By DAVE BELCHER
Moapa Valley Progress
The Moapa Valley Track and Field teams is gearing up for a big 2018 season. They have a lot of athletes returning which are looking to make a real impact in the season competition.
The girls track and field team had a successful season last year. They ended up with a seventh-place finish in the 2017 State meet.
The Lady Pirates have a strong middle distance and distance squad returning.
Junior, Ashlyn Western won the southern regional championships last year in the 800 meters and 1600 meters. She also was a member of the regional championship 3200-meter relay team.
Shelby Olsen won the 3200-meter regional championship last year, and finished in second place to Western in the 1600-meter run.
Natalie Mills, a senior, finished second in the regional 100-meter hurdles and ran the 1600-meter relay with Bailey Bunker.
Also returning is Alexis Schraft who was out last year with a leg injury.
Mariah Mendoza also returns. Mendoza should qualify for state in the shot-put and discus events.
Moapa Valley returns all the girls who qualified for state last year. The team hopes to make a strong run at the regional championship this year.
Tahoe Truckee won the girls state championship last year with 81 points. Cheyenne placed second with 76 points and Virgin Valley placed third with 65 points.
Cheyenne won the southern regional track meet 124 to 113.5 over Virgin Valley. Moapa Valley finished fourth with 90 points.
On the boys’ side, the Pirates return Josh Lee, a senior this year. Lee was the state runner-up in the pole vault event. He is a favorite to win the state title this year.
Distance runner, Jerrick Stastny, a junior, also returns. Last year he had a seventh-place finish in the 3,200 meters, eighth place finish in the 1,600 meters and was part of the 3,200-meter relay team that finished fifth in last years regional meet.
This year the south will take the top five regional qualifiers to the state meet in Carson City. The MVHS boys team is young but hope to improve from last year as they strive to become more competitive this year.
Brandon Jones will be the head track coach this year. Jones has coached the girls team for 10 years now.
Last year, Sunrise Mountain won its first state title as a school when the boys team scored 70 points at the state track meet. Mojave placed second with 64 points while Pahrump Valley finished third with 59 points. Pahrump Valley won the southern regional last year. Mojave finished second with 99 points.