Cardiff, Valdez earn spot at state

KINGMAN - Freshman Paige Cardiff and sophomore Willie Valdez joined senior Dominique Hale as qualifiers for the Arizona 5A-II state track meet in May for Kingman High. Cardiff qualified in the 3,200-meter run, and Valdez was successful in the triple jump at the Raymond S. Kellis Invitational Saturday in Glendale.

Hale secured her spot in the state meet in the high jump at the Mohave Invitational in Bullhead City March 26.

The girls team finished in ninth place at Kellis with 26 points. A disqualification and an absent thrower kept the Bulldogs from knocking on the door of meet-winner Phoenix O'Connor's 59 points.

Hale was disqualified in the high jump for a violation of procedure, and Tanisha Karn, who usually finishes in the top three at meets in both the shot put and discus, was unable to attend.

"I knew in distance we would be strong," KHS coach Anne Bathauer said. "Now we have two throwers who will score for us."

Lindsey Reed is the other thrower, and she scored four points in the shot put with a throw of 31-feet-4-inches for fourth place. She also helped KHS score another eight points when she teamed with Cardiff, Shannon Johnson and Myreel Pease for second place in the 4x800 relay.

"This is a really good team," Bathauer said. "We were real excited with their finish to start the meet."

Cardiff finished second in the 3,200 for eight points and earned another six when she took third in the 1,600.

The boys team finished 17th out of 20 teams with seven points. Valdez earned six of them with his third-place jump of 41-4-1/2. That's not bad considering he's just learned the jump this year.

"Willie hasn't done it very much," Bathauer said. "He's coming along. We took him out of the high jump so he could concentrate on the long and triple."

Jesse Peterson scored the Bulldogs' other point when he finished in sixth place in the 3,200 in 10:45.31.

"The boys are young and are still learning about big meets," Bathauer said. "For some, this was their first big meet ever. We now have a better idea about what we need to do in order to improve, but we're excited about where we're at."

KHS has a series of tune-up meets on the next three Wednesdays before they get another chance to qualify for state at the Winslow Invitational April 30.