Depth makes Cimarron boys the team to catch

Some track teams excel in the sprints, others in distance events and still others are strong in the field.

Cimarron-Memorial’s boys track team isn’t like those teams. The Spartans score in almost every event.

And that depth is the reason Cimarron is the favorite to repeat as Sunset Regional champions when the meet begins at 3 p.m. today at Del Sol.

Today’s action will be primarily preliminary heats, though some finals will be contested in certain field events and longer running events.

“Cimarron, they have points coming from pretty much all the areas,” said Scott Thrasher, whose Cheyenne team hopes to catch the Spartans. “They’ve got field events, they’ve got kids in the sprints, kids in the hurdles, relay teams. I think they’re going to be the main one on the boys side.”

The Sunrise Regional meet also begins today at Del Sol. Both regionals continue on Wednesday with more preliminaries and a few finals, with the majority of the finals beginning at 3 p.m. on Friday.

The top two finishers in each event at each regional advance to state. The final Southern Nevada state qualifier in each event will be determined by comparing the third-place times from the two regionals.

Cimarron is the top seed in six events led by freshman Stephen Nixon, who is No. 1 in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, and senior Neil Spencer, who is the favorite in the shot put and discus.

Thrasher’s Cheyenne team also should score well in several events, and appears to be the top challenger for Cimarron. But Thrasher said the team’s focus isn’t on a regional title, but on qualifying athletes for next week’s state meet.

“The kids are excited, but I’m also kind of excited to see how we do,” Thrasher said. “The girls are always strong, but this is one of the better boys squads we’ve had. We have a lot of areas where we want to qualify kids to go to state.”

Cimarron’s girls also appear to be the favorites to repeat this week, but the Spartans may not have as much breathing room in the girls meet.

“Centennial looks really good and Cheyenne looks really strong, so we’re not quite as confident as we were last year, but we’ll be in the mix,” Cimarron coach Jessica Scobell said.

Aurelia Houston, who is the top seed in the long jump and triple jump, leads the Spartans.

Silverado’s boys are the clear favorite in the Sunrise meet, and it may be difficult to match the Skyhawks’ depth and strength in the middle distance and distance events.

Silverado is the top seed in all four relays, and also in five individual events.

Sean Zurko (400 and 800) and Solomon Bennett (1,600 and 3,200) are each seeded first in two events.

The Sunrise girls meet should be much closer, with Foothill, Coronado, Green Valley, Rancho and Canyon Springs competing for the top spot.

Leah Leedy, who is seeded first in the 1,600 and 3,200, leads a strong distance group for Foothill.

“Where we’re strongest is the distance runners,” Foothill coach Jim Yamka said. “Our cross country team has been strong the last couple years, and we’ve got to get points out of them.

“It’s going to be a real good meet. It’s going to be close,” Yamka added.

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