The sprinter proved she was the fastest girl at the NIAA 4A State Track and Field Championships hosted by Damonte Ranch High School, blazing her way to first place in the 100-meter dash in a stadium record time of 12:05 seconds.
“I feel like my hard work all season paid off,” Newell said after outstretching Centennial’s Tamera Williams by .02 seconds. “I guess you could say that (I’m the fastest girl here.)”
Newell had a few hours to kill before coming back and anchoring the 4x400m relay that was one of the favorites to win the race. But the Raiders would have to forget last week’s drop in the regional championships that cost their team a win and another potential broken record.
In the meantime, Reed sophomore Gabby Williams gave her team another 10 points by winning the 300m hurdles. Williams caught up to the three frontrunners on the first turn. Coming out of the turn, Williams was in the lead and just had to hold off fellow sophomore, Centennial’s Tiana Bonds on the backstretch.
Her time of 42.85 seconds was over a half second better than second place.
Williams teamed up with Newell in the race fans were waiting for all night.
With the lights shining down on the track and the clock approaching 9 p.m., the fastest 4x400m relay squads in the Silver State approached the starting lines.
Reed senior Sierra Hooft got out of the blocks from Lane 2 for the Blue and Gold and tried to keep pace with the field, but she was seventh of eight runners, approaching the first handoff. Then it was Williams’ show as she almost closed the entire gap by the time she handed off to junior Tiare Fonoimoana.
Fonoimoana ran a strong first 200 meters as the Raiders held second, but she began to slow down and McQueen blew past everyone for a 10-meter lead heading into the final 400.
Still, anyone who saw Newell make up about 40 meters during the final leg of last weekend’s regional event, knew Reed still had a chance.
Newell did it again. She took a 15-meter deficit and turned it into a 15-meter lead by the back straightaway. But with 25 meters left, fans could see her falter. She almost stumbled into the infield and nearly hobbled across the finish line as cramps wreaked havoc on her, cutting Reed‘s win down to a second (3:54.31).
“What an exciting race. We knew it was going to be a race,” Reed coach Dale Moss said. “Anybody who has been watching this year or even the past two years, knew we could do this and what was going to happen.”
The Lady Raiders finished with 33 points on the day, to leave them in third place behind Centennial (53) and McQueen (37). Reed’s 4x100m relay squad comprised of freshman twins Emilie and Annie Braun, along with juniors Cherish Navarroza and Fonoimoana, crossed the finish line in 50.59 seconds, good enough for sixth place and three points.
But Saturday’s action is expected to be even bigger.
Reed has the top two high jumpers on paper in Williams and Nyasha LeSure. Williams is the favorite in the 100m hurdles and Newell has the top times in the 200- and 400-meter races. That could be 48 more points for Reed.
On the boys side Friday, senior Josh Gingras tried to give his team a state championship in the 200 meters, a year after coming in as the runner-up. However, he went up against faster runners this year and was fourth in the 200m after finishing in 21.66 seconds.
Gingras anchored the 4x200m relay earlier and pulled the Raiders into a fourth-place finish (1:27.85). They were the top North placer and broke the school record. William Lyons, Spencer Stockton and John Braun were part of that relay with Gingras.
Spanish Springs’ only had one athlete qualify for state and junior Vance Lively competed in both the long jump and high jump. Lively tied for fifth in the high jump, clearing six feet. In the long jump, his mark of 20-1.25 put him in ninth.
“I wanted the outcome to be a little better, at least fourth (in the high jump),” Lively said. “I’m happy with fifth and just making it to state two years in a row is always good. Hopefully I’m healthy and ready my senior year to do a lot better.”
Also in the field events, Reed senior Sam Nichols wished he had a better showing at his only state meet experience, throwing a distance of 145-10 in the boys discus for eighth place.
In the 3A state meet, Sparks got a pleasant surprise from senior discus thrower Chris Motter, who came into state ranked seventh, but his throw of 128-06 earned him third place in his first and last trip to state.
“I was hitting 140’s all week in practice, so I feel like I could have done better, but I’m pretty happy I came in third place,” Motter said. “It was a good experience. I got to know some of the guys from the other schools. I’ve been working up to this. I used to not listen to my coach as much. Then I started listening to her and it paid off. I got to state. I actually barely made it to state this year. Now that I came out third, I think that’s pretty good.”
The Railroaders had another thrower competing on the first day of state. Senior Val Guerrero took sixth in the girls shot put with a throw of 32-01.50.
The first of two Railroader relays went Friday also. Sparks was in second halfway through the 4x200m relay, but faded back to seventh, moving up a spot from its seeding position. Seniors Elias Martinez and Marc Garrett combined with freshmen Zach Hix and Moises Collazo to clock a time of 1:38.44.