, and Holloway competed in the 100 hurdles in the region meet.

They’re among six returnees for the Panthers.

“We are very young this year, with over half the team being first-year track and field athletes,” Meis said. “Our goal this year is to get better each meet and be competitive at the end of the season.”

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Head coach: Eddie Romero, fifth season

Returning letter winners: Seventeen

Outlook: The Mustangs return 17 letter winners and are hoping for a successful season.

“We hope our athletes reach their full potential and have a great season,” Romero said.

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Head coach: Ryan Quinn, seventh season

Returning letter winners: Ten

Top athletes: Sarriah Brown (Sr.), Audrey Dayton (Sr.), Emma Ziegler (Sr.), Audra Billingsley (Sr.), Cherish Ross (Sr.), Ariiyana Ringgold (Sr.)

Outlook: The Mountain Lions bring back 10 letter winners, including state-meet qualifiers Brown, Dayton, Ziegler, Billingsley and Ross, and Sunset Region meet qualifier Ringgold.

“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, 15th season

Returning letter winners: Fifteen

Top athletes: Grace Cunningham (So.), Toni Mack (So.), Amarachi Adiele (Sr.), Amirah Mathews (So.), Tatiana Martinez (So.)

Outlook: The Skyhawks bring back 15 letter winners, highlighted by Class 4A state high jump champion Grace Cunningham.

Mack and Adiele both competed in the triple jump in the state meet, and Mathews was part of a state-qualifying relay team.

“The team is young and we hope to continue to improve as the season moves along,” Oliver said.

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Head coach: James DeSalvo, third season

Top athletes: Frida Reyes (Sr.), Isabella Davis (Sr.)

Outlook: Reyes and Davis return to anchor the distance events for the Vikings, who hope to be competitive in their Class 3A debut.

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Head coach: Gary Hartman, sixth season

Returning letter winners: Ten

Top athletes: Macee Bundy (Sr.), Julia Ramirez (Sr.), Nikita Eskelsen (Jr.), Rainee Brito (So.), Sarah Walters (Sr.), Alyssa Ponce (Jr.)

Outlook: The Bulldogs bring some talented athletes back from last year’s squad.

“We are expecting to have a competitive girls team,” Hartman said. “We have some quality athletes returning. Strengths should be in the sprints, hurdles and jumps.”

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Head coach: Shoichi Sato, first season

Returning lettermen: Three

Top athletes: Ana SanJuan Agustin (Sr.), Virginia Tucker (Sr.), Jolicia Garcia (Jr.)

Outlook: SanJuan Agustin, Tucker and Garcia are expected to be among the leaders on a team that has high hopes for this season.

“The girls team returns multiple state and regional qualifiers,” Sato said. “We are looking to have a deep team this year. There is a good blend of experience and raw talent.

“The goal is to have multiple regional qualifiers in order to compete at state.”

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