Bradshaw Mountain High's track and field team should again benefit from several of the school's seasoned varsity boys' cross-country runners who are on the club this spring.
The Bears open the 2015 season on Wednesday, March 11, at the NPA Classic in Flagstaff.
"We've got some depth," longtime Bradshaw coach Mike Simon said of his boys' squad. "We're extremely strong in the distance and middle-distance events. All of them were cross-country state (meet) contenders. It's a strong group of talented runners."
David and Alex Villagran (4x800-meter relay, 800m, 1600m, 3200m), Ricky Ayala (800m, 1600m, 4x800m relay) and Randy Ayala (4x800m relay, 1600m) lead the contingent Simon's praising.
David Carrillo, another cross-country runner who's new to track, also figures into the mix.
"He has the potential to run very well in the 3200, 1600 and the 4x800 relay," Simon said of Carrillo. "He could possibly run the 400 meters."
In the 4x400m relay, Alex Villagran, Abraham Hernandez, Justin Castro (a transfer from Prescott High and a 2014 Division 2 state tournament qualifier) and Bryan Sanchez are the probable starters. Randy Ayala's also a possibility, Simon said.
Last spring, Bradshaw's 4x400m team qualified for the Division 2 state meet and fared well. In that event, the Bears are missing only the graduated Auggie Espinoza this year.
David Otero will compete in the 300m hurdles and the 110m hurdles, Simon said. In the sprints, Daniel Treto, Derrik Fabela, Abe Hernandez and Daniel Otero are running the 100m and 200m. All of them are varsity football players at Bradshaw.
In the field, junior John Trout - another Bears' football player and a solid wrestler - will throw the discus and shot put, although he currently can't toss the shot because of an injured wrist, the coach said. Simon added that Charles Newberry is also available in the shot.
Other boys to keep an eye on include Jordan Minor in the long jump and David Dennis in the pole vault, the coach added.
"If we fill in the field events, we could have an extremely tough team," Simon said. "We expect to have more athletes qualify for state this year."
On the girls' side, Courtney Parsell, a soccer standout, returns as a sprinter and will run the 100m dash and 200m dash.
Hannah Madler, another soccer standout, will compete in three different events, Simon said, including the 300m hurdles, the 100m hurdles and the 4x800m relay. Joey Bobinsky, who was a stellar starting goalie for Bradshaw soccer in 2014-15, and Emma Williams are running the 100m hurdles as well.
In the middle distances, Alicia Cornejo will run the 800m. Maria Gonzalez, a state qualifier in cross-country, will race in the 1600m and the 3200m.
As for the field events, Simon said Kyra McNeil (high jump), Sarah Willer (pole vault) and Molly Cordova (shot, discus) are ones to keep tabs on.
"Everything is going well in practice," Simon said. "Our athletes are highly motivated, and I'm optimistic."
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