YERINGTON – When the final races had been run, the final jumps flown and the last throws launched – one girls track and field team topped the podium by a comfortable cushion.
The Lady Leopards of Wells claimed the Division 1A North regional championship at Yerington High School, posting a team score of 178.5 points and besting second-place Sierra Lutheran (152) by 26.5 points.
Owyhee finished in fifth place with a team total of 46.5 points, Jackpot ranking sixth with 33 points.
In the process of clutching the team title, three Lady Leopards also notched individual regional crowns.
Sophomore Vanessa Solis won the girls 800 meters with a time of 2:37.74, leading a trio of state qualifiers for Wells, senior Liberty Johnson taking third in the event with a personal-record time of 2:38.02 and a PR from senior Ruth Gale serving as the fourth and final trip to state in 2:38.47.
Senior Victoria Young earned her regional title with her feet off the ground, sailing 14-feet-7-1/4-inches in the long jump.
Jackpot junior Jayda Eboli also qualified in the event, placing fourth with a distance of 11-feet-9-1/4-inches.
Wells gained its third regional champion in the pole vault, senior Camberlin Uhlig besting the field with a vault of 6-feet-3-inches.
Freshman teammate McKenli Myers placed second at a height of 6-feet even.
While Wells had three-different regional champions, no girls athlete from Elko County won more regional titles than Owyhee senior Destany Pete.
Pete did damage with her arm, claiming both the shot put and discus victories.
Impressively, she will enter the state meet on a roll – notching personal records on each of her throws – launching a PR of 34-feet-1-inch in the shot put and sailing a distance of 107-feet-4-inches for another PR in the discus.
She will be joined at the state meet by freshman teammate Kaitlyn Teller, who qualified in third place of the shot put with a personal record of her own at 28-feet even.
Wells junior Danielle Wadda-Martinez finished one spot out of the state berths in the shot put, placing fifth with a distance of 27-feet-8-inches, fourth place going to Eureka freshman Ilyhia Greely with a mark of 28-feet-8-1/2-inches.
Wadda-Martinez did not miss out on making a trip to state, though, qualifying third in the discus with a personal record of 86-feet-6-inches.
The Lady Leopards gained two state qualifiers in the high jump, sophomore Aubree Talbert and Solis tying for second place, each clearing the bar at 4-feet-8-inches.
Talbert also took second place in the 100-meter hurdles, setting a personal record in 53.87 seconds.
In her first hurdle event since her sophomore season, Uhlig competed in the 300-hurdles while warming up for her bread-and-butter event, the pole vault.
She placed fourth in the 300 hurdles with a time of 57.81 seconds for a personal record; head coach Amy Hunsaker calling the decision to hurdle “selfless to score points for the team.”
The Wells girls finished three-four in a number of events on the track, including a third and fourth-place finish in the 200 meters.
Senior Amanda Murphy placed third with a personal-record run of 29.13 seconds, Young crossing fourth in 29.21 seconds for the final berth to state.
In the 1600 meters, the Lady Leopards went three-four again, also doing so in the 3200 meters, the qualifiers switching positions.
Johnson ranked third in the one-mile run with a time of 6:03.77 – followed by Gale’s time of 6:06.64 – Gale crossing third in the two-mile jaunt in 15:32.46, Johnson taking fourth in 15:32.48 in a bang-bang finish.
Jackpot junior Briana Leon placed third in the 400 meters, lapping the track in 1:05.3 for a season record.
She was followed by a personal record from Murphy of 1:05.72 for the final state qualification.
Murphy also tallied the final trip to state in the 100-meter dash with a time of 14.28 seconds, narrowly surpassing the 14.3 posted by Talbert.
Hunsaker said one of the “gutsiest” performances she saw from her team came from Talbert in the 100-meter hurdles.
With three hurdles remaining and in second place, she tripped and fell – got back to her feet and continued – taking the fourth and final spot in the state meet with a time of 22.13 seconds.
The time is insignificant, as Talbert got in the big dance, but the grit will stick in the memories of everyone who witnessed the determination and quick thinking.
Jackpot posted the best finish of local teams in a relay event, ranking second in the 4x200 with a time of 2:04.54, including members Eboli, Leon and sophomores Bryanna Rios and Ariana Miramontes.
Wells placed fourth in the 4x200 with a time of 2:11.39, consisting of Uhlig, Myers, freshman Zion McKay and Allysa Murphy.
In the 4x800, the teams traded places, Wells taking third in 13:11.46 and Jackpot finishing fourth in 13:12.75.
The Lady Leopards’ team consisted of Johnson, freshman Liliana Cobian, Wadda-Martinez and Young.
The Lady Jaguars’ 4x800 squad included Eboli, Rios, Miramontes and Leon.
Wells also placed third place in the 4x400 relay; Uhlig, Cobian, Myers and Solis finishing in 5:04.56.
Jackpot led the local boys teams with a fifth-place finish on 49 points, Wells taking ninth with 29 points and Owyhee finishing 13th with seven points.
Senior Ricardo Miramontes gave the Jags qualifications in three of his individual events.
He placed second in the 800 meters with a personal-record time of 2:07.55 and closed the 1600 meters with another PR of 4:47.71 for third place.
Wells junior Jesus Quintero took fourth in the one-mile run with a time of 5:08.16.
In the 3200 meters, Miramontes knocked down another third-place run, completing the two-mile stretch in 11:06.93.
Sophomore teammate Hugo Sanchez finished fourth in the 3200 meters with a time of 11:40.56, giving Jackpot multiple two-milers in the state meet.
Wells sophomore Brent Battenfeld qualified for state with a third-place performance in the triple jump – spanning a total distance of 36-feet-2-1/4-inches for a personal record – narrowly missing a second spot in the state meet with a fifth-place effort in the high jump of 5-feet-4-inches, fourth place going to Eureka junior Garrett Todd’s height of 5-feet-6-inches.
In the 4x400 relay, the Leopards – freshman Quinlin Jackson, Battenfeld, sophomore Dameion Mercado and Quintero – took second place with a time of 3:58.95.
The Jaguars – Carlos Mata, Carlos Mora, Jesus Lopez and Sanchez – crossed second in the 4x800 relay with a time of 9:57.5.
Jackpot nearly qualified for state in the 4x100 relay, finishing fifth and .34 seconds from fourth place with a time of 49.74 seconds, Smith Valley posting a time of 49.4 seconds for the final berth to the state meet.
The Division 1A Nevada State Track and Field Championships will get underway with the girls 3200 meters at 3 p.m. Friday at Carson High School, day-two action kicking off with the boys 3200 meters at 8 a.m. Saturday.
Congratulations to coach Hunsaker and the Wells Lady Leopards for their 1A North regional championship and best wishes to all performers who qualified for state.