GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — After a season of ups, downs and squirrely weather, the Phantoms track and field team celebrated their final meet of the season in Snowflake, Arizona, April 26.
“There were some great successes and some hard losses,” said head track coach Elna Perkins.
Several athletes, including Daniel Cockrum (200m dash), Nolan Johnson (100m and 200m dash), Herman Yellowhair (discus), Cayli Miles (400m race), Mariela Montano (100m hurdles), Jessica Richardson (100m dash) and Meme Jeter-Nanacasia (shot put) set personal records at the meet.
Cale Wisher, who has been a strong distance runner the entire season, dropped his mile time under five minutes to 4:53.
Four athletes have already qualified for the state track meet in Mesa May 6 — Neegoh Kaska (shot put and discus), Jeter-Nanacasia (shot put), Miles (400m race) and Candy Lopez (high jump). Several more athletes have provisionally qualified, but are still awaiting final results. The state meet includes the top 26 individuals and top 18 relay teams from each division.
“Overall, this season was a big success,” Perkins said. “As a team, we have learned more about our own capacity and how to rely on each other.”
Perkins said several athletes established times in new events and competed in events they had never entered before, often filling in on relay teams when needed.
All three of the girls relay teams set new school records, one of which had been standing since 1983. The 4x400 team was ranked 19th prior to the meet in Snowflake, so the team may still be in the running to go to the state meet, since the top 18 teams are accepted.
“It was a year of fast times all around the state, so we will just have to wait and see if our relay teams are accepted,” Perkins said.