While she came up short in her attempt of clearing 6 feet, 2 and a half inches, Williams’ jump of 6-01.50 bested her nearest opponent by half a foot and set the stage for a remarkable day.
Williams and teammate Adriana Newell left fans at Damonte Ranch with their jaws dropped. Both were triple winners at the regional track championships and helped the Raiders secure a third-place finish in the girls standings, one point behind Reno’s 100 for second. McQueen won the girls event, while Reno and McQueen went 1-2 in the boys competition with Reed also placing third.
Williams and Newell could have been four-time winners Saturday had a dropped exchange during the final event of the meet, the 4x400m girls relay, cost the Raiders a chance to improve on their region record. Still, they finished second thanks to a remarkable anchor leg by Newell.
Reed had fallen all the way back to fourth by the final 400 meters of the race. The top three teams qualify for state. When Newell took the last handoff, McQueen had built close to a 50-meter lead. By the time the race was done, Newell cut about 40 meters off that lead and Reed finished second, less than two seconds behind the Lancers.
“She’s very impressive. Every time you put her on the track, she gives everything she has,” Reed track and field coach Dale Moss said.
Newell cruised to victories in the three sprints, breaking the region record in the 400 meters held by her former nemesis, Brianna Tate of McQueen. Tate is now competing at Arizona State. Newell won the 400m with a time of 55.53 seconds. She took the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.12 seconds, and crossed the finish line in the 200 meters in first after running a 24.51-second race.
Williams set a region record in the 100m hurdles with her time of 14.16 seconds. The record had stood for 18 years. Williams missed out on setting a region record in the 300-meter hurdles by .03 of a second. She won the event in 42.64 seconds, a stadium record.
“She actually PR’d by two seconds in the 300 hurdles,” Moss said. “She didn’t PR in the 100 hurdles, but she did set the region record.”
Reed had one other relay qualify for state. Freshman twins Emily and Annie Braun teamed up with juniors Tiare Fonoimoana and Cherish Navarroza and ran the 4x100m relay in 50.70 seconds, taking third.
Senior Nyasha LeSure jumped 5-06.00 in the high jump and was second behind Williams.
The Reed boys were in a distant third with 68 points, but will have several representatives at the state meet hosted by Damonte Ranch next weekend.
Senior Josh Gingras failed to defend his regional title in the 100 meters, taking second (10.80 seconds), but he was first in the 200 meters (21.64 seconds).
He was also part of two relays that are state bound.
Gingras, John Braun, Spencer Stockton and Sean Lancaster won the 4x200m relay with a region record time of 1:27.99. In the 4x100m relay, Williams Lyons and Martin Hargrove joined Gingras and Stockton as the foursome placed second (42.75 seconds).
Sam Nichols had a personal best in the discus, throwing 147-09 to take second.
“I think it’s been a good day today. Every team has their good things and their bad things happen,” Moss said. “We seemed to have a lot more good than bad things happen. We put ourselves in a situation to do that.”
Spanish Springs only qualified one athlete for state and it was on the boys side. Senior Vance Lively took third in both the high jump (6 feet) and long jump (20-11.50).
The Cougars were ninth in the boys team standings with 35 points, while their 10 points on the girls side landed them in 10th place.
Still, coach Winston Mora was pleased with how his young athletes competed and is looking forward to next year.
“It’s a good way to end the season. We have some good juniors coming back or sophomores that will be juniors,” Mora said. “I’m excited for next year. I’m looking forward to it.”
•In the 3A, there won’t be much Maroon and Gold from Sparks High at the state meet.
Senior Emma Clune qualified in the girls 200 and 400 meters, while the boys 4x100m and 4x200m relays grabbed the last qualifying spots from the North.