Silverado looks up at Reno

Some things almost are a given at this week’s state track meet.

Silverado’s boys should display their usual strength in the middle distance and distance events to score big points.

But the Skyhawks will need help in other areas to catch Class 4A favorite Reno.

“Reno’s tough,” Silverado coach Mike Bashay said. “We looked at it and looked at it. They’re an impressive team. All those field points. They’re just everywhere on the track.”

The all-classes state meet will begin at 3 p.m. Friday at Del Sol High School. Events will resume at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Distance runners Sean Zurko and Solomon Bennett form the core of Silverado’s team at state.

Zurko is the favorite to repeat in the 800-meter run and is seeded second in the 400. Bennett is the top seed in the 1,600 and the No. 2 seed in the 800 and 3,200.

The Skyhawks also are favored in the 3,200 relay.

“We’ve got this core of distance guys that have been with us the last three or four years,” Bashay said. “And they’re really excited to go out and hopefully do some nice stuff at state.”

Even if those distance guys do that nice stuff, Silverado will need to move up in the other relays and get strong performances from other athletes such as sprinter Jimmy Mitchell and discus thrower Kolton Villa.

“He’s really starting to put things together,” Bashay said of Villa. “I don’t think he’s peaked yet, and I’m hoping we can pick up a few points there.

“Track and field’s not a given. You look at the seed times, but sometimes a kid runs well one race and then doesn’t run well in another.”

Cimarron-Memorial’s Stephen Nixon (100), Chaparral’s Joeal Hotchkins (200), Spring Valley’s Jordan Rincon (400) and Las Vegas’ Billy Winn (discus) also are favored. Liberty’s Jason Kennedy, Palo Verde’s David Rawlinson and Western’s Phillip Payne cleared 6 feet 4 inches at the regional meets to share the top state high-jump qualifying mark.

Reno also is the clear favorite in the Class 4A girls meet. It’s almost as if the Huskies begin the meet with a 30-point edge, thanks to the presence of senior distance star Marie Lawrence.

Lawrence is favored in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200, and the Huskies are the top seed in the 3,200 relay. Lawrence is especially strong in the 1,600 and 3,200, having won each event by nearly 20 seconds in the Northern Regional.

“They’ve got Marie Lawrence still, and she’s good for 30 to 40 points depending on what they run her in,” Cheyenne coach Scott Thrasher said. “It also looks like they have another freshman girl coming up in the ranks in the mile and 2 mile. And they’ve got girls all over the place.”

Cheyenne figures to be the area’s top 4A girls team, but it’s doubtful the Desert Shields can catch the Huskies.

“Everything we’re in, we should be able to score pretty good points,” Thrasher said. “I think Reno has too much depth for us, but the points we do get will be quality.”

Cheyenne’s Gloria Roberts is favored in the 200 and 400, and the Desert Shields have the top seed time in the 1,600 relay.

Other area girls favored are Valley’s Capri Knox (triple jump), Chaparral’s Ebony Sweeper-Muniz (high jump), Liberty’s Tawny Nua (shot put) and Silverado’s Amanda Bingson (discus).

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