When last years 3A West Region Track Meet rolled around, Camp Verde didn't field a full squad. In fact, only four athletes placed in the top three to qualify for state.
This year the team more than doubled that output with nine individuals continuing their season.
"Once again we had highlights. Tons of them," coach Lori Showers said. "Just about everyone on the team had a PR (personal record). They all gave me 110 percent. It was really a fun day."
Alfonso Pesquiera set the tone for the rest of team in the first race of the day. He won his heat in 100-meter preliminaries, and took second in the finals with a time of 11.27, his best of the season. Parker's Nick Uden won the event in 11.20.
Pesquiera returned after a short intermission to take second in the 200 dash in 23.21, again just a hair off Uden's winning time.
Teammate Luke Hicks, fresh out of baseball and with a week's worth of practice under his belt, was third with a time of 23.97.
Both Pesquiera and Hicks' times were PRs. Hicks just missed a prequalifying time in the 100 by .02 seconds. He was fifth in that event.
In the girls 200, Ashley Petefish turned in a top-three performance to advance to state. The freshman was third with a 28.35.
That was just one of four medals Petefish brought home Saturday from Wickenburg. She was second in the 300 hurdles behind Amy Showers and was on the winning 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams.
"Everything she did that day was her best time. She's really improved a lot," said coach Showers.
Amy Showers also brought home four medals in addition to a co-MVP award, shared with Wickenburg's Alex Gallagher.
Showers' run started in the 100 hurdles. She won the race with a time of 15.70, her first sub-16 outing. Kayla Peck, Showers' biggest rival from Chino in the hurdles, was second in 16.59. Coach Showers had Amy hand-clocked at 15.4, which might be good enough for the school record.
In the 300 hurdles, Showers again showed her dominance. She turned in another PR, 47.27, to win the race. Petefish beat out Peck for second.
"Amy just had an awesome day. She's worked harder this year than any, and it shows in her times," coach Showers said.
Katie Brown, for the third year in a row, will compete at state. She was third in the 100 hurdles and is also on the 4x100 relay team.
Zach Davis came out of nowhere to take second in the 300 hurdles behind Sedona's Mark Maurer. Davis, typically a distance runner, had only a few practices in the hurdles but jumped in the race to score the team points. He not only did that, but earned a spot at state.
In the distance events, Ernesto Sierras will continue on to state in two events. He was second in the 3,200 and third in the 1,600, setting PRs in both.
After finishing the 3,200, Sierras joined the 4x400 relay team with Hicks, Davis and Pesquiera and helped them take second. Pesquiera and Hicks both ran splits under 55 seconds.
The girls 4x400 relay team of Showers, Walker, Jessica Reagan and Petefish dusted the competition with a 4:25.89, close to 10 seconds faster than second-place Wickenburg.
The state meet starts Friday at Queen Creek High School in the West Valley and will conclude Saturday. Both days have the same start time of 5 p.m.
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