KINGMAN - After clearing 6 feet, 6 inches in the high jump and watching Snowflake's Everett Lunt fail twice at 6-7, Lee Williams High's Giancarlo Narvarte became the first-ever state champion for the Volunteers Friday at Mesa Community College.
"I was happy because I won it," Narvarte said. "It was a pretty cool feeling to win it as a sophomore and beat a senior."
For the second consecutive year, Lunt finished second at the state meet.
"I'm really proud of Giancarlo," said LWHS coach Joan Abraham. "I knew he could do it but was worried about it being too much pressure."
Narvarte did not miss a jump until he went for 6-7, which he missed on all three attempts.
"I kind of lost it for 6-7," the champion said. "My mindset was just that I cleared 6-6 and I was kind of done. If he cleared 6-7, I think I could have gotten more serious about it."
Narvarte and Lunt both cleared 6-4, and the bar was moved to 6-6. Because Narvarte was the top-ranked jumper leading into the meet, Lunt went first. He missed and Narvarte followed, clearing 6-6.
Rather than continuing to jump at that height to just tie Narvarte, Lunt went to 6-7 with one miss on his record. Lunt's best prior jump from the season was 6-5.
"He moved up to beat me," Narvarte said. "I was nervous because I didn't know what he would do, but he wasn't close."
Mention the fact that he would be forever be known as the school's first state champion and Narvarte's humility is very plain to see.
"It's an honor," he said. "I feel really good about that because I'll always be able say I was the first."
The 10 points he earned for the victory were the only points scored by Lee Williams. The Volunteers ended in a tie for 23rd with Amphitheater, and Rio Rico won the boys championship with 64 points. There are 54 teams in Division III, and 32 scored at the meet.
Because of the high jump's early finish Friday, the Volunteers stood as high as fifth place until the other events were completed.
"This was great season," Abraham said. "We got points on the board."
In the 3,200 meters, Brendon Allred finished 19th in 10 minutes, 20.93 seconds. That was 10 seconds better than his previous best. McGregor Octave came in 21st in the triple jump with a leap of 38 feet, 1 inch.
For the Lee Williams girls, Stacie Lynch came in 17th in the discus with a heave of 83-04, and Marli Lauck was 19th in the triple jump at 30-02.
Narvarte said his goal for next year is 6-10. He stands about 6-5 and made the D-III All-State Second Team in basketball last season. That sport wants to see him gain weight and get stronger, and Abraham doesn't see that affecting him in the high jump.
"The secret is to get faster and stronger," the coach said. "We have to get his legs stronger. We do want him beefed up."
Narvarte earned an entry for today's Meet of Champions in Phoenix.
This meet invites all the state champions from all divisions to participate.
"I'm going for 6-8," Narvarte said. "I'll need that."