Cimarron’s Nixon wins by a hair

RENO — Cimarron-Memorial’s Stephen Nixon has won countless championships in his nearly 12 years of track competition, but none was closer than his 100-meter dash title in Saturday’s Class 4A state track championship at Damonte Ranch High School.

Nixon’s time of 10.60 seconds scraped by Hug sprinter Diante Mayer’s 10.62 by a hair — a chest hair.

Defending his 2007 state 100 title, Nixon came on late and jutted his chest at the last hundredth of a second to win.

“In the beginning, there was pressure because everyone was gunning for me,” Nixon said. “But I still think I can run faster. I’m trying to get that No. 5 mark in the nation now. It’ll be about getting more comfortable out of the block and on the track.”

Said Spartans sprints coach Michael Howard: “Stephen is a natural. His thing for the 100 is, that’s his race. If you’re a 100 man, that’s what you focus on. You want to be the man, the best there is: ‘I own the 100.’ “

While Nixon’s individual title was close, the 4A boys team title race might have been closer.

Damonte Ranch won the team title with 55 points, one point better than Galena and four ahead of Chaparral. The Mustangs scored a crucial third place in the 1,600-meter relay, the last event, gaining six team points to win. Hug scored 47 points to finish fourth, and Green Valley placed fifth with 40 points.

“It’s nice to see that there isn’t just one school who dominated,” Chaparral assistant track coach Shenoa Davis said. “Nevada being so rural, a lot of time you’ll see a school come up in some of the other sports and just dominate year after year after year.

“Yeah, (track) goes in waves, but it was nice to see that it was really anybody’s race.”

Like the boys side, the final event decided the girls championship.

Morgan Rovetti’s third-place leap of 17 feet, 33/4 inches in the long jump gave Reno the necessary six points to total 55 and edge Western and Canyon Springs, who each scored 51. Carson, behind senior Kayla Sanchez’s three titles — long jump, 300-meter hurdles and her fourth straight 200-meter dash — finished fourth with 50 points, followed by South Tahoe with 34.

After tying for second place, coaches for Canyon Springs and Western had differing outlooks on the finishes.

“We knew it was going to be really close, and we knew what we had to do, but we didn’t do it,” Canyon Springs coach Nicole Branham said. “It was more than one race, more than one event. We had the numbers, I think, but we just couldn’t finish.”

Said Western coach Anthony Whitney: “Trying to win a state meet really just with sprinters is hard to do. The fact that we did what we did is a statement to our sprint coach and those girls. If we can find some field events for those extra few points, that would make the difference for us.”

Contact reporter Jon Gold at jgold@ or 702-380-4587.

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