Saturday at Millennium High School on the far west end of the Valley was a first meet for many of our new Flyers, as well as a kick-off meet to the 2016 season for some of our more seasoned athletes. 16 Phoenix Flyers overall competed on Saturday with many strong performances abounding.
8 & Under Division
Simon Reynolds, now the old wily veteran, took 3rd place in the 800 meters with a fine time of 3:22.77 (a new personal record) and also got below the 20-second barrier in the 100 meters, where he ran a 19.25. Solana Leyva seemed to enjoy herself immensely in her first ever track and field meet. She posted great opening performances of 19.76 and 42.39 in the 100 meter and 200 meter races, respectively. Emerson Rhodes, another first-timer, just missing getting to the meet on time for the long jump, was still able to compete in the 100 meters where she ran a 20.83 with I believe a smile on her face from ear-to-ear. Max Columbus, having more verve than the Energizer Bunny on case of Red Bull, competed in his first track meet as well with some wonderful opening marks and times. Max won his heat in the 100 meters with a time of 18.34 seconds, he ran a 41.02 in the 200 meters and threw 8.34 meters in the mini-javelin to take 7th place.
Braden Lolli, having partied like a rock star the previous night, still managed to come up with some pretty strong performances. Braden took 6th place in a good first 800-meter race of the year in a time of 2:51.29. And he found a new PR in the 400 with a 72.94 finish (and bragging rights over Maddy Shoesmaker in their intra-squad rivalry). Camila Cornejo-Farmer, who had to end her season early in 2015 due to injury, started off her 2016 season with two solid performances. In the 100 meters she slipped under 17-seconds with a time of 16.96 and in the long jump went 2.72 meters in the mid-day sun. Jake Blair, who has been a national qualifier in the mini-javelin the past two seasons, showed why he’s the man to beat again in 2016 with a first place throw and new personal record of 27.55 meters. Levi Shoemaker, obviously put on his rocket shoes on Saturday because he managed two exceptional PRs for himself. In the 100 meters he knocked a full-second off his previous mark and broke the tape in 16.27. In the 200 meters he dropped more than 2-full seconds to run a 35.24. Due to some confusion with the javelin and the 100 meter officials, Levi only got one throw in the mini javelin where he tossed it 13.73 meters.
Benjamin Geist had some incredible improvements from his first meet of four weeks ago. Ben absolutely crushed it in the 400 meters where he chopped off nearly 14 seconds from his previous time and ran a strong 79.26 seconds race. In the 200, he improved by nearly a second-and-a-half with a new best of 34.71. Sean Camping, competing in his second track meet ever, tried the 100 meters and long jump on Saturday. Sean ran a quite respectable time of 16.96 seconds in the 100 meters and bounded to a mark of 2.59 meters in the long jump to round out his day on the west end of town.
Ella Donovan, our only 11-12 member on Saturday, was initiated to the world of track and field as well at Millennium High School. She seemed to enjoy herself as she ran a solid 100 meter time of 16.38 seconds, a consistent 200 meter run of 36.98 seconds and was able to manage one legal attempt in the long jump with a mark of 2.59 meters to complete her day.
Haila Reed is one of the two 13-14 sprinters on the Flyers with a lot of upside in the years to come. Haila had three PRs on Saturday in the 100, 200 and 400 meter races. In the 100 she ran 13.43 and in the 200 she took 3rd place overall with a time of 27.05; where she really shined was in the 400, flashing by in 62.58 seconds to take another 3rd place ribbon. Nathan Lind, the other swift-footed sprinter on the Flyers, took 5th place with no blocks in the 100-meters with a strong opening time of 12.76 and rumbled through the 200 meters in 26.85 seconds to complete a very solid day. Maddy Shoemaker, our veteran distance phenom, came out with her first 800 of the season with an impressive 2:39.80 finish and then found a PR in the 400 meters in a time of 73.12 seconds, but as stated previously, losing bragging rights in this event to the young B. Lolli.
Emily Hancock, the young lady who simply loves this sport and has been part of the fabric of our team for the past two two seasons, came out on Saturday to give it her all with times in the 100 meter (15.52), 200 meter (38.63) and 400 meter (76.18) events. Aria Jones, who has been with us for the past two seasons as well, made a great improvement in the long jump with a new PR of 4.42 meters (3rd place), a 8.39 meter triple jump that got her 3rd place as well and then a strong 100 meter race with a time of 15.16 seconds.
The Flyers head down to Tucson this Saturday for the Walter Wallace Invitational Relays.