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Montoya wins seventh state gold medal
MESA — There was no chance that Bernie Montoya's shoe was going to get clipped on Saturday night.
Montoya was leaps and bounds ahead of the competition, sweeping his individual events with a first-place finish in the 3,200-meter run at the 2012 Arizona State Track and Field Championship at Mesa Community College on Saturday.
After claiming titles in both the 800 and 1,600 events — even after stopping to fix his loose shoe — on Friday, Montoya had only the 3,200 left to complete the sweep. It wasn't his best time, but Montoya still finished the race in an impressive 9:08.70
“I didn't realize I was at a 9:08 pace, it just happened,” Montoya said. “I just went along with the flow and went along with the crowd and that really helps a lot.”
This is the first time the junior distance runner has been able to shoot for medaling in all three events as he was unable to compete in the 800 last year.
This year's medals bring Montoya's grand total — including cross country — of titles to seven.
“It's humbling,” he said. “You've got to take it in and you've got to be grateful for it. There's tons of kids out there who want a state title.”
Monica Huston poured everything she had into the last 20 meters of the 800 to take second place overall.
The junior set a new personal record of 2:13.58 in the event. “I'm just glad that I could come out here and do my best.”
Huston also took third in the 1,600 with a time of 5:03.09. She was able to cut more than three seconds off of her seed time to medal for the second year in a row in that event.
Senior jumper Deante Gaines leaves Mesa with two medals from the meet — the most he's ever won at the state competition.
Gaines took second in the high jump and fourth in the triple jump for the Raiders.
Montoya was also part of the Raider's 3,200 relay team that took 11th place overall.
In the 100, Kofa's Jesse Kruse took 23rd and finished just ahead of Cibola's Josh Huston.
Montoya will head home three titles richer and breathing a sigh of relief.
“It's been a very stressful meet because I know I have a huge target on me. It's all over and I'm happy to have it all done.”