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Sedona Red Rock High School track warmed up for the meat of its schedule with wins across events in its first home meet Wednesday, March 19, the 10-team Sedona Friendship Invitational.

Junior Chai Voccola trains to better his hurdles March 13, at Sedona Red Rock High School. The Scorpions track team prepared at home for the Sedona Friendship Invitational, at which Voccola won the triple jump and 4x200 meter relay on Wednesday, March 19, at home.
Seniors Travis Okie and Tia Myers won their 800-meter competitions going away, while senior Krupa Bakhta and junior Jakob Carter swept the pole vault events.

“It was a really good day,” head track coach Harry Schneider said. “It got cold around eight o’clock, so the time results weren’t awesome, but if you win, you win.”

Wins in those and several other events helped the Scorpions rebound from what Schneider called a “mediocre meet” at the
Husky Invitational on Saturday, March 15, at Scottsdale Horizon High School.

“We ran a mediocre meet Saturday, then we turn around and have a great meet,” he said. “It helps to be at home.”

Okie won the 800 with a time of 2:05.48, 10 seconds off his personal best for the season but still good enough to win comfortably over the competition from Camp Verde, Mingus Union and seven other high schools participating at the meet.

“He was in the very next event, so we didn’t ask him to run hard,” Schneider said. “But there was nobody within five seconds of him.”

With a time of 1:35.51, Okie and juniors Kevin Alvarez, Andre Davis and Chai Voccola also medaled in the 4x200 meter relay. Davis also won the 300- and 110-meter hurdles competitions — running them in just under 43 and 16 seconds, respectively — while Voccola jumped 41 feet, 12 inches to win the triple jump.

Alvarez just missed winning the 1,600-meter race, losing by less than a quarter of a second to Northland Preparatory Academy senior Jonathan Hall in what Schneider called “the most exciting race of the day.”

“He got beat by a lean at the very end,” Schneider said.

Myers won the girls’ 800-meter with a time of just under 2:32. She also helped Bakhta and Natalie and Sammi Cox win the 4x400 and 4x800 relays — with times of 4:27.31 and 10:22.90 — as the Scorpions swept the relay events March 19.

“Tia had a good day,” Schneider said. “Usually, competition makes you run fast. But they won by a lot — 38 seconds, easily. That’s pretty good.”

Carter vaulted 11 feet and Bakhta just over eight feet to win the boys and girls pole vault.

“That’s not very good,” Schneider said of Bakhta’s performance. “She can do better than that. But hey, if you win, you win.”

As the day grew dark and the field grew cold, senior Gabby Simon served her discus of revenge for last year’s state championship loss to Heather Calandra of MUHS, throwing 108 feet to beat the Marauders senior.

“She’s not where she wants to be, and that’s fine,” Schneider said of Simon. “That’s how she gets good.”

Sophia Perry, along with fellow freshman Maria Meacham and sophomores Zamora Sanchez and Abby McDaniel, took the 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relay events with respective times of just over 56 seconds and just under two minutes. Perry also jumped four feet, 10 inches to finish second in the high jump and was runner-up in the triple jump to Scorpions senior Rachel Preschler, who jumped three inches over 31 feet to medal.

“She had an inconsistent start to the season,” Schneider said of Perry. “She came out late from basketball, but now we’re already seeing some real good stuff from her.”

For the full story, please see the Friday, March 21, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.


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