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Local athletes earn state track berths
by Tribune Staff
May 16, 2009 | 658 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Spanish Springs senior Cody Clifford got a starring role at the 4A Northern Region Track and Field Championships Saturday at Douglas High School.

Clifford won two events, helped the Cougars to a relay victory and was second in another race. Those finishes helped him qualify for next week’s state meet at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas in all four events.

Clifford won the 200 meters with a time of 22.19 seconds. He won the 400m with a time of 48.42 seconds, the lone Northern 4A runner to best the 50-second mark. In addition, he and teammates Sullivan Stevens, Jalen Dixon and Justus Mora topped the field to win the 4x100m relay with a time of 42.53 seconds. Clifford’s other state-qualifying finish was a second-place effort in the 100m. That came thanks to a time of 11.08 seconds.

The only runner to beat Clifford in the 100m was a Spanish Springs teammate. Justus paced the field with a time of 10.93 seconds to capture the first-place ribbon. Mora (22.52 seconds) was third behind Clifford and Douglas sprinter Jordan Cruz in the 200m.

The top three regional finishers in all events advance to the upcoming state meet.

The 100m saw Rail City athletes sweep the top three places. Behind Mora and Clifford was Reed’s John Vonschimmelmann, who put up a time of 11.09 seconds. Von Schimmelmann just missed a state berth in the 200m as he finished fourth (22.54).

No Reed boy won an event, but two Raiders still earned state berths with second-place finishes. Reed junior Aaron Iffrig was second in the 800m, posting a time of 1:56.56.

“The biggest thing we as a coaching staff talked about as was Aaron Iffrig in the 800m,” Reed track coach Dale Moss said. “He came out and ran that 1:56.56. That’s three seconds better than his previous best. “We knew he’d have to run well. He came out and performed. He’s only a first-year track guy for us. So, we’re excited he’s a junior and will be coming back.”

Reed’s Zach Comphel was just edged out in the 110m hurdles. The RHS senior finished second to Damonte Ranch’s Javon Marshbanks. Comphel’s time of 14.59 was barely slower than Marshbanks, who ran the event in 14.53 seconds.

“Last year at regionals Zach surprised a lot of people and beat Javon and then Javon beat him at state. I think since then, there’s a been a little bit of a rivalry between those guys,” Moss said. “But on any given day, it could go the other way. Anything could happen next weekend.”

Reed’s relay teams were second in both the 4x200m and 4x400m. The Raiders ran the events in times of 1:29.28 and 3:24.30 respectively. McQueen teams beat Reed in both events. The Raiders also qualified for state in the 4x100m, thanks to a time of 42.99.

“Our boys 4x400m relay ran a 3:24,” Moss said. “They’d run a 3:26 earlier this year, but that was our best. We knew we had to run a faster time than we had all year to qualify for state. Now, we look at our time and in order compete with McQueen and the South teams, we need to cut out a couple more seconds.”

The only other state qualifier from a local school was Stevens of Spanish Springs. His time of 39.30 was good for second in the 300m hurdles.

Spanish Springs racked up 72 team points, which was good for a fourth-place finish. Reed’s 58 team points left it seventh McQueen won the boys team competition, compiling 109.5 points, outclassing second-place Reno ’s 83.5.

The list of girls state qualifiers from Reed and Spanish Springs was a shorter list. The lone Rail City female to win an event was Reed freshman Nyasha LeSure, who won the high jump, clearing 5-feet 4-inches.

“That was a big surprise since she’s freshman. She’s got a lot of potential. She scored all of our girls team points today,” Moss said.

Spanish Springs sophomore Laura Voss will be making the state trip to Clark County next weekend. She finished second in both the 100m and 200m. Her times were 12.49 and 25.59. She was also third in the 300m hurdles, putting up a time of 46.99 seconds.

Spanish Springs and Reed were well back in the girls team races, finishing 13th and 14th with 28 and 12 points. Meet host Douglas won the girls team competition, grabbing 102.5 points, good enough to hold off second-place McQueen’s 100.5 points.
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