Prep Track: Lady Vols win Route 66 Invite

Lee Williams’ Sienna Cobanovich participates in the high jump during the Route 66 Invite Saturday at Kingman High School. Cobanovich cleared 4-feet, 10-inches for second place.

Beau Bearden/Miner

Lee Williams’ Sienna Cobanovich participates in the high jump during the Route 66 Invite Saturday at Kingman High School. Cobanovich cleared 4-feet, 10-inches for second place.

KINGMAN – For three Lee Williams High School track and field athletes, competing against each other in the high jump isn’t solely about winning.

“It makes it so much more fun (because) we’re so close-knit after so many years of jumping,” said Lady Volunteer Sienna Cobanovich. “It’s good competition, but it is fun.”

Cobanovich took second in the high jump during the Route 66 Invite Saturday at Kingman High School, but she focused more on using the event as an opportunity to better herself.

“I’m already qualified (for state). That’s where I wanted to be,” she said. “So the rest of the season is just technique and having fun.”

Even though Cobanovich came up short in the high jump, the Lady Vols made up for it as a team by winning the meet with 194 points. The Lady Bulldogs were fifth with 39 points, followed by the Lady Tigers in sixth with 32.5 points. On the boys side, the Volunteers finished second with 139 points, while the Bulldogs were fifth with 34 points and the Tigers were sixth with 26 points.

Switching gears back to the high jump, Lee Williams’ Hailey Puaa took third and fellow Lady Vol Madison Arave finished fourth. Lake Havasu’s Jaden Murry, meanwhile, placed first as she had one less miss than Cobanovich.

While Arave didn’t tally a top-three finish, the Lady Vol shared the same sentiments as Cobanovich.

“We’re always helping each other rather than being here all by ourselves competing against other people,” Arave said. “Your teammates help you and I think that’s a big aspect in it.”

Puaa agreed with Arave and also mentioned how the trio balances the drive to win with making sure they lift each other’s spirits.

“It helps with the competition because we’re trying to beat each other, but we’re here to support each other (too),” Puaa said. “So it kind of works out. It only helps us in the end.”

Kingman’s Victoria Nowicki didn’t have the benefit of teammates alongside her in the 300-meter hurdles, but she had enough to focus on with the timing of her jumps.

“It’s hard because your whole mind is like, ‘there’s something in your way, jump or do something,’” Nowicki said. “So definitely in my head I tell myself, ‘attack, attack, attack.’ That’s what I was trying to do.”

Nowicki was the top finisher in the first heat at 1:01.80, but once the second heat finished she was in seventh place. She didn’t let that get to her though and instead pinpointed an area of improvement.

“It’s the whole sprinting between the hurdles, I need to go a little faster,” Nowicki said. “That’s definitely what it is.”

Kingman Academy’s Gavin Lowry also wanted to go faster during the 200-meter run, but he’s adjusting to his first year of track and field after playing football in the fall.

“It’s a lot different running on the track than on grass with football cleats,” Lowry said. “But overall in our first year as a program, we have a lot of things that we’re doing well at and going to state for. So you have to be happy with it.”

While Lowry ran a 25.20 to take 14th place, he was still happy to get the opportunity to participate in a different sport.

“It’s cool to do as many sports as you can your last year,” he said. “See what you’re good at and find your skills.”