Laughlin athletes log strong performances at state
LAS VEGAS — After a solid showing at the regional meet, the Laughlin High School Cougars were well represented on the podium at the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association 2A track and field championships at Desert Oasis High School in Las Vegas.
The Lady Cougars placed seventh at state, scoring 21 points. The Cougar boys were eight overall, tallying 37.
Senior Gonzalo Sanchez Jr. was a workhorse — and a successful one at that — for the Cougar boys. He was second in the 800 meters in 1 minute, 59.93 seconds, edged at the finish line by North Tahoe’s Riley Hacker, who finished in 1:59.88. Sanchez also was second in the 1,600 with a time of 4:36.27, less than two seconds behind winner Niklas Pietzke, of Incline, who was clocked in 4:34.61.
Sanchez placed third in the 400 meters in 51.51. Noah Smith, of Lincoln County, won in 51.01 and Ezekiel Vinson, of White Pine, was second in 51.04.
Sanchez also ran a leg on Laughlin’s second-place 4x100 relay team, joining forces with junior Skylar Morgan, senior Dherick Asis and junior Brett Rule to finish in 45.73 seconds. Calvary Chapel won the race at 44.81.
The 4x400 relay team of Rule, sophomore Ty Olden, senior Jason Zenefski and Morgan took sixth in 3:50.43.
Also for the boys, junior Travis Tudor placed fifth in a throw of 39-43⁄4, bettering his personal record of 38-1 at regionals, where he placed third to earn the state berth.
The Lady Cougars were led by their relay teams — all three placed in the top six — and middle-distance runners Stephanie Zamora and Maritza Cruz.
The 4x400 team of juniors Julie Thomas, Cruz and Natasja Cavalier and senior Zamora placed sixth in the final event of the 2A girls meet, finishing in 4:55.19.
The 4x200 squad of Thomas, senior Nancy Franco, junior Michelle Acosta and Cavalier also placed sixth, finishing in 2:06.99.
The 4x100 team of Cruz, Cavalier, Franco and Zamora placed fifth in 57.45.
Zamora captured fourth place in the 800, Laughlin’s highest finish in the girls meet, with a time of 2:32.76. She was eighth in the 400 in 1:06.35.
Cruz was sixth in the 1,600 in 6:10.97 and eighth in the 800 in 2:51.66.
Breanne Beddell placed eighth in the shot put at 23-8.
Laughlin took 25 athletes to the regionals at Moapa Valley earlier this month with 14 of them earning state berths.
The Lady Cougars had a strong showing with eight athletes combining for 71 points for second place. White Pine ran away with the team title with 380 points. Lincoln County was third with 49.
The boys were fourth in the team standings with 73 points. White Pine scored 247 for first with Lincoln County second at 101 and Calvary Chapel third at 74, just a single point ahead of Laughlin.
At regionals, Cruz won the 1,600 in 6:02 — her best time of the season — and was third in the 800. Zamora won the 800 in 2:32 — her best of the year — and was fourth in the 400 in 1:04.
Beddell earned her state berth in the shot put with a fourth-place throw of 23 111⁄4 at regionals.
On the boys side, Sanchez won both the 800 and 1,600 and was third in the 400.
“All of the athletes performed well,” said Laughlin coach Carlos Jackson.