Sullivan Stevens, the Cougars’ hurdles specialist, is undefeated in the 110m high hurdles and the 300m intermediate hurdles this spring and is poised to go out on top.
Stevens has made great strides from a year ago when he finished fifth at state in the 300m hurdles and did not qualify for the 110m hurdles.
“I’ve put in a lot of work. Last week during Spring Break, I came out here all five days,” Stevens said. “I just came back and worked out. I ran some 400 hurdles, just did some college stuff.”
After football season, Stevens got sick and was worried about the upcoming track season. He’s recovered and looks like the man to beat in Northern Nevada.
All three runners who finished ahead of Stevens in the 110m hurdles at last year’s regional championships, preventing him from qualifying for the event at state, have graduated. The only person to finish ahead of him in the 300m hurdles graduated as well.
Stevens was disappointed with his fifth-place finish at state because he had never lost to Erik Evasovic of McQueen, and Evasovic took fourth.
“It made me want to come back even better this year,” Stevens said. “But there’s no real competition this year because everyone who beat me last year graduated … I want to win state in both hurdles. I was thinking about that last year and that didn’t happen, and I knew I could come back this year and be even better. I want to at least set a regional record. I think I can get the 300 hurdle regional record.”
Justus Mora has only lost once in the 100-meter dash this year. He’s coming off a junior season that ended with mixed results, which only helped motivate him.
Last season, Mora claimed the 100m regional crown only to finish in the middle of the pack at state in fifth.
“I was a little disappointed, but I didn’t expect to take first (at state). The guys in Vegas, I know they’re fast,” Mora said. “Taking fifth at state set me up to want to run good times this year and to push myself to greater heights.”
Mora said he already accomplished one goal this year and that was to win the 100m at the Reed Rotary. Now, he wants to work toward repeating as the regional champ and finish in the top 4 at state.
Both runners have college careers in their sights. Mora said he has received two offers and is seriously considering Idaho State and California State University, Bakersfield.
Stevens is still weighing his options because he realizes college is an important decision.
SSHS track and field coach Pat McGuire believes they both have what it takes to succeed at the next level, academically as well as athletically. The team will be busy leading up to the regional and state meets, and McGuire thinks this will be the time people start to notice the duo.
“They are both very coachable kids and have enough of a competitive spirit to survive and thrive at the collegiate level,” McGuire said. “Both Justus and Sullivan are unknowns but that may change when they compete this Friday at Chico and next week at the Cougar Twilight Meet in Placerville or the Sacramento Meet of Champions. Those big meets are the showcases for the college coaches that are looking for talent. Both guys are hungry, healthy and thriving off of their successes this season.”