Prescott High track's Mills qualifies for Jr. Olympic nationals; football is just around corner
PRESCOTT HIGH SOPHOMORE MAKENNAH MILLS this past weekend qualified to compete in the 2,000-meter steeplechase and the 1,500-meter run at the USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships July 27-Aug. 2 in Jacksonville, Florida.
The road to get there was anything but easy, however.
Mills, who's been running in club track events sponsored by USA Track & Field this summer, finished high enough in the 2,000m steeplechase, the 400m hurdles and the 1,500m at the Arizona State Junior Olympics Championships June 13 and 14 in Mesa to reach regionals.
At the Regional Junior Olympics Championships July 11 and 12 at the University of Texas-El Paso, Mills used her strong finishes at state as a springboard.
In the 2,000m steeplechase in Mesa, Mills registered a new personal-record (PR) time of 7 minutes and 48.36 seconds en route to a state title. At regionals, Mills won the event in 7:54.78 to garner a spot at nationals.
In the 400m hurdles, Mills won a state crown in 1:10.27. She subsequently ran a new PR of 1:10.18 in the regional semifinals, ending in a tie for fifth to reach the finals. Mills finished seventh place overall in the regional finals in 1:13.59.
Although she missed the nationals' cut in that event, Mills had a difficult schedule, as she ran in the 400m hurdles final some 20 minutes after completing the 1500m.
In the 1500m at the state meet, Mills ran a new PR of 5:07.45 and placed second. She subsequently ran the event in 5:13.99 at regionals, claiming third to qualify for nationals.
Mills said she's looking forward to traveling to Jacksonville and running there in a few weeks.
No matter what happens at nationals, it's been quite a year for Mills.
As a freshman this past fall, Mills ran varsity cross-country for a Prescott High team that placed fourth at the Division 2 state meet.
During track season for PHS in the spring, Mills qualified for the D-2 state meet in the 3200m and the 300m hurdles. At the end of the school year, she received an award from the PHS track program for scoring the most overall points for the Badgers' varsity squad during the 2015 campaign.
THE 2015 PREP FOOTBALL SEASON is less than a month and a half away.
That means official preseason practices for Prescott, Bradshaw Mountain, Chino Valley, Mayer and Bagdad high schools' varsity teams are on the horizon.
What follows are camp dates and/or practice dates for each of these local programs.
Prescott: The Badgers and coach Cody Collett wrapped up their annual summer camp at PHS on Thursday. They will start preseason practices during the first week of August, and go from 3 to 5 p.m. at the high school.
Prescott hosts a scrimmage at 6 p.m. Aug. 19, nine days before Camelback visits the hometown squad at Bill Shepard Field for the Badgers' 2015 season opener. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Aug. 28.
Bradshaw Mountain: The Bears and coach David Moran are traveling to Irvine, California, next week for their annual summer camp, which is scheduled for July 21-26 at Concordia University.
Bradshaw starts its preseason practices at 2:45-5:15 p.m. Aug. 3 and will continue that schedule every day that week, through Friday, Aug. 7, at the high school in Prescott Valley.
The Bears will then conduct their Black and Red intra-squad scrimmage at 6 p.m. Aug. 14.
They will follow up the intra-squad scrimmage with a four-way scrimmage vs. Boulder Creek, Kellis and Trevor Browne at 6 p.m. Aug. 19 at Bob Pavlich Field in PV.
Bradshaw Mountain opens the 2015 season at home versus Arcadia on Aug. 28. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at Pavlich Field.
Chino Valley: The Cougars are conducting a team camp from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. next Monday through Friday, July 20-24, at the high school off Center Street and North Highway 89. Chino Valley coach Wade Krug said his team will hold three field sessions on each of those days. Preseason practices will follow in early August.
Chino kicks off the 2015 season at home against Kingman at 7 p.m. Aug. 28.
Mayer: The Wildcats and coach Rick Lashley will begin preseason practices from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Aug. 3 and continue through the rest of the week at Mathern Field next to the high school's campus in Spring Valley.
First up, however, Lashley said Mayer will attend a passing league camp at defending Division 6 state champion Mogollon this Saturday. They'll then play a scrimmage at Superior the week of Aug. 16 in preparation for their season home opener versus Anthem Prep at 7 p.m. Aug. 28.
Bagdad: The defending Division 6 state runner-up Sultans and coach Dalton Mills concluded the Bagdad Sultan/Razorback Pop Warner Camp on Thursday night.
"It's been a great opportunity for our players to give back by coaching the local youth," Mills said.
Bagdad starts its own varsity camp at 6 p.m. at the high school. The camp will go through the week and end with a Blue-White Passing League/Big Man Competition.
The Sultans officially begin practice July 27 because they are playing in a Week Zero game vs. San Pasqual just prior to Week 1 in late August.
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