Tonto Apache Tracksters Set Slough Of Personal Records


One of the smallest contingents to ever represent the Tonto Apache Track and Field team turned out for the Las Vegas Invitational.

According to Tonto coach Billy Joe Winchester only 12 team members participated in the Vegas showdown.

The coach said he couldn't pinpoint the reason for the declining participation, but suspected family obligations, the preparations for the end of school, and the onset of summer were to blame.

Despite the lack of numbers, the athletes and their parents enjoyed the competition and the city with no clocks.

"All the kids did a good job at the meet and this was a fun trip for their parents," Winchester said.

"(Traveling to Las Vegas) was like a reward for doing a great job so far this season."

According to Winchester, the team's finest performances were turned in by four youngsters in the youth boys discus and shot-put events.

In the discus, Winchester said, Jarred Begay was first, Shane Levine second, Val Doka third and Landis Quade sixth.

"Shane, Val and Jarred all threw personal bests," the coach said.

In the shot-put, Levine was second, Doka fourth and Begay fifth.

Again, all three set personal records, Winchester said.

In the intermediate boys division discus Miguel Lopez was second and Justin Johnson third.

Among the young women discus competitors, Heather Waterman took first. Kindall Begay had to sit out because of an ankle injury, Winchester said.

In the shot-put events for bantam boys, Hunter Doka finished first. Among the bantam girls shot-putters, Cassie Johnson was fourth and in the youth girls, Hanna Quade claimed sixth.

Next up for the team is the USA Track and Field Arizona State Championships May 20 to May 22 at Tempe High School.

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