Staff photo by Eric Lusk
JOHNNY Cunningham (center) outdueled a pair of Wickenburg sprinters to win the 100-meter dash.
The Scorpion boys won the West Region championship on Saturday at Chino Valley, and the Scorpion girls placed second. It was a repeat of last year's region finale.
Sedona boys sports teams have won four region titles this year, with the track team joining soccer, basketball and golf in the trophy case (see story below on the golf team's championship). The football team placed second in the 3A West, another milestone for the school.
Johnny Cunningham and Paul Freeman led the way for the Sedona boys on Saturday. Cunningham won gold medals in four events, while Freeman took gold in two.
Cunningham, who earned all-region in football and basketball as well as track, had no equal in the 100 meters, the 200 meters, the long jump or the high jump.
He raced home in the 100 in 11.70, beating Wickenburg rival Stephen Bacon by .17 of a second. He also edged Bacon in the 200 with a time of 22.67.
No one came close to Cunningham in the long jump as he won that event by about nine inches with a leap of 20-3.25. The senior cleared 6-4 in the high jump. Fountain Hills Brandon Fairfield was second at 6-0.
Freeman, a hurdles specialist, won both the 110 high hurdles and the 300 intermediates. His time in the 110 (15.73) bettered his entry time. He finished the 300 in 41.01, nipping teammate Nick Colon at the line.
Mike Sanders also won gold for the Sedona boys, cruising to an easy victory in the 800 meters. His time of 2:07.09 was more than four seconds faster than River Valley's silver medal performer.
Red Rock's 4x400 and 4x800 relays also earned region titles.
Other top finishers on the boys side included David Mohney (second in 3,200, third in 1,600), Kurosh Aghazadeh (fourth in 3,200), Colon (fourth in 110 hurdles, second in 300), Dan McCullough (fourth in 400), Freeman (third in high jump), Chris Tolley (fourth in discus) and the 4x100 relay (third).
Sedona outdistanced Chino Valley 177-139 in the team standings.
On the girls side, Summer Jackson, Jennifer Johns and Alex Robie piled up the points for the Scorpions.
Jackson won the long jump (16-9), finished second in the 100 meters (13.07) and 400 meters (1:00.65) and took third in the 200 meters (27.14). Johns hurdled to gold in the 300 and took silver in the 100 (17.65).
Robie won the girls shot put with a distance of 31-11, placed second in the high jump (4-10) and nabbed fifth in the discus.
Chino only beat Sedona's girls by 6.5 points, 146.5 to 140, closer than last year's region championships. Fountain Hills gave a good run at the two front-runners, finishing with 117 points.
Other top four finishers from the Lady Scorpion lineup included Emily Denison (fourth in 100 hurdles, fourth in 300 hurdles and third in high jump), Kegn Hall (second in shot put, fourth in discus), Ananda Robie (fourth in high jump), the 4x100 relay (third), the 4x400 relay (third) and the 4x800 relay (third).
The top four finishers in each event qualify for Friday and Saturday's state 3A championships in Queen Creek.
CAMP VERDE: The Cowboys, small in numbers, came up with some big performances in the region finale.
Amy Showers earned state berths in the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles. The sophomore ran the day's second best time of 17.33 in the 100 prelims but fell to third in the finals with a race of 18.21.
Showers improved her prelim time of 53.81 in the finals of the 300, coming in at 51.56, good enough for silver.
Stephanie Hoff ran a personal record time in the prelims of the 100 hurdles and got sixth overall. Katie Brown took seventh in the hurdles, also recording a season's best just to get into the finals.
Jesse Taylor sprinted to fifth in the 400 meters after earning a PR in the prelims. Travis Dixon got fifth in both the 200 meters and long jump. Dixon does advance to state in both events because qualifiers from other schools dropped out, CVHS coach Lori Showers said.
Joey Jasman earned sixth in the shot put and seventh in the discus. Camp Verde's 4x400 girls relay team of Shannon Riley, Showers, Hoff and Brown qualified for state by taking fourth.
Camp Verde finished seventh in the girls team standings and eighth among the boys.
"Most of them competed well," coach Showers said. "Almost every one of them had a PR, but most of them were in the prelims and not the finals."