The season is well on its way and the Flyers have been to three meets thus far. Let’s take a look at how our athletes have competed over these past 4 weeks.
8 & Under Division
Ellie Amsbaugh competed in her first track meet back in late January at Westwood High School, where she ran in the 100 and 200 meter races. Ellie competed hard and was able to land in the middle of the pack for both events with times of 21.21 seconds (100 meters) and 46.34 seconds (200 meters). Trenton Shirley entered his first track meet ever in early February in the 55 meters and crossed the line in a strong 11.00 seconds. Charlotte Faltis, yet another new member to our Flyer family this season, ran the the 55 meters as well in early February and streaked by in a time of 11.11 seconds. Isa Allison, the 5th year grizzled 8 and Under veteran, started her season up in Flagstaff this past weekend and was able to set two new PRs for herself, along with team records in the 55 meters (9.66) and 200 meters (36.71). Isa also took 6th place in the long jump with a mark of 2.31 meters.
Auggie Grimm, a promising newcomer to the club, ran a very respectable 100 meters time of 16.34 seconds back in late January and then competed again the following week in the 55 meters, where he finished almost dead-center of the pack with a time of 9.28 seconds. Seth Henry, who we thought was a pretty fast kid when we met him at the beginning of the season, still has been able to surprise us with some very impressive early season times for his age. At Westwood High in January, he set a new club record in the 55 meter dash (8.53) and took 4th place overall. A week later at Millennium High School, Seth placed 8th overall in the 200 meters (31.43), and just missed the club record in that event as well. Micah Newkirk, an up and coming middle distance runner, started the season off right with a very strong 400 meter time of 1:21.91 back in January, and landed him 17th out of 45 athletes in his age group. Sienna Amsbaugh, the older sister to Ellie, who seems to have a perpetual smile on her face, ran two very solid times in January over at Westwood High School, where she ran 18.16 seconds in the 100 meters and a nice 38.67 finish in the 200 meters.
Zachary Esparza was a bit nervous last Sunday when he got on the line for the 55 m dash at the Skydome up in NAU. As the gun banged, Zachary exploded off the line with a very good performance of 8.84 seconds. Hours later, when he was getting ready for the 200 meters, Zach’s nerves started to creep up again; but he was able to focus that energy into a winning heat time of 32.38 second and a great start to the season. Simon Reynolds, one of our original cast members of the Phoenix Flyers and now somehow grew up to be in the 9-10 division, competed for the first time in Flagstaff. More as a warm up for Simon, he took to the 55 meter dash in 9.91 seconds and then later that day ran the 800 meters where he had a promising time or 3:13.51 at the 7,000 feet level.
It’s always a good sign to see PRs from our returning athletes so early in the season. Macy Baerman has managed three new personal records for herself in the last two meets. In Flagstaff, Macy had a nice PR of 3.54 m in the long jump and a swift 34.24 finish in the 200 meters, which was also a PR for her. Two weeks earlier, Macy also ran a new PR in the 400 meters and for the first time dipped under the 80-second mark with a time of 1:19.22. Braden Lolli, another original Flyers athletic artifact, looks like he’ll be picking up right where he left off in his impressive 2016 national qualifying run. He blistered a 1:11.76 400 meters in mid-February at Millennium HS, which was a new PR for him, as well as having a strong 2:44.61 result in the 800. These times clearly shows you that age is just a number; and although Braden’s in the lower half of his new age group this year, he’ll still be pushing for many top finishes in 2017. Benjamin Geist is no neophyte runner anymore. In his second season with the Flyers, you can already see how his comfort level and confidence have risen since 2016. Benjamin ran a new PR in the 400, back in mid-February, in a time of 1:17.33, which should mean that his times will be dropping considerably. Khaleb Henry, Seth’s older brother, is waiting his time for the throwing events to begin, but back in February he did run the 55 meter dash with great effort and explosion off the line. Unfortunately, the clock that day malfunctioned and we have no official time for Khaleb in the race. Ava Clegg, yet another 5-year vet to the Phoenix crew, has definitely shed her little kid look and is right smack in the middle of “tweensville”. Ava, being a lot stronger and faster than last year, has already set two new PRs for herself in the 200 m (37.78) and 100 m (16.98) back in late January. Lucy Arana, after a brutal last season fighting off multiple bouts of various sicknesses, is back and better than ever! Lucy, a distance specialist, surprised maybe even herself when she tore off a time of 1:16.35 in the 400 meters, which shattered her old quarter-mile best by nearly 10 seconds!
Gael Pacheco, a quiet but determined new member to the Flyers, has been making great strides in meets this early season. Gael ran a 9.8 55-meters in mid-February and then ran three events up in Flagstaff, where he improved his 55 meters to 9.56 seconds and ran hard in the 200 m (37.02) and 400 meters (1:24.86) to fill out a long day up north. Another new 11-12 division boy who has joined our team this year is Austin Schrader. He has competed twice thus far in 2017. In the first meet of the season, Austin ran a solid 16.62 second 100-meter time. He then made the trek with his family up to the thin air of Flagstaff, where he ran a 9.58 second 55-meter race. Our last 11-12 to compete in the early part of 2017 is Maddox Moses. He’s a strong middle-distance runner, who was able to break 3-minutes in the 800 in late January (2:58.45). And we are hoping to put together our first 4×800 meter relay this year with the middle-distance talent we seem to be amassing with our 11-12 boys.
Robert Vloemans, our only 13-14 athlete to compete so far this season, came out to the opening track meet to compete in the 100 and 200 meter races. With much improvement since his first day with us at practice, Robert was able to run a 16.89 and 35.44 in those sprints. Robert is looking forward to getting a chance to compete in the throwing events in the weeks ahead and focus more on the field side of track & field.
Our next meet is this weekend at Millennium High School – 8 a.m.