Boys Bring Home Honors From Round Valley


Silver medal finishes by Carlan Pontious and Wellington Cassuto helped earn the Longhorns boys track and field team fourth place honors at the 17-team Round Valley Invitational held March 18 in Eagar.

In the indoor meet held in the RVHS dome, Pontious was second in both the 1,600- and 800-meter runs and Cassuto was runner-up in the discus.


During a March 17 Longhorn track team practice session, sprinters worked on getting fast starts out of the blocks. Among those practicing were Joe Blackburn and Tracy Fitzpatrick. The athletes were preparing for the Round Valley Invitational held March 18 in Eagar.

Pontious 1,600 time of 4:57.20 was about four seconds off the pace of event champion Weston Jones of Red Mesa High School.

In the race, Pontious -- whose strategy is to usually stay off the pace and close fast -- elected to take the lead early.

The strategy turned sour, however, when Jones came from behind to nip him at the wire.

"He probably ran that first split a little too fast," coach Chuck Hardt said.

In the 800 -- an event in which Pontious doesn't usually compete -- he was timed in 2:10.47. The winner, Jon Wheeler of Desert Academy was clocked in 2:09.22.

Cassuto unleashed a discus throw of 130-feet, 1-inch that was 1-foot, 3-inches shy James Plucker's winning toss. Plucker was representing Holbrook High School.

In the shot put, Cassuto tacked on two team points with a heave of 41 feet that was good enough for seventh place.

In addition to the superb showings of Pontious and Cassuto, the Horns received a boost from the 4-by-400 meet relay team that ran to third place in 3:47.13. The relay foursome includes Brandon Echols, Joe Blackburn, Kyle Pugle and Pontious.

The showings of the team members who gave up part of their spring break to travel to Eagar for the meet, earned the Horns a team finish with 56.5 points.

Durango, Colo. (93) was first, Montezuma High School of Cortez, Colo. (80) second and Monument Valley (66.5) third.

Although team practices were held each morning last week, the tracksters will practice as individuals only until classes resume March 28 at PHS. The team is slated to make its home debut March 30 on the Longhorn track. Expected to participate are Chino Valley, Mogollon and Snowflake. Field events begin at 3:30 p.m.

The Longhorns travel April 2 to the Higley Invitational, then host the coed relays April 6. Start time is 2 p.m.

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