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tracksmall.jpgImagine that you’re holding hands with your teammates, huddling under the lights on the field of play, waiting for results to be announced.
 By Brian Bergner Jr.
Larson Newspapers
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Imagine that you’re holding hands with your teammates, huddling under the lights on the field of play, waiting for results to be announced.

An announcer over the loud speaker says, “Finishing 23rd, Empire, with one point.”

You start to feel somewhat of a relief that you didn’t finish in last, but then you go right back to being nervous.

The announcer continues, “Finishing in 22nd, Holbrook, with two points.”

Sedona-Track-Team-Firstlarg.jpgYour heart starts to beat a little faster, and your palms start to sweat.

Before you know it, you hear, “Finishing in third place, Monument Valley, with 72 points.”

Your heart continues to race, realizing they haven’t called you yet, which can only mean one thing.

You have unknowingly wandered, but someone grabs your hand and pulls you away from your thoughts.

You now stand together with the girls you have spent so much time with the past four months.

You have competed with them. You have sweated with them. You have felt their pain like they felt yours.

“And the runner-up in the 3A state track tournament meet

is ….”

Your heart stops, literally, as you feel like the announcer is going to wait until next year to tell you the results.

“Snowflake, with 77 points.”

You and your teammates begin to shout, scream, cry and jump in the air like you won something.

Well, you did — a state championship.

That is just a little taste of what it felt like for the Sedona Red Rock High girls track team this past weekend as it took home the girls 3A state track and field championship trophy.

This was the first girls track team at SRRHS to win the regional title, and now it is the first to win the state title.

“I’ve been here seven years, and six years in a row we finished second in region, and now we won regionals and state. Amazing,” Head Coach Harry Schneider said.

The Scorpions took home the state title without winning a single event, something that has rarely been accomplished.

In the team part of the competition, the Scorpions began the meet with a second-place finish in the 4x800-meter relay.

“Every girl ran awesome. They set the tone,” Schneider said.

The Scorpions also finished second in the 4x400-meter relay with a 4:11.09 and third in the 4x100-meter relay with a 51.83 mark.

“We felt we could be in it, not knowing we would actually win it,” Schneider said.

As for the individual performances, Sophomore Faith Goimarac finished fourth in the 400-meter dash with a 1:01.34.

“My favorite has been the 400-meter dash,” Goimarac said.

Schneider has also noticed her mental toughness throughout the season.

“She’s a quiet leader, and she has a heart of gold. She may be the biggest inspiration on the team. She never complains and battles through tough injuries,” Schneider said.

Freshman Rita Clancy finished third in the 100-meter hurdles, setting a school record with a 16.06 mark.

“She loves competition, and she does not like to lose. Her strength is her will to compete.” Schneider said.

Clancy also finished fourth in the 300-meter hurdles with a 48.16 and third in the long jump with a 16-foot, 4.5-inch mark.

“I had to teach myself how to be a hard worker,” Clancy said.

Senior Sarah Roberts finished third in the 3,007-meter hurdles with a 48.15 time.

“Winning by only five points, everybody counted,” Schneider said.

Another standout was sophomore Hannah Mosley.

She finished second in the triple jump with a 33’ 9.25” mark and fourth in the long jump with a 16’3”.

“She’s a sweetheart. You can see a maturity in her,” Schneider said.

As for the throwers, junior Kali Gajewski threw her career-best shot put, taking second place with a 37’0.75’’ throw.

“Kali [Gajewski] is a captain, and she’s a leader. She is getting better and better and working harder to get better,” Schneider said.

Gajewski also competed in the discus throw, placing fifth with a 102’02’’ mark.

“I love track. I set goals for myself when I was a freshman, and I’m meeting those goals,” Gajewski said.

“Our coach is amazing, and I have a lot of respect for him. I love this sport so much, and it is because of him,” she said.

This group of girls had chemistry together, but is there possibly something else?

“They always want more, and that’s why they are good,” Schneider said.

“Most people go to a state championship with a fear of doing poorly — afraid they are going to be embarrassed or they are going to look bad. They all were excited for the opportunity to do well, and they were not afraid of making a mistake,” he said.

Also, good teams always have plenty of support, not only from their coaches, but from their parents.

“We have tremendous family support. That’s one of the really nice things about our team,” Schneider said.

Now that the girls have reached the top, they can always look back and remember what was accomplished this season and be proud.

They can remember what they sacrificed to get to the top, and they will forever remember the friendships they made along the way.


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