This story has been updated with information on Cody Weathersby placing third in the high jump. That information was not included on the website on Sunday evening, May 5.

The Parker Broncs track team took more athletes to the state meet this year than they have in a long time. While they had no state champions, they did have some athletes who placed in the top 10 in their events, and some who placed in more than one event. This put them among the state’s elite athletes.

The Arizona Interscholastic Association Division 4 State Track Meet was held May 3-4 at Mesa Community College. The best finishers for Parker on the boys’ side was the 4 x 400 relay team of Jesus Saucedo, James Parks, Manuel Najera and Axel Gonzalez. They placed second in the preliminaries with a time of 3:31.18. In the finals, the finished sixth with a time of 3:33.59.

Coach Rolland Hansen said the boys didn’t fare very well in the 4 x 100 relay, and their preliminary in that event included a missed hand-off and an injury to James Parks. Parks left the meet, was treated, and came back some time later. When he came back, Hansen said he was “really fired up.”

Hansen said the boys wanted to do well in the 4 x 100 relay, but they were determined to make up for it in the 4 x 400.

“They ran a great race Friday,” Hansen said, adding this was an event Parker was not expected to do well in. “They then placed sixth in the finals Saturday.”

In individual events, Saucedo placed eighth in the 200-meter dash finals with a time of 23.79 seconds. In the preliminaries, he placed ninth with a time of 23.28 seconds. He almost cracked the top 10 in the 100-meter dash, finishing 11th at 11.58 seconds. His time was less than one-third of a second off the state champion.

In the 400 meters, Axel Gonzalez placed ninth at 53.28 seconds in the preliminaries and then placed seventh in the finals at 53.85 seconds. In the 300-meter hurdles, Manuel Najera placed 10th at 43.84 seconds.

Cody Weathersby was Parker’s top jumper as he cleared 6 feet-4 inches in the high jump, which was good enough for third place. This was a personal record for him, and he was just two inches below the boy who took first place.

Jason Amador placed eighth in the long jump with a leap of 19 feet-11.25 inches. He and Najera tied for ninth in the triple jump as they reached 40 feet-4 inches.

On the girls’ side, Demi Durham placed eighth in two events. She cleared 4 feet-10 inches in the high jump and she made a toss of 30 feet-10.25 inches in the shot put.

Hansen said it was a fun season.

“We had a very dedicated group of kids. They worked hard at this,” Hansen said. “They earned it.”


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