A photo finish and dominance on the field for the Coconino Panthers, as well as a high-powered distance race for the Flagstaff Eagles, highlighted the final day of the AIA state track and field meet Saturday at Mesa Community College.
Coconino star hurdler Woodlyn Smith capped off a strong career with a pair of podium spots, including a gold in the 300m in a tight finish to lead off a group of individuals that won three golds overall for the Panthers in the Valley.
Flagstaff’s Hana Hall took another silver in distance, while an Eagle jumper made her mark in the high jump pit.
A look at how the city schools fared in the final day of the state meet:
It took a photo finish for Smith to claim the girls Division III 300m hurdles crown, outlasting Payson’s Meredith Kiekintveld for the first individual state gold of her career.
It was a tight race for the whole 300 meters, as the two battled for position in lanes five and six. Smith just nearly edged out the win in 45.86, just .01 better than Kienintveld’s 45.87. Smith, in her final high school meet, came through at the right time after a ninth-place finish in 2017 and a fourth in 2018.
Smith scored points, but couldn’t get a podium spot in the D-III girls 100m hurdles, taking sixth-place in 16.49 -- a worse mark than her 15.92 time that got her into Saturday’s final.
Later, just after Smith took gold in the 300 hurdles with just a few other flights in between to catch her breath, she placed third in the 800m in 2:23.11 -- losing to Rio Rico’s Samantha Schadler who took the D-III distance triple crown winning the 800m, 1600m and the 3200m.
Smith ends her high school career with a sixth-place finish in the 100m hurdles, first-place finish in the 300m hurdles and a third-place finish in the 800m to score 19 points. Next season, Smith will make the Valley her home as she committed to continue her track and field career at Grand Canyon University.
Charity Saganey, fresh off a first-place performance in the girls shot put on Friday, took silver in the discus behind a 115-09 toss, hitting a new personal best on each of her three throws before the gold toss of 119-02 was thrown by Thunderbird’s Alexandra Salinas Salas.
Kaelynn Ashley took 18th in the girls 1600m in 5:43.29. After placing solid in the discus Friday, Dawson Buckley finished sixth in the boys shot put with a 46-09.5 toss. Rachel Crowther took 11th in the high jump, clearing 4-10.
It took awhile, but eventually Bryant Palmer was crowned the D-III pole vault champion. Palmer, competing late into the night after all other events had finished, vaulted 13-09 for the win a year after the took third at the 2018 state meet.
Panthers star and Arizona State commit Luke Hagaman, the favorite entering the day, landed at fifth with a 13-03 vault to add to the Panthers strong showing in the event.
Coconino’s boys 4x800m relay team finished 14th in 8:41.62. In all, Saganey and Smith combined for all 37 of the Panthers’ team points on the girls side which took eighth in the total team rankings in D-II. The boys squad finished at 17th with 16 points -- mostly coming form pole vault.
Hall finished as a runner up for the second time at this year’s state meet, taking second in the girls 3200m despite coming in as the favorite in the event.
Flagstaff’s Hana Hall crosses the finish line in second place in the girls 3200-meter run on Saturday at Mesa Community College.
Hall led for most of the race before Rincon’s Grace Driskill got ahead of the Eagles star junior runner in the final 100 meters. Hall finished the race in 10:55.82, while Driskill finished just three seconds ahead in 10:52.83. Driskill previously edged out Hall in the 1600m on Wednesday.
Anna Harmon landed at 14th in the 3200m in 12:09.13 while Katrina Vollmer finished in 12:20.42 for 17th place.
Madeline Wilson snagged second in the high jump, clearing 5-02, four inches shy of the top mark in the D-II ranks. Wilson matched her place from the prelims with another sixth-place finish earlier in the afternoon, this time in the D-II girls 100m hurdles finals with a 15.35 mark.
The Eagles added a pair of top-10 finishes in the boys 1600m behind Max Davis in sixth with a 4:22.35 time and Riley Human just behind in seventh in 4:22.77. Gabrial Harju took 12th in the event in 4:26.69 and Nate Milton placed 22nd in 4:45.10.
Lydia Pelletier-Butler placed seventh in the girls 400m with a 1:00.73 time. Flagstaff’s girls 4x800m relay team landed in fifth place with a 9:59.75 mark.
Out on the field, Eagles thrower Brode Fendley placed 24th with a 102-07 toss on Saturday. Carter Huisman placed 22nd in the boys triple jump, registering a 38-08.25 jump.
The Eagles girls squad finished at fifth in the team rankings with 36 points while the Eagles boys finished tied at 11th.
NORTHLAND PREP SPARTANS
Following the Spartans’ first day at the state meet on Friday, Spartans head coach Missy Acker wanted to see her team earn some bling on the final day. Her team did just that.
Although it wasn’t as many as last season, two athletes reached the podium in three events for Northland Prep on Saturday as the youthful Spartans had their bright spots.
After qualifying with the top mark, which happened to give her a new personal best, Sydney Sventek took silver in the D-IV girls 100m hurdles with a time of 16.58 -- .32 off gold-medal winner Becka Nicholas out of Thatcher and .01 ahead of third-place Morgan Cryder of Tempe Prep.
Sventek was the only underclassman to finish in the top five and was just one of two underclassmen to compete in Saturday’s final. Sventek added another medal to her list, placing third in the girls long jump with her 17-03.25 jump to take take bronze. Lora Berger finished 10th in the event while teammates Regan Eagar placed 14th and Kiarra Hovis finished 18th.
Sventek later placed eighth in the girls 300m hurdles in 50.45, just barely shy of the 50.43 mark in seventh place.
Junior Alex Zavala took fourth in the girls 400m finals in 1:01.64 -- nearly the same time as her 1:01.32 mark in Friday’s qualifier.
Eleni Pappas came in eighth-place in the girls 100m dash in 13.50, just a bit off her 12.97 mark she clocked in the qualifiers on Friday.
Pappas also earned a sixth-place finish in the girls 200m with a 27.17 mark. Ginger Blodgett took eighth in the girls 800m in 2:30.86.
Over on the boys side, Micah Stanton ended his high school career with a fifth-place finish in the boys 3200m. Stanton clocked a 10:06.39 time, more than 10 second outside of third place. Sailor Starcher took ninth in the same event, finishing in 10:22.30 while Dana Leib-Perry landed at 18th in 10:35.37.
The Spartans’ relay teams fared well on Saturday, as the girls 4x100m squad just missed a podium spot taking fifth in 52.42 while the boys 4x800m took 14th in 9:02.79. The girls 4x400m squad, which included Zavala, Hovis, Pappas and Sventek took seventh in 4.19.92 to wrap up the meet.
As a team, the Spartan boys took 32nd overall in the D-IV team rankings while the girls landed at fifth with 41 team points -- just six shy of third-place Valley Christian.
PAGE SAND DEVILS
Page’s 4x800m squad, spearheaded by star distance runner Bowen Martin, took gold in D-III Saturday with a 8:14.10, first-place showing in Mesa. Page later got second in the 3200m as Bowen finished in 9:36 flat. Rex Martin took 12th in the 3200m as well for the Sand Devils in 10:16.86.