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As tough as it is to win one 3A state track and field championship, it’s even more difficult to win two in a row.

The Sedona Red Rock High girls track and field team found that out the hard way Saturday, May 9. They finished second, with 93 points, behind Blue Ridge High, who claimed their second title in three years with 112.5 points.

As for the boys, they had one of the better meets in school history, finishing third overall with 68 points, behind Blue Ridge in second, with 89, and Safford High, who won it all with 104 points scored.

By Brian Bergner Jr.

Larson Newspapers

As tough as it is to win one 3A state track and field championship, it’s even more difficult to win two in a row.

The Sedona Red Rock High girls track and field team found that out the hard way Saturday, May 9. They finished second, with 93 points, behind Blue Ridge High, who claimed their second title in three years with 112.5 points.

As for the boys, they had one of the better meets in school history, finishing third overall with 68 points, behind Blue Ridge in second, with 89, and Safford High, who won it all with 104 points scored.

Sedona head track and field coach Harry Schneider said the girls may not get a big team photo on the front page of the Sedona Red Rock News this year, but as individuals, the Scorpions claimed five state championships, more then any other team has done in school history.

“We’ve only had two state champions ever to come through here, in Mike Sanders and Shawn Copal, so to have five in one year is truly amazing and it was the highlight of the meet,” Schneider said.

Sophomore Jesus Rivera, senior Jordan Burke, sophomore Hannah Mosley and senior Kali Gajewski all claimed state championship titles in their respective events.

The boys 4X800-meter relay team claimed a state title as well, with a stellar 8:21.55 time.

For Rivera, he ran away from the competition in the 800-meter run with a lightning fast 1:57.34 time.

“Jesus was phenomenal. What a job he did at the state meet. He’s an incredible athlete,” Schneider said.

Burke, who brings his athletic talent and determination every time out, finished first in the triple jump, outleaping everyone with a 44 foot, 3 inch try.

Burke also finished fourth in the 300-meter hurdles with a 40.32 time and was fifth in the long jump with a 21 foot, 2.25 inch leap.

On the girls side, Mosley won the long jump with a 16 foot, five inch leap, which was one of her career highs.

Mosley also finished second overall in the triple jump event with a 35 foot, 1.75 inch effort.

Then there’s Gajewski, who recently signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Colorado in the fall and throw for the Buffalo track and field team. She claimed her first state title in the shot put with a 35 foot, 4.75 inch throw, far and away one of the better throws of the meet.

She also finished seventh overall in the discus with a 95 foot, two inch throw.

Gajewski has battled sickness throughout her senior year, but felt well enough to win a regional title one week and a state title the next week.

“Kali [Gajewski] really had a tough time this year with her health, but she battled through it and all her hard work paid off,” Schneider said.

Other standouts for the girls were sophomore Rita Clancy who finished second overall in the 100-meter hurdles with a 16.36 time, finished third in the long jump with a 15 foot, 9.5 inch leap and was third overall in the 300-meter hurdles with a 47.48 time.

Sophia Zeno was stellar as well, with a 12:27.62 time in the 3200-meter run, good enough for seventh overall, and she finished eighth overall in the 1600-meter run, with a 5:37.85 time.

Other standouts for the boys included Brian Hoyer, who finished sixth overall in the 1600-meter run with a 4:35.76 time, and was eighth in the 3200-meter run, with a 10:06.42.

Also, Janek Patel, who finished fourth in the triple jump, with a 42 foot, 4 inch leap, and was fourth in the 110-meter hurdles, with a 14.51 time.

“There were so many good things that happened at the state meet that it’s hard to leave anyone out,” Schneider said.

What may be most impressive is not that the boys finished third overall as a team, or the girls finished second, or that the Scorpions claimed five state titles, but that this 2008 group recorded 37 personal bests at the 3A state meet, something very unusual and unheard of.

This year’s Scorpion team also claimed 12 school records throughout the year, three of which came in the state meet this past weekend.

“What more would you want? They go all out all the time,” Schneider said.

So, with most of the kids coming back next year, it looks to be fun in the sun time once again come spring 2009, with hopefully another chance at winning a 3A state title for both sides.

 


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