DON KETCHUM is a native of Phoenix. He was a sportswriter for The Arizona Republic/The Phoenix Gazette for nearly four decades. He covered high school sports on several occasions as well as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State sports. From 2008-14, he was a staff writer for, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Xavier track team off to a good start

Xavier Prep’s track and field team recorded its first meet of the season on Wednesday (March 4), and from the look of things, there are many more exciting chapters to come.
The Gators outdistanced Scottsdale Chaparral and Fountain Hills in a three-way meet at the Brophy Sports Campus. The Gators scored 76 ½ points, Chaparral 50 and Fountain Hills 48 ½.
“We have a lot of new kids on our team so it’s good to get that first one under the belt,’’ said head coach Dave Van Sickle, whose Gators tied for seventh in last year’s Division I state meet.
“With this first one, sometimes the girls get nervous and it can be chaotic. But now it is out of the way and we can move on. It’s always good to get that first win. From the looks of it, though, it’s going to be a fun season.’’
One of the top individual performances, according to Van Sickle, was junior Tess Weiss in the 1,600-meter (mile) run.
She was on the team last season, but another year of maturity has allowed her to make her mark.
“She ran a ridiculous (good) time,’’ Van Sickle said of the 5:13.0 showing.
Weiss dueled Fountain Hills’ Sierra Jarriel the entire race and then had a big burst down the stretch to cross the finish line first.
Xavier got another spark from sophomore discus thrower Jaila Nero, who had not really been a discus thrower until a couple of weeks ago, according to Van Sickle.
“She really took to it and is showing a lot of promise,’’ the coach said.
Van Sickle also was pleased with how the 4x100-meter relay team ran.
“They ran pretty fast,’’ he said.
Next up for the Gators is the North Canyon Rattler Booster Invitational, beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday (March 7) at North Canyon High, 16th St. and Union Hills.
Team scores
Xavier 76 ½, Chaparral 50, Fountain Hills 48 ½.
Varsity 100-meter dash – Zoe Laskasie, Chaparral, 13.12; Shelby Roberts, Xavier, 13.25; Erika Yost, Fountain Hills 13.97; Gabby Orozco, Chaparral, 14.10.
Varsity 200-meter dash – Zoe Laskasie, Chaparral, 26.83; Leah Carillo, Fountain Hills, 28.00; Cydeni Carter, Xavier, 28.33; Olivia Chan, Xavier, 28.47.
Varsity 400-meter dash – Teresa Roessler, Xavier, 1:04.93; Lisbet Maldonado, Xavier, 1:06.87; Danica Kerr, Fountain Hills, 1:10.43; Eve Barton, Chaparral, 1:10.60.
Varsity 800-meter run (hand-held time) – Lauren Kinzle, Xavier, 2:25.0; Shannan Higgins, Xavier, 2:26.0; Abby Moon, Chaparral, 2:34.0; Kelly Champeau, Xavier, 2:38.0.
Varsity 1,600-meter run (hand-held time) – Tessa Weiss, Xavier, 5:13.0; Sierra Jarriel, Fountain Hills, 5:16.1; Maddie Van Sickle, Xavier, 5:57.0; Hope Brecto, Fountain Hills, 6:02.0.
Varsity 3,200-meter run (hand-held time) – Shannon Molvin, Xavier, 12:03.0; Sierra Brown, Xavier, 12:03.0; Sarah Carter, Xavier, 12:03.0; Caroline Liddy, Xavier, 12:05.0.
Varsity 4x100-meter relay (hand-held time) – Xavier “A’ 51.4; Fountain Hills “A’ 52.5.
Varsity 4x400-meter relay – Chaparral “A,’ 4:11.73; Xavier “A,’ 4:13.12.
Varsity 4x800-meter relay – Xavier 10:21.2; Chaparral 12:52.8.
Varsity 100-meter hurdles – Brooke Martin, Chaparral, 16.90; Madi Blaes, Fountain Hills, 17.05; Jenna Fitzgerald, 17.30; Annie Grant, Xavier, 17.62.
Varsity 300-meter hurdles – Brooke Martin, Chaparral, 46.55; Amalia Frohna, Chaparral, 48.25; Madi Blaes, Fountain Hills, 48.65; Kelsey Schultz, Fountain Hills, 48.88.
Varsity high jump – Trista Smith, Fountain Hills, 4-4; Nika Gorski, Xavier, 4-4; Kelsey Schultz, Fountain Hills, 4-4; Amara Feyrer-Melk, Fountain Hills, 4-2.
Varsity pole vault – Trista Smith, Fountain Hills, 11-9; Jenna Fitzgerald, Xavier, 9-6; Lizzy Driggs, Chaparral, 8-6; Molly Kaiser, Xavier, 6-6.
Varsity long jump – Leah Carillo, Fountain Hills, 15-10 ½; Maddy Todd, Xavier, 14-4 ½; Mary Long, Xavier, 13-10 ½; Annie Grant, Xavier, 13-8.
Varsity triple jump – Madeline Feyrer-Melk, Fountain Hills, 29-10 ½; Ellie Macklin, Chaparral, 28-1.
Varsity shot put – Emmerson Wells, Chaparral, 27-0 ½; Madison Feyrer-Melk, Fountain Hills, 26-4; Amaris Benavidez, Xavier, 24-2 ½; Kristy Shugart, Chaparral 24-1.
Varsity discus – Jaila Nero, Xavier, 78-5; Emmerson Wells, Chaparral, 76-9; Madison Feyrer-Melk, Fountain Hills, 75-6; Sam Palumbo, Chaparral, 71-10.
JV 100-meter dash – Amara Feyrer-Melk, Fountain Hills, 13:95; Kaysia Hamilton, Chaparral, 13.95; Therese Ribakare, Xavier, 14.37; Shana Ofori, Xavier, 14.38.
JV 200-meter dash – Kinsey Ehmann, Xavier, 29.47; Mary Long, Xavier, 29.60; Quiqui Hita, Xavier, 29.60; Gabby Orozco, Chaparral, 29.80.
JV 400-meter dash – Kinsey Ehmann, Xavier, 1:06.13; Olivia Chan, Xavier, 1:06.60; Sophie Venezia, Xavier, 1:08.53; Quiqui Hita, Xavier, 1:09.23.
JV 300-meter hurdles – Cydeni Carter, Xavier, 51.57; Amara Feyrer-Melk, Fountain Hills, 57.17.

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