Prescott High Badgers track team aiming high in 2016

Members of the Prescott High School track team practice their starts Tuesday, Feb. 16, at PHS.

Photo by Matt Hinshaw.

Members of the Prescott High School track team practice their starts Tuesday, Feb. 16, at PHS.

Prescott Track and Field 2016 Schedule

Date - Opponent - Time

3/5 - at NPA Skydome Classic - 10:30 a.m.

3/18 - at Chandler Rotary Invitational - 1 p.m.

3/19 - at Chandler Invite Elite Finals - 9:30 a.m.

3/26 - at Tolleson Invitational - 9 a.m.

3/31 - Prescott Invitational% - 3:30 p.m.

4/1 - at Scottsdale Distance Classic - 6 p.m.

4/8 - at Mingus Invitational - 2:30 p.m.

4/16 - at Pioneer Invitational - 8:30 a.m.

4/22 - at District Championships^ - 2 p.m.

4/26 - at Northwest Region Invitational - 3:30 p.m.

5/4 - Division II State Meet-Prelims - TBA

5/5 - Division II State Meet-Finals - TBA

% Schools Participating: Chino Valley, Bradshaw Mountain and Sedona Red Rock.

^ Meet held at Bradshaw Mountain High School.

— Through the first few weeks of practice, Prescott track and field head coach Cylinda Bray has kept her eye on a talented group that she says is “looking strong” so far this spring.

And when their first invitational meet begins Saturday at the Walkup Skydome on the campus of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, the Badgers will begin a journey that hopefully ends on a podium at Mesa Community College in May.

“We should do well this year,” Bray said. “We hope several [athletes] can qualify for state.”

The Badgers lost four of their six state qualifiers from last season, most notably Simon Paige, who was the top finisher in the 800- and 3,200-meter events last spring.

Paige finished first with a 1:56.70 time in the 800, and was first in the 3,200 with a 9:23.59 time. He is currently a member of the Arizona State Sun Devil cross country team.

Jordan Twombly-Ellis finished eighth in the 1,600-meter with a 5:20.77 time, Perry Reed took eighth in the high jump at 6-feet, 2-inches, and Lukas Stogsdill was 20th in the long jump with a 20-foot, 5.5-inch mark.

The Prescott boys finished fifth overall with 34 points in Mesa last spring. Tolleson took home the state championship with 66.50 points scored, while Cibola was a close second at 54 points. Gila Ridge wrapped up the top three with 42.50 points scored.

This spring, the Badgers welcome back junior Paxton Henry, who finished sixth in the long jump with a 21-foot, 3.5-inch leap and was 14th in the triple jump with a 41-foot, 11.25-inch mark.

Also returning for the girl’s team is Makenna Mills, who was 21st overall in the 3,200 with a 12:06.47 time.

Other returners Bray said to keep an eye on this season include throwers Brittany Resendez, Cade Parker and Luke Heberee. Distance runner Matthew Bradley and sprinters Aurther McCracken and Molly Courtright also return.

A few newcomers who have made an impression in the early going are juniors David Pearce and Paige Campbell.

“There are a couple of juniors that are newcomers to the sport this year who really look strong,” Bray said.

Pearce is expected to participate in the hurdles, sprints, jumps and throws while Campbell may fall into competition in sprints, jumps and throws.

As for a few freshmen who may crack the varsity lineup, Kenna McMahan (sprints), Isaiah Kaitschuck (hurdles) and Shawn Hoffman (jumps) are several to watch out for.

After the NPA Skydome Classic this weekend, the Badgers will take a small hiatus for spring break and return to competition at the Chandler Rotary Invitational on Friday, March 18.

The only home meet of the season for Prescott is Thursday, March 31, when the Badgers welcome Chino Valley, Bradshaw Mountain and Sedona Red Rock.