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North provides boost for Hawks' relay, Gila Ridge sweeps Kofa
100 — Adam Williams, Gila Ridge
200 — Albert Aguilar, Kofa
400 — Traybourne North, Gila Ridge
800 — Robert Rillamas, Gila Ridge
1,600 — Jonathan VanDeberg, Gila Ridge
3,200 — Jonathan VanDeberg, Gila Ridge
110h — Hans Fitschen, Kofa
300h — Felix Medina, Kofa
Long jump — Allen Alonso, Kofa
High jump — Alec Wilson, Gila Ridge
Triple jump — Allen Alonso, Kofa
Discus — Michael Torres, Kofa
Shot put — Samuel Diaz de Leon, Gila Ridge
100 — Alexis Jubera, Kofa
200 — Paeden Jackson, Gila Ridge
400 — Paeden Jackson, Gila Ridge
800 — Natalie Lopez, Gila Ridge
1,600 — Madison Haynes, Gila Ridge
3,200 — Ruth Hanson, Kofa
110h — Nicole Hinrichs, Gila Ridge
300h — Chyanne Holloway, Gila Ridge
Long jump — Paeden Jackson, Gila Ridge
High jump — Qiana Tatum/Hailey Bernardo, Gila Ridge
Triple jump — Paloma Jauregui, Kofa
Discus — Maria Martinez, Gila Ridge
Shot put — Maria Martinez, Gila Ridge
When Gila Ridge freshman Traybourne North received the baton in the 1,600-meter relay, Kofa had a comfortable lead.
By the time North gave it to the Hawks' anchor, senior Ryan Hinrichs, Gila Ridge had closed the gap and retook the lead. Hinrichs managed to survive in the final 400 and narrowly edged out Kofa's Albert Aguilar for a time of 3 minutes, 38.01 seconds — a nose before the Kings' time of 3:38.03.
The Hawks' boys 1,600 relay was part of a 68-52 victory at Kofa on Wednesday afternoon and the Gila Ridge girls breezed to a 89-30 win over the short-handed Kings.
“It was an amazing effort by a freshman,” Gila Ridge coach Lucas Wolthuis said about North, who won the individual 400 with a time of 54.19. “He took on a lot of responsibility — especially in the 400. Seeing that big of a gap in a race where you know everyone is loaded, it's easy hang back and let him go and say I can't do this. But the fact that he stepped up big shows his potential.”
“To be honest, I thought we were done after the second leg because they had such a big lead,” Hinrichs said about the 1,600 relay. “(North) made up a lot of ground there and then finishing head-to-head and gave me a fighting chance.”
In the distance events, Gila Ridge junior Jonathan VanDeberg won both the 1,600 (5:11) and the 3,200 (10:56.35). In the 1,600, VanDeberg and Kofa's Robert Salazar were neck-and-neck until the Hawk junior broke it open with less than 300 meters to go.
“I didn't really want to hurt myself because I wasn't feeling that good today. I was tired. I had a bruise on my leg from hockey the other night,” VanDeberg said. “Coach said that it was the smartest kick I could have made (in the 1,600).” For the Kings, Allen Alonso won the long jump (19 feet, 2 inches) and triple jump (40-0), Michael Torres took the discus (114-1), Aguilar won the 200 (23.38) Hans Fitschen finished first in the 110 hurdles (16.45) and Felix Medina won the 300 hurdles with a time of 44.93.
“I was pleased to death with Felix Medina. He's a first-year hurdler,” Kofa coach Tom Spanton said. “I can't be more happy for the kid. He was a baseball player who didn't survive the final cut his senior year and has been able to find a home for himself here. It's pretty cool.”
After the girls' 3,200 relay, Kofa senior Adly Wiley crossed the finish line and bent over with her baton at her right knee. The emotions from the Kings' anchor came from exhaustion and frustration out of the inability to catch Gila Ridge's Madison Haynes, who helped the Hawks take a 10:26 to 10:30 victory over the Kings.
“I've been able to make up leads like that in the past so I didn't think it was going to be that big of a deal, but maybe it's still a little early in the season. I'm still trying to get back into track shape,” Wiley said.
Perhaps the best girls race of the day came from a pair of teammates in the 800. Gila Ridge distance runner Natalie Lopez said she could hear somebody right behind her coming down the home stretch and assumed it was a runner from Kofa. It turned out to be teammate Malibu Walter, who narrowly missed out on catching Lopez, who won 2:42.5 to 2:42.8.
“I didn't know who it was or how far away they were because I was the one setting the pace,” Lopez said. “I felt somebody right behind me. I didn't realize she was right next to me until I turned around.”
“We were pushing each other,” Walter said. “The last 100 sprint I thought I was going to quit, but everybody was cheering me on.”
Gila Ridge junior Paeden Jackson continued her hot start to the season by winning the 200 (27.12), 400 (55.41), long jump (14-85) and was a part of the Hawks' winning 1,600 relay (4:20.47).
“I feel pretty good. I just feel honored to be out here running because I pulled some stuff in the beginning of the season but I'm back and I'm faster than I was last year,” said Jackson, who ran in the individual 200 and 400 at the state meet last year.
Maria Martinez won both the discus (71-8) and the shot put (28-0) for the Hawks.
For the Kings, Ruth Hanson won the 3,200 (13:09.39), Paloma Jauregui won the triple jump (27-7) and senior Alexis Jubera (13.09) edged out Gila Ridge sophomore Camille Ochoa (13.28) in the 100.
Gila Ridge hosts San Luis on Wednesday while Kofa, which was missing several runners because of eligibility issues, is off until March 20 — when they travel to Gila Ridge.
“We got so many kids that are ineligible,” Spanton said. “I'm hoping they bear down in the classroom because we need all the kids we can to compete.”
Jesse Severson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 539-6881. Find him on Facebook at facebook.com/YSJesseSeverson.