One of the most successful amateur track and field teams in the state returned to action Feb. 18 in Flagstaff.
The Tonto Apache team, which last spring was honored as the Grand Canyon Games Athletes of the Year, traveled to the campus of Northern Arizona University where it participated in the Flagstaff Indoor Classic.
Present were 42 Western U.S. teams, including one from Hawaii.
Team results were not kept, but Tonto Apache track coach and team founder Billy Joe Winchester said his athletes performed well despite missing one of its stalwarts.
"Michael Waterman injured himself on an ATV the night before (the meet). It was the first track meet I have been without Michael," Winchester said.
Others team regulars were also absent for a variety of reasons.
"We were missing Jennifer Flores, Chris Engle, Garrett Quotskuyva and Ty Davis," Winchester said.
Once the missing athletes return, the coach is predicting great things.
"When we are at full power, we are going to be hard to beat," he said.
The team did sport a slightly new look in Flagstaff with several new coaches and athletes on hand.
First-year members of the team include Mirle Weisser, Kindall Begay and Jarred Begay.
Weisser won the high jump with a personal record leap and Jarred Begay staked claim to the shot put title.
The Begay youngsters are Phoenix residents.
In addition to new athletes, Winchester expects to field for the first time ever entries in the rugged decathlon competition.
The prospective participants, he said, are brothers Waylon, Garrett and Josh Quotskuyva. Waterman is also a possibility.
Winchester said he expects the team to be even more prepared this season because the coaching staff sports two new coaches in Vivian Burdette and Mike Weisser.
Burdette will coach the girls running events and Weisser will oversee the hurdles.
Team results from the Flagstaff Indoor Classic
Shot-put: Jarred Begay, 1st; Valentino Doka, 2nd
Shot-put: Justin Johnson, 1st; Miguel Lopez, 4th
Shot-put: Kindall Begay, 2nd; Kaylee Talgo, shot, 3rd; Cassandra Cly, 6th; Heather Waterman, 7th
Shot-put: Alex Winchester, 7th; Weston Talgo, 8th; Charles Lopez, 9th
Shot put: Waylon Quotskuyva, 2nd; Coltin Curtis, 2nd; Josh Quotskuyva, 7th; Anthony Johnson, 8th
Other winners included
Merle Weisser (1st place in high jump); Cassandra Cly (7th, long jump); Waylon Quotskuyva (3rd, 400 meter; 4th, high jump; 6th, long jump); Josh Quotskuyva (13th, 400 meter; 6th, high jump; 8th, long jump), Matt Johnson (9th, 1500 meter)