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Panthers, Bulldogs ride depth to wins

Depth ruled the day Friday at the Sunset Region track and field meet at Del Sol, as Palo Verde’s boys and Centennial’s girls easily prevailed thanks to their deep rosters.

Palo Verde’s boys never trailed and totaled 130 points. Cheyenne (951/2) was second.

Centennial’s girls finished with 146 points to easily outdistance second-place Western (103).

Though they had just one first-place finish Friday, Palo Verde’s boys scored points in nine of the 10 events contested on the day.

Zack Smith placed first in the 1,600-meter run (4 minutes, 26.62 seconds) for the Panthers, and the meet’s outcome never really was in doubt.

“We try to have a well-rounded team,” Palo Verde coach Mike O’Dea said. “We’ve won the ninth- and 10th-grade championships two, three years in a row, and they’re finally getting old enough to win at the varsity level.”

Cheyenne’s second-place finish largely was due to an outstanding individual effort from senior Marcus Sullivan. Sullivan won the 200 (21:36) and 400 (48.6) and was on Cheyenne’s 400 and 1,600 relay teams that each finished second to qualify for next week’s state meet.

Other individual winners among Sunset boys were Aaron Harris of Western in the 100 (10.96), James Campbell of Clark in the 800 (1:58.97), Edred Utomi of Sierra Vista in the 110 hurdles (14:88) and Donovan Lewis of Durango in the 300 hurdles (38.82).

Centennial’s girls also relied on depth to outscore their Sunset opponents. The Bulldogs scored points in 17 of the 18 events.

“We’re a team,” Centennial coach Bill Miller said. “We don’t rely on individuals. They all contribute.”

Still, Centennial does have outstanding individuals. Senior sprinter Ashley Mosley won the 400 in record time (55.44) and was on the 800 and 1,600 relay teams that finished second to Western and qualified for state.

The other individual winner on Friday for the Bulldogs was sophomore Karli Johonnot, who won the 300 hurdles in a personal-record time of 45:32.

Johonnot already had qualified for state by winning the high jump and placing second in the pole vault. She also was on the 1,600 relay team.

Centennial had a big lead entering Friday’s events, and the Bulldogs needed it. Western’s girls scored 100 points in the seven events in which they had entries.

The Warriors were led by Tierra Tyler, who won the 100 in record time (11.98) and the 200 (24.83); Ansherae Devine, who won the 800 (2:18.89) and was second in the 400; and Unique Conner, who qualified for state in the 200 and 400.

With a core of six sprinters — Tyler, Devine, Conner, Loren Jackson, Megan Keys and Antoinette Garrett — Western’s girls won all three of the sprint relays, all in record time.

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