Kyrene Middle School’s eighth grade baseball team took home its second straight Kyrene School District championship in the finals played at Aprende Middle School. The same players were district champions as seventh graders.
The Scorpions had a bye in the first round, beat Centennial 11-1 in the semifinals and defeated Aprende 6-4 to win the championship trophy.
“We jumped out fast in our game against Centennial, with solid hitting from Matt Langmack, Kyle Coggins and Tanner Wilson,” said coach Nick DiFiore. “Tommy Martinez was solid for us on the hill.”
“The championship game against Aprende was well played by both teams,” said DiFiore. “Vinny Vital pitched us to the championship trophy, with Kyle Coggins once again playing big for us at the plate.”
This group of players ended their two-year reign with a combined 20-5 regular season record, according to DiFiore.
“Our standouts for the season included Christian Broadus on defense, Vinny Vital and Tanner Wilson hitting, Tommy Martinez and Vinny Vital pitching,” said DeFiore. “We also had solid play from Cody Pepp, speed from Ben Birk and timely hitting from Zach Lawson which helped set our season.”
“Sawyer Bressler, Johathan Fugate, Chad Kahawai, Turner Morris, Dane Rasmussen and Riley Stanton contributed all season to our team’s success.”
“We can also credit Rick Huntley for helping with our pitchers, and Jamie Broadus for all she did as general manager.”
“I coached this bunch last year when they won the seventh grade district championship and again this year as eighth graders,” said DiFiore. “All I can say is they worked hard and made the game fun all the time.”
Corona State Track Results
Corona’s girls track and field team moved up in the rankings, finishing seventh this year at the AIA State Track and Field Division I championship meet held at Mesa Community College May 11 and 14.
This finish was the highest the girls team had placed in 10 years, with the exception of 2003-04 when the Lady Aztecs took sixth place in the 5A state meet.
“It was a very competitive state meet where six points separated the girls team from taking fourth place instead of seventh,” said head coach Tim Kelly. “It was the same for the boys team. Only seven points made the difference between sixth and our ultimate 11th place finish.”
Scoring six points each for the girls team was Lakevia Stormer, with a third place in the 400 Meter Dash and Dana McKenzie taking third in the Girls High Jump. Stormer entered the race as the No. 5 seed but ran a great race, shaving almost an entire second off her qualifying time.
McKenzie’s highest jump during the regular season was 5’6” at the Sun Angel meet, which ranked her No. 7 on the 2011 Arizona High School Track & Field Rankings. Stormer should move up to the No. 7 spot on the same list for her 58.22 time in the 400 Meter Dash at the state meet.
Seeded seventh but finishing an astounding fourth in the 4×100 Meter Relay was the team of Megan Benson, Taylor Johnson, Lakevia Stormer and Gabrielle Dotson.
Ellen Dunn also had a great 1600 Meter Run, finishing 12th after being seeded No. 16, as did Lauren Lucky, who came into the state meet seeded No. 23 in the shot put but finished 12th after putting the shot almost a foot farther at 34-09.25.
Benson took fifth in the 100 Meter Hurdles while Hallie Swenson placed ninth in the 800 meter run, both finishing exactly where they were seeded heading into the state meet.
Benson’s time of 15:13 in the 100 Meter Hurdles at the Basha Relays ranked her at No. 8 in the 2011 Arizona High School Track & Field Rankings. She is also ranked No. 12 for the 46.24 she ran in the 300 Meter Hurdles at the Tempe City Meet.
The girls 4×800 Meter Relay team of Sarah Williams, Hallie Swenson, Leann Willittes and Dani Lemieux also finished exactly where they were seeded at the No. 5 spot. This same team is ranked No. 8 on the 2011 Arizona High School Track & Field Rankings for their 9:53.19 time at the Paradise Valley Relays earlier this season.
Corona’s boys track and field team was 11th out of 38 teams at the Division I state track meet.
The Aztecs’ best finish was a remarkable 2nd place finish by the 4×800 Meter Relay team of Michael Seall, Dillion Baker, Cody Jackson and Jared Hirschl. This team entered the race as the No. 10 seed with an 8:13:20 time but managed to shave off almost 20 seconds to finish in second place at 7:52.39 and earn 8 big points towards the team’s total.
The 7:52:39 this 4×800 boys relay team ran in the state meet should move them up to the No. 4 ranking on the 2011 Arizona High School Track & Field Rankings.
Corona’s other two relay teams that qualified for the state meet also finished higher than seeded in the state meet.
The 4×400 Meter Relay team of Seall, Jackson, Dominique Branscumb and Matt Hayhurst was seeded No. 8 but actually finished fourth while the 4×100 relay team of Dominic Mercurio, Tevin Mayfield, George Wright and Stephan Hill was seeded 12th but finished eighth.
Jackson crossed the finish line in 4th place in the 800 Meter Run after entering the meet as the No. 9 seed while Seall was 15th in the same race.
Nick Seifker took seventh in the 110 Meter Hurdles after coming in seeded No. 11. The Aztec had three runners finish in the 3200 Meter Run. Daniel Wrapp was 12th, Jacob Whitney crossing the finish line right behind Wrapp in 13th and Jared Hirschl was 16th.
“Our coaching staff is proud of the dedication these kids gave all season. We will miss the impact and leadership our senior class brought to the program,” said Kelly. “We look to reload, though, in the off season with a younger team. We should have a dedicated group working out in the weight room this summer to be able to get a head start with an early season training regiment.”
Marcos Track and Field
Marcos de Niza’s girls track and field team had two first place and two second place finishes, giving the Padres an overall sixth place finish out of 31 schools competing in the Girls State Division II track meet held at Mesa Community College.
Kylee Kieser placed 1st in the 1600 Meter Run and second in the 3200 Meter Run. Kylee’s 11:09.80 finish in the 3200 Meter was good enough to place her No. 5 on the 2011 Arizona High School Track and Field Rankings.
The girls team’s other first place finish was the Girls 4×800 Meter Relay team of Juliana Bennett, Natalie Jones, Cristal Castro and Jessey Tenorio, while sophomore Savannah Whitehead placed second in the Pole Vault.
Whitehead’s 10’6” jump placed her at the top of Marcos de Niza’s list for track and field records.
Bennett placed ninth in the 800 Meter Run while Jones came in 11th in the same race.
Other Marcos de Niza state track meet finishers included Jones at 14th and Paige Libsack at 20th in the 1600 Meter Run. Libsack also came in 16th in the 3200 Meter run, while Tenorio was 21st and Jamie Chan 22nd.
The boys track and field team placed eighth out of 38 schools with Martwon Weaver as the star athlete competing in three events. Weaver came in first in the 100 Meter Dash and eighth in the 200 Meter Dash. He also ran the final leg of 4×100 Meter Relay team that placed second.
Other members of the relay team included Brian Drew, Josh Eckley and Priest Willis. The team’s 42.18 time was the No. 1 all-time high on Marcos de Niza’s track and field school records.
Weaver’s 10.67 time in the 100 Meter Dash not only won him a Division II State Championship but placed him second on the school’s all-time track and field school records list just one second off the 10.66 record attained by Marcus Brunson in 1996.
Five Corona players were selected as part of the 5A-I Central Region all-region softball team. Katie Tripp was named to the first team as catcher and Abby Spiel to the outfield. Named to the second team were Taylor Eno in the outfield, McKenna Isenberg as pitcher and Paige Vallejos as utility player.
The team finished with an 11-20 regular season record, placing them No. 20 in Power Point Rankings and making it the second straight year the Lady Aztecs did not make it into the 5A state tournament.
Regardless, the relatively young team of three sophomores, seven juniors and only five seniors gained valuable experience that will be helpful next spring.
The seniors, Alexa Nenaber, Eno, Tripp, Julissa Ramirez and Taylor Tometich, were honored, with a winning score of 13-9, at the final home game against Highland.
Other contributing members included Nicole Schwalbe, Katie Koponen, Nicole Giannonatti, Danielle Lynch, Christy Farrell, Lani Redmond and Leah Kroeger.