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Sparks speeds off to fast start at state track
by Dan Eckles
May 20, 2011 | 1481 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Contributed photo by Mark Rauh - Sparks senior Lisa Aguilar gets out of the blocks and sprints her way to a state championship in the 3A 100-meter dash Friday at Del Sol High School.
Contributed photo by Mark Rauh - Sparks senior Lisa Aguilar gets out of the blocks and sprints her way to a state championship in the 3A 100-meter dash Friday at Del Sol High School.
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LAS VEGAS — The first day of the NIAA State Track & Field Championships went off without a hitch Friday at Del Sol High School. Rail City athletes were among those who stood out.

The Sparks Railroaders got off to a good start on Day 1. Sparks took home state titles in three different events. Railroaders senior Vittawat Sriphong-Ngarm won the 3A 110 meter hurdles, jumping and sprinting his way to a time of 15.49 seconds, besting second-place finisher Joseph Woodbury of Boulder, who had a time of 15.73.

Sriphong-Ngarm also ran a leg on the Railroaders’ 3A state championship 4x200m relay team. He teamed with Henry Banks, Jake Keen and Esteban Bravo on the title team, which posted a time of 1:31.03. Second-place Boulder City was more than a half second back as their time was 1:31.59 and watched Sparks win the event for the third straight year.

“This is my senior year. I wanted to give it all I had,” said Sriphong-Ngarm. “I got this fortune cookie about midway through track season. It said, ‘if you want to earn something, you must work hard.’ So I started working hard. This feels good and I owe it all to dedication and working hard.”

Not to be left out in the championship parade, SHS senior Lisa Aguilar ran by the field in the 3A 100m after bolting across the finish line in 12.79 seconds, just ahead of Fallon’s Madison Murray (12.93).

“When the race started I was really scared because the girls in lanes three and five jumped out ahead of me,” said Aguilar, who had to settle for second in the event at state last year. “I didn’t think my start was bad, but I caught them. This is amazing. I’m so excited. I feel really accomplished.”

Sparks athletes also chipped in team points despite not winning their events. In the 3A boys long jump, Railroaders senior Jake Keen jumped 20-feet 3-inches, a mark good enough for fifth. Keen put together a seventh-place effort in the 200m (23.9).

Sparks also got a fifth-place finish from its 4x800m relay team. In the 1,600m, Sparks Hector Hernandez finished sixth (4:43.21). Sparks Amber Tuller was seventh in the 3A 300m hurdles (50.68). Additionally, the SHS girls were seventh in the 4x400m (4:24.44).

•In the 4A ranks, a handful of Rail City athletes were in contention. In the 4A girls 100m, Rail City athletes were third and fourth, just hundredths of seconds behind the winner. Reed’s Adriana Newell was third in 12.44 seconds, while Spanish Springs’ Laura Voss was fourth in 12.45. Centennial’s Tamera William won the race thanks to a time of 12.38 seconds.

The best 4A girls finish from a Sparks school was Reed’s second-place effort in the 4x400m relay. That team of Sierra Hooft, Gabby Williams, Amanda Sharkey and Newell raced to a time of 3:54.17. That mark was more than five seconds faster than the old Reed school record in the event. McQueen won the race in 3:53.75.

“We just looked up and saw we ran 3:54 and the first thing we thought about was the school record. We crushed it by over five seconds,” Williams said. “We’ve worked hard for it, and it’s the best I’ve seen us run all year, each one of us.”

Reed’s Nyasha LeSure was seventh in the 4A triple jump managing a mark of 33-feet 9.5 inches.

The 300m hurdles was one of the best races of the day. Williams, the Northern 4A champ, was third with a time of 44.10 seconds. The top two finishers in the race, seniors Candice McFarland of Legacy and Karli Johonnot of Centennial have both had nationally ranked times this spring. They concluded the race with times of 42.67 seconds and 42.73 seconds. Both times shattered the former state record of 43.25, which was held by Carson’s Kayla Sanchez.

Hooft was seventh in the race. Her time was 47.03 seconds.

Spanish Springs senior Anna Preciado was in seventh place going into the final lap of the 3200m but charged hard over the last 400 meters and finished third with a time of 11:37.70.

On the boys side, in the 4A 200m race, Reed’s Josh Gingras, who was second at last week’s Northern regional, came on in the final 75 meters of the state race Friday to finish second with a time of 21.89 seconds.

Spanish Springs was fourth in the 4x800m relay. The team of Josh Briggs, Austin Brenner, Reagan Chipman and Jake Flemming ran to a time of 8:13.14.

The Cougars got a fourth-place finish in the 4A 400m race. That came from senior Austin Rauh who finished the race in 49.39.

SSHS sophomore Vance Lively was fourth in the 4A long jump. He jumped 21-feet, 1.75 inches. Lively also garnered a seventh-place finish in the 4A high jump, clearing 6-feet even.

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