Corona track team sprints toward a record-breaking season
The Aztec track program has been hot the past couple of weeks setting 44 personal records and breaking four school records according to head coach Jim Kelly.
“We had 22 athletes qualify for the prestigious Arcadia Invitational Track Meet in Arcadia, CA, April 5-6, where several of our kids broke school records or set personal records,” said Kelly.
The 4×800 relay team of Amberly Ricks, Hallie Swenson, Mason Swenson and Kelly Naumann set another school record of 9:38.79 at Arcadia.
The boys shuttle hurdle relay team won an event that is not even run in Arizona.
“Ours boys 4×110 meter shuttle hurdle relay rated team of Tevin Mayfield, Quinn Robertson, Diego Parra and Tyker Stehr not only won their event but cracked the top six in the nation with a time of 1:03.03,” said coach Kelly.
“Aaron Simons won his flight in the discus throw and set a personal record throwing the discus 176 feet,” said Kelly. “He became the second Aztec to win the open section.”
Simons also competed the day before traveling to Arcadia at the ASU Classic where he set a meet record with a throw of 170-07 feet according to Kelly.
Mayfield also had a good Arcadia meet winning his heat in the 110 meter hurdles while Grace Ashu placed third in the 300 meter hurdles.
One of Corona’s long-distance runners Nathan Rodriguez set a personal record in the mile at Arcadia where he ran a 4:13 while teammate Ryan Normand also set a personal record in the two mile running his race in 9:22.62.
The Aztecs who did not go to Arcadia competed in the Sun Angel Classis where several relay teams had a good showing.
“We were all proud when our boys 4X800 relay team of Samuel Rodriguez, Johnathan Lopez, Patrick Cullings and Blake Fischer qualified to run in the Collegiate meet on Saturday as did our girls 4×400 and 4×100 relay teams,” said Kelly.
The girls 4×400 relay team of Gabrielle Dotson, Lexi Reynosa, Mattison Holly and Carly Ruth finished 10th in the prelims while the 4×100 relay team of Aery Ware, Isabelle Cartagena, Justice Onwordi and Ashu finished third in the prelims.
“Jake Whitney also qualified for the Saturday session taking a fourth place finish in the finals of the 1600 meter run and setting another personal record of 4:25.86,” said Kelly. “Sammy Moore also qualified to run in the 1600 meters where she set a personal record with a time of 5:23.20 finishing 14th in the finals.”
The Aztecs have three more main meets to qualify their athletes for the state meet which will held on May 8 and 11 at Mesa Community College. First up is the Tempe Stampede at Tempe High School. Then Corona is scheduled to compete at the Northeast Valley Championship at Horizon High School April 29 and at the Las Chance Qualifier at Desert Vista May 3.
Corona’s boys tennis team defended their Tempe All-City Championship in a come-from-behind victory April 6.
“We were tied with Desert Vista for second place, behind Mountain Pointe by six points, after the first day of the tournament,” said coach Rick Wanta. “But we managed to make it into six of the nine finals the last day of tournament.”
“I told the guys before we started playing that last day that we could afford just one hiccup but had to win all the rest of the matches in order to repeat as City Champs,” said Wanta. “There were some tough matches but I was very proud of the way our team played and pulled it off.”
Winning final matches in the singles categories to defend their title was No. 1 singles player Kevin McMahon, No. 3 Alex Jing, No. 5 James Duvall and No. 6 Eli Imadali. No. 3 doubles partners James Duvall and Daniel Lee also won their final match to help the team repeat as champions.
The Aztecs are currently undefeated at 12-0 in regular season play and are hoping to finish out the season against a couple of solid teams: Chandler and Mountain Pointe. If the Aztecs continue to win out, they have good chance of getting a higher seed heading into the team section of the state tournament.
“We’re hoping to get home court advantage for at least the first round of the team playoffs,” said Wanta. “After that, since all of the teams will be very competitive, we’ll have to play well to advance.”
The state playoffs start April 23 at the higher seed. The second round, April 30, is also at the higher seed before the semi-finals are May 3 and finals May 4 at Paseo Racquet Center in Glendale.
TACA Winter Awards
Several Corona athletes were awarded Tempe All-City Awards at the association’s winter award banquet held April 1.
Taylor Kalmer was selected from the girls basketball team after averaging over 15 points and 2 steals a game as a sophomore.
Casey Benson and Bryan Seifker, members of Corona’s back-to-back state championship team were selected from the boys basketball team. Benson received several other honors this season including Player of the Year and Gatorade Player of the Year.
Receiving awards from the boys soccer team were Ellis Rutili, Ryan Koenig, Keith Williamson and Aaron Flegenheimer.
Corona’s girls soccer team had three seniors and one sophomore receive TACA awards. Seniors Olivia Montoya, Kelsey Cartwright and Stephanie Petre were joined by sophomore Madison Wolf.
The Aztec wrestling team which finished third at the Division I state tournament had an amazing eight wrestlers, all of who should be back next season, receive TACA awards. Juniors Glenn Farina and Ethan Tursini, who both won state titles this winter, were joined in receiving this award by fellow juniors Zachry Walton and Colton Winstead, sophomores Matthew Churchill and Dylan Kronborg and freshman Bridger Barker.
Marcos de Niza TACA Awards
The Lady Padres 21-9 basketball team had two girls receive TACA awards. Senior and leading scorer on the team 5-foot-11 forward Sydnie Lengyel, with over 14 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.3 steals and .7 blocked shots a game received an award. She was joined by teammate junior 5-foot-10 Jorie Mayfield. Guard Mayfield was the second leading scorer at over 11 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.4 steals a game.
The 18-9 Padres basketball team had two seniors win awards. Richaud Gittens led the team in points at over 17 points a game while averaging almost 3 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 steals a game. Devin White also compiled some impressive stats his senior season averaging 14 point, almost 3 assists, 7 rebounds, 1.3 steals and .7 blocks a game.
The Padres had three wrestlers receive TACA awards including senior Derek Craig, junior Richard Florez and sophomore Ryan Sondrup.