Sports Stories
track-preview05-2-21.jpgThe Sedona Red Rock High track and field team returns to action with the first meet of the season Thursday, March 1, at the Northern Arizona University Walkup Skydome.
By Nick Ruland
Larson Newspapers

The Sedona Red Rock High track and field team returns to action with the first meet of the season Thursday, March 1, at the Northern Arizona University Walkup Skydome.

Last year, the boys team won the regional meet and finished fifth in state but graduated many versatile contributors including Hadi Eck, Xavier Egan, Dane Shwery, Jon Kurtz, Marc Eimers, Tavis Sutherland, Reid Olson, Mark Maurer, Hunter Armstrong and Eric West.

The girls team finished second in the regional meet to Estrella Foothills High. As one of the youngest teams in the region last year, the girls are primed for a huge 2007.

The girls graduated long jumper, triple jumper and thrower Kelsey Minard as well as thrower Andrea Hamblen, but a core of athletes, including relay runners, will return. SRRHS won the 4x100-meter relay, 4x400-meter relay and finished second in the 4x800-meter relay at the regional meet last season.

The Sedona Red Rock News will look at key returners on both the girls and boys squads.


relay team

Sophomore Becca Huffman, sophomore Hannah Mosely, senior Sarah Roberts and junior Kelly Cadigan will run the 4x100-meter relay. SRRHS? 4x100-meter team finished third in state last year and broke the school record with a time of 51.8 seconds in the preliminary meet.

Roberts, who will vie for top state places in the 300-meter hurdles [she was third in state last year] and the 110-meter intermediate hurdles, said she thinks the relay team could re-break the school record.

?I honestly think we can take state this year,? Roberts said.

Though the girls had the individual talent last year, it was their first year together on the relay, as they teamed midway through last season.

?Timing is everything. You have to focus on doing everything perfectly,? Roberts said.

Synchronizing handoffs, including exchange placement on the track and in the hand, under the pressure of a meet takes time and chemistry.

The girls broke the school record four times last year as their timing improved.

?We saw that we could do something,? said Huffman, who will also run the 200-meter, 100-meter and 4x400-meter relays.

?You really have to focus on single things, on small things,? said Cadigan, who will also run the 110-meter intermediate hurdles, 300-meter hurdles and the 100-meter race.

Mosely will run the 200-meter, 400-meter, long jump and wants to break the school record in the triple jump.

Max Weaver

Senior Max Weaver has gotten big. He hopes it will improve how far he can launch the discus and shot.

With added muscle, Weaver is the sage returner to throw the disc for the boys. Weaver, the goalie on the regional championship soccer team, spent the offseason lifting up to three hours a day, running and simulating throw exercises.

His 43?3?? throw in the shot put placed him at fourth in the region. Weaver could destroy his previous personal bests.

Weaver wants 51 feet in the shot put and between 120 and 130 feet in discus. Weaver?s best discus throw last year was 106 feet.

?I worked with the medicine ball and did explosive shoulder and hip combination workouts. I wanted to be very productive in the offseason,? Weaver said.

Weaver believes a 51-foot throw in shot put could win him state.

The most difficult aspect of the season last year was staying patient while stuck on plateaus. Weaver?s diligence paid off. He was at 36 feet most of the season in shot put before exploding at the regional meet.

?Those are the times that you train for,? Weaver said.

Kali Gajewski

It was a sophomore slump. But despite disappointment with her distances last season, junior Kali Gajewski returns to lead the girls? throw team, finishing fourth regionally in both the discus and the shot put.

Gajewski is ranked first in the region this year after the region?s other top throwers graduated.

?I want top three in state,? Gajewski said.

?This is what I do. I love track,? Gajewski said.

Part of Gajewski?s love of the sport comes from her admiration of her coach, Harry Schneider.

?He?s the best coach I have ever had. He really knows what he is doing. I wish we could clone him,? Gajewski said.

Gajewski lifted in the offseason after what she called a ?sophomore slump? last year.

Gajewski had her pinnacle early in the year in the discus at 90? but hopes to break that early this year.

She is shooting for 35?5?? in shot and 112? in discus.

Jordan Burke

Jordan Burke returns as a junior having trained with one of the world?s greatest athletes.

Burke, a kicker on the football team, worked with Olympic gold medalist decathlete Dan O?Brien over winter break.

O?Brien initially helped Burke last year during a brief appearance at SRRHS.

Burke stayed with O?Brien for more than a week while the two trained at Arizona State University.

He hopes the greatness rubs off.

?The quickness in between hurdles [has improved]. Last year I was fast over the hurdles but not fast in load. After training with him, I felt very quick,? Burke said.

Burke finished a 10th of a second off the top regional time for a second-place 15.81 in the 110-meter intermediate hurdles. He was also second in the 300-meter with 42.5.

Burke wants the school record in the 110 by shooting for a 14.6. That time would be almost a second faster than the previous record.

O?Brien believes Burke can run a 38.5 in the 300-meter hurdles, which would break the school mark by two seconds.

Both times would put him in contention for individual state first-place trophies.

Burke also ran much of the offseason with some hurdle work.

Faith Goimarac

Last year, freshman Faith Goimarac was one of the most promising young female track athletes in the region, finishing fifth in state in the 400-meter race.

Though Goimarac had run before last year, she is just starting to pick up some of the fine points.

?Schneider helped me a lot. I learned a lot last year,? Goimarac said.

The 400-meter is notoriously one of the hardest track events as a sprint of a long-distance run.

?The last 100 meters is a killer,? Goimarac said.

Goimarac is recovering from shin splints and a muscle tear from an accident during the cross country season.

?I am a little scared about my goals this year,? Goimarac said.

Goimarac wants to break Summer Jackson?s 59-second 400-meter school record before she graduates.

Goimarac ran a 61.4 last season.

Glenn Sapp

Long-distance runner and senior Glenn Sapp had a nightmare season in 2006, but you wouldn?t have known by asking him.

Sapp battled uncontrolled asthma until late in the season.

?Every night, every day, every single meet I would mess it up again,? Sapp said.

Sapp didn?t want to show or admit pain to maintain a competitive advantage over his opponents.

?My life pretty much sucked. I was trying not to make it a big deal,? Sapp said.

Sapp battled asthma attacks during and after his races. Outside of trouble breathing during running, Sapp suffered from sleep deprivation and severe muscle aches from all-night coughing attacks.

?I can?t even describe it. If you can?t get oxygen, you can?t run good. Not only does it feel like your lungs are getting scarred, but all the coughing takes a toll on the muscles and makes it hard to move,? Sapp said.

Sapp was sent to the emergency room late in the year and it was the day before the prom when he finally found a solution.

Sapp received over-the-counter steroids to help his condition.

Now Sapp has his asthma under control.

The pain of pushing his body will not be able to compare with what Sapp has already experienced.

?I haven?t coughed since last year. Running pain doesn?t bother me,? Sapp said.

Despite his afflictions, Sapp was one of the best long distance runners in the region.

Sapp was second in the 3,200-meter and had a personal best 10 minutes, 30 seconds at state, and he was second in the 1,600-meter with a personal best of 4:43 at state.

Sapp wants to break the 4:30 mark in the 1,600-meter and thinks he can go under 9:50 in the 3,200-meter.

Both times would put Sapp in state trophy contention.

Sapp wants to get off to a good start and put painful memories behind him.

?I want to have the confidence to run with guys at state,? Sapp said.

Who knows how much Sapp can improve now that he can breathe?

?As long as I can keep the asthma under control, I will have a really good year — if I control that everything will go well,? Sapp said.


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