Falcons’ girls win state crown
Led by Elaina Marchegger’s three individual wins, the Sierra Lutheran High girls wrapped up their fourth straight NIAA state small schools track and field title in Henderson on Saturday.
Marchegger was the catalyst, as the senior won the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters plus she ran a leg on Sierra Lutheran’s first-place 4×800 relay team during two days of competition at Foothill High School.
Sierra Lutheran finished with 144 points to capture the girls team championship. Wells was second with 83, Tonopah was third with 77 and Eureka finished with 77.
“It’s so amazing,” Marchegger said. “Everybody worked so hard. We worked well together as a team.”
And, to make things even sweeter, the Falcons also brought home the state academic title with a team 3.8 GPA.
“It was a very good day,” Sierra Lutheran coach Steve Kubel said. “I’m so proud of them. They came and performed well.”
Marchegger had a tough time in both the 800 and 3,200 on Saturday. The weather was a factor, and so was the schedule since she had to run both events with less than an hour break.
In the 800, Jackpot’s Briana Leon stayed with her the entire way and came within .06 of pulling off an upset. The 1600 went pretty much the same way, as Eureka’s Katie Damele dogged Marchegger from the outset. Marchegger held off the late challenge as she ran a 12:27.27, winning by one-half second.
“They were really close,” Marchegger said. “It’s good to run those kind of races, because they keep you going as fast as you can.”
Marchegger’s state meet haul for three years is impressive with three straight 800 and 1,600-meter individual titles and two 3,200-meter titles.
She wasn’t Sierra Lutheran’s only winner on Saturday, as Grace Bonafede, despite only getting one legal jump, took the triple jump with a 32-9½.
Bonafede suffered a knee injury and got a late start to the season.
“It’s been a long, hard road to get where I am right now,” she said.
The Falcons’ 4×100 and 4×400 relay squads both placed second, as did Aleyna Gilson in the 100 (13.24).
Taylor Davison grabbed two medals (fourth in 3,200 and 800) and Rachel Hall was third in the 300 hurdles.
On Friday, Taylor Davison, Clare Davison, Emily McNeely and Marchegger won the 4×800 relay (10:59.92). Marchegger won the 1,600 in 5:40.47. The Falcons scored 21 points in the event as sophomores Taylor Davison and McNeely placed third and fourth with respective times of 5:54.21 and 5:56.54.
Gilson set school and personal records in two events, as she placed second in the girls 400 (1:00.42), just a step behind Whittell sophomore Anna White (1:00.05), then came back to place third in the 200 (27.16).
Bonafede placed third in the long jump at 14-5½, close behind the winning mark of 14-8 by Whittell’s Samantha Forvilly. And Hall placed third in the 100-meter hurdles (17.31).
Sierra Lutheran placed second in the 4×200 relay as Rosalie Antonucci, Abby Ferenz, Ciera Schinzing and Hall ran 1:58.82. Whittell’s White, Michelle Barnes, Forvilly and Kyla Rippett won the race in a 1A meet record time of 1:50.96.
Sierra Lutheran, led by Jared Marchegger’s win in the 1,600, plus a win by the 4×800 relay squad, took second to Spring Mountain.
Marchegger, Ricky McNeely, Caleb Contreras and Craig Moe ran a 9:00.50 to win the 4×800 relay.
Marchegger, a sophomore, kept the individual winning streak alive in the family when he won the 3,200 on Friday and the 1,600 (4:43.10) on Saturday.
His win in the 1,600 was no walk in the park as he was pushed hard by Beatty freshman Jose Granados.
“Jose put pressure on me,” Marchegger said. “The first 100 meters of the last lap, I started to get a little bit of a lead and ended up winning. I’m very happy with it (the weekend).”
McNeely finished third at 4:51.97.
Discus thrower Jeremy Hellwinkel placed second with a 122-2 and teammate Peyton Hedwall also grabbed a fourth-place medal with a throw of 114-2. Sophomore Grant Goins set a personal record to take second in the high jump at 6-feet.
On Friday, Hedwall won the shot put over Spring Mountain’s Arthur Foster in a duel that saw the lead change hands three times. Hedwall came back to win with his personal record throw of 43-11 in the next-to-last round, three inches ahead of Foster, who threw 43-8 on his final attempt.
Sierra Lutheran won the boys 4×100 relay as Cole Contreras, Tyrale Luken, Goins and Jacob Rodriguez broke their own school record with a 45.33 clocking.
Senior Steven Flanagan won the pole vault at 10-9 to tie his personal best.
Marchegger won the boys 3,200 (10:04.43) ahead of McNeely (10:20.61). McNeely placed third in the 800 (2:08.02).