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Newell steals shows on first day of state track
by Dan Eckles
May 17, 2013 | 1856 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HENDERSON -- The first day of the NIAA State Track & Field Championships was a good one for Reed High School. The east Sparks school picked up a trio of state titles on Day 1 of the annual spring event.

Reed sprinter Adriana Newell was the star of the show. She was the lone dual winner in the first day of action at the meet, hosted by Silverado High School. Newell won the 400 meters as well as the 200m and ran the anchor leg for Reed's fourth-place 4x200m relay team.

"I've been practicing hard every day in practice, all spring," Newell said. "I've stayed focused on working hard and staying healthy."

Newell, who has signed to compete collegiately for Kansas University next year, blew the competition away in the 400m. Her time of 54.76 seconds was a career mark. It was also more than two seconds faster than second-place finisher Summer Leimberger of Desert Oasis.

"That race was a personal best for me," Newell said. "I've been really wanting to run in the 54s. I had a third gear today. It was awesome. I guess it's from all the extra work in practice."

In the 200m, Newell was also impressive. She posted a time of 24.91 seconds, besting Centennial senior Tamera Williams, the second-place finisher, who finished more than a half second behind Newell in 25.58 seconds.

"That wasn't my fastest time, but I was bucking a headwind that last 100 meters. You can't do anything about it. I just had to lean in and run. It's nothing I haven't experienced before, practicing every afternoon in northern Nevada."

Newell, along with Reed teammates Tiare Fonoimoana, Kara Day and Yasmin Thigpen, ran to a fourth-place finish in the 4x200m with a time of 1:44.62. Centennial's team, anchored by Williams, won the event in 1:39.75.

"Our handoffs were a little iffy, but we ran hard," Newell said. "We just wanted to have fun. That's all we expected and wanted."

Newell was not the only Raider to take home a state crown. Reed senior Brent Kelly won the shot put state title after finishing second to teammate Austin Corbett at last week's D-1 North regional meet. Corbett was second to Kelly Friday night at state.

Kelly tossed the shot put 55-feet 4.25 inches to Corbett, who hurled the shot 53-feet 3.25 inches.

"Those guys' hard work all season paid off," Reed track coach Dale Moss said. "At this meet you never know who will come to compete and who will have a better day. But those guys have been competing all year. Their hard work showed today."

The Raiders saw two other athletes place Friday. Thigpen was sixth in the 100m hurdles. Her time of 15.83 seconds was well back of event winner Tiana Bonds of Centennial (14.39).

RHS senior Jacob Striejewski finished eighth in the pole vault, clearing 11-feet 6-inches. McQueen's Zack Supple was the state champion in the event with a mark of 15-feet 6-inches.

"Yasmin finished sixth but was seeded fourth going in," Moss said. "We were hoping for a PR, but being a freshman, and going to state for the first time, I think her nerves got the best of her, but she ran a great leg in the 4x200.

"Jacob has been in our program for four years and this was his first trip to state. Nerves may have got to him a little bit too, but it was great he got the chance. Not everybody gets to come here. You have to enjoy it."

Reed also had a team in the boys 4x100m relay race. The squad finished sixth, but will get a chance to do better. The results were erased and the race will be run again Saturday after it was contested following a rule technicality regarding a false start.

The only other Sparks-area athlete to compete Friday was Spanish Springs High School distance runner Katie Peters. The senior was seventh in the 1,600m run after running to a time of 5:31.78. Centennial's Sydney Badger outclassed the competition in the event. Her time of 4:57.89 was more than 16 seconds quicker than second-place finisher Sara Dort of Coronado (5:14.16).

The two-day event wraps up Saturday afternoon.
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