Cibola sophomore sprinter Derrick Monroe could hear footsteps as he got closer to the finish line in the 200-meter dash.
After slowing down slightly to let Yuma High's Arturo Vargas back into the race, Monroe had just enough left in the tank to hold off Vargas for the win.
Monroe's photo-finish win was a part of the Raider boys' 86-46 win over Yuma High on Wednesday afternoon at Carver Park.
“When I came around the corner, I slowed down and then I heard him coming up and I had to pick it up again,” said Monroe, who finished second in the 100 behind teammate Corey Seidler. “We both crossed but I was just a little bit in front.”
“He had a little bit of a lead on me and I just tried to keep his pace and try and keep it close,” said Vargas, who won the 400. “I kept moving in and moving in and he turned his head back a little bit and saw me coming in and sped it up at the end. I actually thought I beat him.”
On the girls side, Cibola cruised to a 105-26 victory and had 12 of the 16 first-place finishes.
“It's the classic — they got a lot of kids and a lot of depth. We're about a third their size,” Yuma High coach Curt Weber said. “I liked the effort. We had a lot of times and performances improve today. I was pretty happy with that effort.”
“We had some good times with some kids, with some other kids have some work to do,” Cibola coach Brett Pavey said. “We're moving in the right direction.”
Cibola boys sophomore jumper T.J. Smith took first in the long jump (19 feet, 3-1/3 inches), high jump (5-10), was second in triple jump (40-1) and was the anchor leg of the Raiders' 400 relay team.
“On the high jump, I just have to keep my form, and the triple jump I need to improve some more,” Smith said. “(During the relay) I knew we had it in the bag. Once you got the baton, you just got to push it to the finish.”
Yuma High senior David Stiles won the triple jump (41-2) and 110 hurdles (15.98) and was third in the long jump.
San Pasqual also participated but was not a part of the official meet. Warrior freshman Adam Wong placed second in the 3,200.
“He'd run everything if they let him,” San Pasqual coach Suzy Sanchez said.
For the girls, Yuma High had only one person finish first, but she made up for it by sweeping all four of her events. Senior Michelle Watson took the long jump (14-5), high jump (4-6), triple jump (32-1/2) and made things interesting en route to winning the 100 hurdles.
Watson had a big lead heading into the final hurdle but mistimed her steps and ran over the hurdle instead — but managed to sneak past the finish line just before Cibola Alanna Hayes, who took second.
“I guess I was too close to four-step and too far to three-step and I messed it up,” said Watson, who has been hampered by a quad injury in the early part of the season. “I definitely feel better physically than all season — this is the best I've felt.”
“Michelle is definitely one of the leaders in the Gila Valley region and when she gets right physically, I think she can be a state placer in the triple jump and hurdles,” Weber said.
Cibola had a pair of multiple winners with senior Kayla Fiser and junior Baylee Lakey. Fiser won the 100 (13.81) and 200 (27.59) and finished second in long jump and triple jump — both of which were behind Watson.
“I knew coming into it, since I saw her last year, that triple jump was definitely way ahead of me and I thought this year I was catching up with her,” Fiser said of Watson. “But next time I'll get her.”
Lakey, who finished ninth in the discus at the state meet last year as a sophomore, won both the discus and the shot put. Her distance on the discus (99-8-3/4) was nearly 30 feet better than the second-place finisher.
“I did all right. It wasn't a (personal record) or anything and I haven't PRed since last year,” said Lakey, who threw for 111-11 a season ago. “I need to start pushing myself more because there's no one to push me and I need that.”