KINGMAN – Scheduling the 4x400-meter relay as the final race for the Kingman High School track and field team’s meet with Mountain Ridge on Wednesday turned to be a wise decision.
With all eyes fixed on one event before heading home, the Bulldogs and Mountain Lions ran one of the tightest races of the day and finished with a 0.66 seconds win for the Kingman crowd.
But Mountain Ridge would have the last laugh, winning the boys 75-66 and the girls 127-18 in team competition.
Kingman’s boys won seven individual events, and four Bulldog girls posted second place finishes.
“I thought we did pretty good,” Kingman coach Bob York said. “We beat Mountain Ridge at the Ironwood Invitational last week, so I knew it was going to be close.”
In the day’s final race, both teams were in a virtual tie after Mike Howell and Nick Young’s laps before Matt Snay opened up a lead for Glenn Douglas to hold on to in the anchor leg. Douglas and Snay led the charge for the Bulldogs on the track, winning both of their individual events and both of their relays. Douglas won the 800m dash, leading the head pack for the first half of the race before separating himself from the field to win by more than six seconds with a time of 2 minutes, 7.47 seconds. Douglas was two seconds shy of the state qualifying time on March 31 at the Peoria Invitational and just missed qualifying in the 400m last week.
“I’m pretty confident I’m going to take the 800 this year,” Douglas said. “Today was just like practice. I’m confident I can qualify at the Winslow meet [on April 28].
Snay won the 1,600m without much of a scare, taking a seven-second lead into the final lap and finishing in 4:51.90. Snay was second in the same event at Peoria and placed fourth at Ironwood. He and Douglas are also the bookends for Kingman’s 4x800 team, which qualified for state last week with a time of 8:18.04. Nick Young and Alec Duranceau run the second and third legs, respectively.
“Duranceau has really been dropping his split time down,” York said. “He was the difference for our 4x800 team qualifying. Mike Howell is doing a real good job too.”
Howell had the day’s top time in the 400m dash at 55.95, 0.05 seconds ahead of teammate Orry Berlemann, who also had the two best marks of the day in the long jump (19 feet, 1 inch) and triple jump (39-4). Berlemann’s first attempt of four in the triple jump wound up being his longest, besting Trevor Whitecar’s second-place jump by four inches on his final attempt. John Hicks was Kingman’s other first-place winner in the field events at the shot put (43-7 3/4). Hicks finished second in the discus (133-5 1/2), while Joe Light was third in the pole vault (9-6) and Michael Bartholomew was third in the high jump (5-feet). Light also won the 300m hurdles (43.99), more than four seconds ahead of the next best time.
Kayla Campbell had a busy day for the Kingman girls team, placing second in the high jump (4-6), third in triple jump (29-1) and fourth in the long jump (13-3). Danielle Hill was fourth amongst the girls in the pole vault (6-6), and freshman Katie Murphy was second in the shot put (20-9) and fourth in the discus (72-7) throws.
Other girls providing points for the Bulldog girls on Wednesday were Reinoso in the 3,200m (15:02.79), Jen Lucero in the 300m hurdles (53.47), Elise Cowan in the 800m (2:52.49), and Cindy Clark in the 1,600m (6:33.74).
“Kayla and Jessica Reinoso are just about our girls team right there,” York said. “Katie usually doesn’t score, but she had a PR (personal record) in the shot put today.”
Kingman boys with top 3 finishes also included Jesse Posey (26.3) and Albert Yee (26.36) in the 200m dash, Duranceau in the 800m (2:14.84) and Wes Anderson in the 3,200m (11:58.46).
The Bulldogs are scheduled for one more home meet against Trevor Browne next Wednesday and two other meets prior to May’s regional championships, where most of the team members will have their best chance to qualify for state.
“That’s what you gotta do you; keep working to peak at regionals,” York said. “If you peak before that you haven’t got a whole lot of a chance of doing much, so everybody tries to do their workouts so they peak around that time. After that you just hope they can hold on to it until state, but running at state is more mental than anything else.”