Teams from small schools in small towns all around Arizona descended on Flagstaff to open the high school track & field season…from scattered places like Tuba City, Blue Ridge, Holbrook, and Joseph City.
In all, 19 boys’ teams and 19 girls’ teams made the trek to the Northern Arizona University campus to take part in this year’s Skydome Classic, hosted last week by Northland Prep Academy.
And, based on the results, there are Snowflake High School and Mingus Union – and then there’s the rest of the field. The 104 points scored by the Snowflake boys ‘ team left second-place Red Rock High School from Sedona in the dust, and the Mingus High girls from Cottonwood racked up 121 points, which was more than double that of runner-up Red Rock.
On the boys’ side, the top five finishers were Snowflake (121), Red Rock (56), Mingus (53), Blue Ridge (43), and Coconino (39.5). For the girls, it was Mingus (104), Red Rock (77), Payson (45), Blue Ridge (41.5), and Snowflake (41).
What this also showed is the overall strength of each of these top programs, since Mingus had both teams in the top three, Red Rock took runner-up in both the boys’ and girls’ competition, Snowflake was No. 1 and No. 5, and Blue Ridge took fourth place on both sides.
While Snowflake won three events, sweeping the first three spots in one of them, the Mingus girls claimed five big wins.
The Snowflake boys won two running events, the 60-meter dash and 200 meters. In the 60m, they swept the top two places, with Tyler Johnson (70.09) and Hunter Farr (20.29) leading the pack; in the 200, it was Johnson and Farr again, with Johnson winning in 22.85, and freshman Chandler Brown coming in third.
Johnson also won the long jump with a leap of 22’10.5″.
The Mingus girls swept the top two spots in both the 60 meters and 200 meters, and then added a first place in the 1,600 meters. Senior Torey Braly won both the 60 (8.14) and 200 (26.64), with Justine Taylor taking second in the 60 and Delaney Scanlan finishing behind Braly in the 200.
Emma Schraner took care of things in the distance events, scorching the field in the 1,600 meters in a winning time of 5:37.77 – well ahead of Sage Pearce, who logged 5:50.62 for Payson High. And Braly added another win, in the 60m hurdles, with a time of 9.54.
In the field events, Mingus picked up a win from Heather Calandra who tossed the iron 40 feet – outdistancing the rest of the shot-put field by better than two feet.
Chinle High School came away with a ninth-place finish, but the school continued to lock down the girls’ 3,200-meter run, where Rolonda Jumbo has dominated for so long.
The senior from Chinle, a small school on the Navajo Indian Reservation, won the cross country state title all four years she has competed, three in the old 3A division and the latest in the new Division III. The Skydome Classic marks the start of her final track season at the prep level.
Jumbo, who also ran a leg of the winning 4×400 team, set the event record for the 3,200 meters the last time it was held, in 2010, with a time of 11:36.80. This year’s time was just a shade off that at 11:36.95.
But her personal best is a time of 10:34.95. It’s still early… As the season progresses, her times will undoubtedly drop.
The Skydome Classic is just a taste of things to come. And an early peek at the small-school field.