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Relay win spurs Canyon Springs’ effort

RENO — When Daevin Rimmey handed Donnell Pumphrey the baton with a 10-meter lead for the anchor leg, things had already gone according to script for Canyon Springs in the 400-meter relay at the Class 4A state track meet Friday at Damonte Ranch High School.

Pumphrey played his part to perfection.

Using an unorthodox strategy, the Pioneers won in a time of 42.14 seconds, keying a first-day performance that saw them take a five-point lead over McQueen entering today’s events.

Canyon Springs coach Tony Stephens front-loaded his relay with his two fastest runners — Paul Woodward and Daevon Collins — leading off, and all Pumphrey had to do was hang on over the final 100 meters.

“The plan was to be at least 10 to 15 meters in front,” Stephens said. “I wanted to make sure they were out front, because we have our youngest runner last. Between Paul and Daevon, that was the key handoff to set the tone for the rest of the race.”

Said Pumphrey: “I was scared, because I’m the youngest and not as fast as these guys. I just thought I was going to get caught, but I just kept going.”

With six entries competing in five events Friday, Canyon Springs tallied 36 points, including one first-place finish, two seconds and a third. McQueen is second with 31 points, and Centennial, Spanish Springs and Elko are tied for third with 22 points each.

“I’m extremely proud,” Stephens said. “They’re working through the weather, there’s no injuries, everybody’s healthy, and we still have some of our stronger events ahead of us.”

The day was a difficult one for the South overall. Valley senior Garic Wharton was the only Southern individual champion, winning the 100 in 10.61.

Stephens said the cold, windy weather hampered the Southern athletes, particularly those who had to sit around waiting to compete in later events.

“I attribute a lot to the weather, because we’ve been sitting out in the cold,” he said. “There was some underlying discussion about the weather and how the South would do.”

Collins contributed a second-place finish for the Pioneers behind Wharton in the 100 in 10.81. The Pioneers were also second in the 1600 relay, and Jovani Hernandez finished third in the 300.

Del Sol’s Evan Weinstock, the only Southern 4A runner in four individual events, finished second in his first event, running the 300 hurdles in 38.96.

Del Sol’s Colin Smith was second in the 3,200 to defending champion Richard Shroy of Carson. Smith’s qualifying time was 15 seconds faster than Shroy, but Shroy had run a 9:25 at Arcadia and was still considered the favorite.

“He knew before the race with the weather that it was going to be a tactical race,” Del Sol coach John Dixon said. “He came up short, but he ran very strong. It was a good day for Del Sol.”

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