By Frank Smith
The San Manuel Miners high school track team will look to hit the track running in the upcoming 2013 season, with over 80 athletes that came out for the track program. Second year Head Coach Maria Lopez, along with assistants William Kotter, Amanda Trejo and Lisa Uttecht will ready the abundance of tracksters to build on the last season’s accomplishments.
In 2012, the boys team took third place at the Safford Rotary Meet and winning the Division IV Section II Champions. The girls squad brought home a third place finish.
San Manuel lost six starters from last year’s team but return a host of Miners in seniors Martha Estrada, Asha Quintero, Sergio Hernandez, Analicia Estrada, Isaac Ryan, Adrian Diaz, Jennie Valenzuela, Kristen Brown, and Bryce Main; juniors Colten Smith, Nicole Predgo-Primero, Breyden Main, and Megan Garcia; sophomores Fernanda Vasquez, Colton Stratton, and Frank Gallardo.
The top returners are senior Wayne Newman – State Champion in 110HH and 300IH; Junior Nathaniel Lopez – State Medalist 4x400relay mid distance and relays; senior Rosa Reyes – Hurdles; junior Ani Robles – jumps/throws; sophomore Jared Gonzales – distance and senior Samantha Gonzales – throws.
The top newcomers are sophomore James Duarte – distance; freshman Melanie Ouellette – sprints/Jumps; freshman Patrick Lopez – distance; sophomore Diana Medina – distance and senior Arianna Assini – sprints.
“Last year we were the little squad who could,” Lopez said. “We had great accomplishments with only 25 athletes – two individual state titles and a fourth place finish in the 4x400m relay. This year it seems we have mushroomed—our numbers are close to 80. We have athletes in nearly all events, and our throwing squad is enormous. Our ladies squad should fare well this season: we have many strong athletes.”
The Miners hosted a meet in San Manuel, traveled to Globe, and will head to the University of Arizona on March 14, 15 and 16 for the Willie Williams Classic.