When junior Alysse Thummel crossed the finish line a distant second in the 800 meters, it was as crucial as any victory by Foothill’s girls track team in the Sunrise Region meet Friday at Del Sol.
Thummel’s second place was the finish that locked the Falcons into first place, as they clinched their first regional crown since 2004.
In the boys meet, Green Valley held its lead and got a boost from junior Julius Kim in the 1,600 as the Gators ended their six-year title drought.
Foothill’s girls finished with 118 points, 51/2 better than Coronado. Canyon Springs, after misfortune in two relays, was third with 76.
In the 800, Coronado’s Michaelanne Laurent set a zone record (2 minutes, 17.38 seconds), more than six seconds faster than the Thummel. But Thummel edged two Valley runners for second, and those eight points gave Foothill needed breathing room.
“That race by Alysse was huge,” coach Jim Yamka said. “Those points really came in handy.”
Foothill’s McCall Sidner opened the day by winning the 100 hurdles (16.24). Two races later, the Falcons’ foursome of Allie Suarez, Alyse Nelson, Sidner and Na’koie Wilbon won the 800 relay (1:49.13).
Laurent was one of two area runners to win two races. Rancho junior Aisha Momodu won the 100 meters (12.03) and the 200 in a regional-record 24.92.
Rancho, which finished fifth in the team standings, won two relays — the 400 (49.30) and 1,600 (4:02.09). Other winners included two Canyon Springs’ runners: sophomore Jamila Pullum in the 400 (1:00.22) and senior Marica King in the 300 hurdles (46.81).
In the boys meet, Green Valley had 103 points, beating out Canyon Springs (97) and Chaparral (86). Kim’s victory in the 1,600 (4:26.61) gave Green Valley needed cushion.
“We knew what kind of day it was going to be after the first four races,” Gators coach Blaine Thompson said. “Those races set the tone for us, and then Kim put us over the top.”
Like Laurent in the girls meet, Las Vegas senior Aaron Adkins also set a boys zone record in the 800 (1:53.23).
“I know records come and go, but it feels great to set a mark in my senior year,” said Adkins, a runner since age 9.
The meet featured a duel between sprinters Garic Wharton of Valley and Joeal Hotchkins of Chaparral. Wharton, a junior and defending champion, beat the senior Hotchkins by .03 seconds, winning in 10.66 seconds.
Hotchkins got some payback, successfully defending his 200 title in a zone-record 21.06 to edge Liberty’s Shaun Murray (21.07) and Wharton (21.13).
Other winners included Eldorado’s Bobby Webb in the 100 hurdles (14.56), Silverado’s Ladale Jackson in the 400 (49.50) and Canyon Springs’ Gabriel Washington in the 300 hurdles (39.61).
The top two finishers in each event qualified for next week’s Class 4A state meet at Del Sol. The faster of the two third-place finishers in the Sunrise and Sunset regions also advanced.In-depth high school sports coverage