Gilliland, Backus, Kuskie win individual state championships

Gilliland, Backus, Kuskie win individual state championships

Gilliland, Backus, Kuskie win individual state championships

The Lowry High School track and field team concluded its season with a number of strong finishes at the NIAA State Track and Field Championships this past weekend at Reed High School in Sparks.

Lowry junior Shaun Gilliland brought home the lone state title for the Buckaroo boys winning the pole vault with a mark of 12 feet. 

He tied with Spring Creek’s Tarron Metz at 12-0, but won the state title on fewer misses. 

Teammate and fellow junior, Kaid Sanchez was third for Lowry with a mark of 11-6. 

Spring Creek’s Jake Bradford was fourth at 11-6 as well and Boulder City’s Trevor Hoffman was fifth at 10-6.

Sophomore Nomar Aguirre was third in the discus with a toss of 140-5, as a pair of Fernley throwers were first and second.

Cameron Radli won at 163-7 and Tyler Slaughter (156-5) placed second.

On the first day of the meet, Aguirre finished fourth in the shot put with a personal-best throw of 43-2.25. 

Radli (52-10.50) and Slaughter (51-8.75) were first and second as well.

Sophomore Jesse Jeronimo turned in a third-place finish in the shot with a throw of 44-10.75.

In his final state track and field meet, senior Gunner Bradley placed third in the high jump for the Buckaroos, clearing the bar at 5-10. 

That mark tied him with Moapa Valley’s Degan Jones, South Tahoe’s Levi Hernandez and Virgin Valley’s Ashten Roman. Bradley was awarded third on fewer misses. 

Virgin Valley’s Jimmy Kelly won the state title with a mark of 6-1 and North Valleys’ Tae Lopez (6-0) finished second.

Senior Iysis Arriola was eighth in the long jump with a leap of 19-0. Kelly from Virgin Valley won with a mark of 22-3.50.

Fellow senior Tyler Morrison set a personal best in the 800 meters with a time of 2 minutes, 3.90 seconds.

Lowry was seventh in team standings with 50 points. Moapa Valley won the team title with 116 points and Spring Creek (95) was second. 

On the girls side, Emily Backus easily won the long jump with a leap of 16-11.50. 

That was just .25 inches short of a jump of 16-11.75 in Utah last year.

Backus won by more than seven inches, as Churchill County’s Jessalyn Lewis was second at 16-4.25. 

They were the only two athletes that jumped over 16 feet.

Dayton’s Ainsley Lau was third at 15-6) and Virgin Valley’s Calla Haviland (15-3) and Somerset Academy Losse’s Sarah Combs (15-2.25) was fifth.

Backus was fourth in the 200 meters with a time of 26.74, as Spring Creek’s Paige Waltz won at 25.44.

The senior added a sixth-place finish in the 100-meter dash with a time of 13.31.

In one of the final races on Friday night, the 4x100 relay of Backus, Ellanora Petersen, Sydnee Pettis and Elizabeth Aguilar) beat out Virgin Valley and Durango in a close finish at the line. 

The Lady Buckaroos foursome, stopped the clock at 50.40. Virgin Valley (50.76) and Durango (50.84) were just behind Lowry.

Senior Jovi Kuskie claimed two state championships in her final state meet. 

Kuskie won the 1,600 meters on Friday night, as she pulled away from Virgin Valley’s Jenna Walters on the final lap.

Kuskie set a personal best time at 5:22.43 to win by seven seconds.

Boulder City’s Mary Henderson (5:30.51) was third and Spring Creek’s Kiely Munson (5:30.67) and Moapa Valley’s Emma Humes (5:30.7) rounded out the top five.

In her first race on Saturday, the 800 meters, Kuskie won in a photo finish over Virgin Valley’s Kelly Denninghoff (2:22.86-2:22.90).

However, just before the finish line, the runners made contact causing a tangle up in the feet. Both runners stayed on their feet and did not fall.

Virgin Valley protested the finish, saying that Kuskie impeded Demminghoff and caused the contact. 

After more than a hour of protests by both schools, Lowry’s protest was denied and Kuskie was disqualified and had the state title taken away.

While the protest was still ongoing, Kuskie was back on the track for the 3,200 meters and the senior set a personal-best time of 11:58.34 to win the state title over Moapa Valley’s Emma Humes (12:03.94).

During the fall, Kuskie beat Humes to win the state cross country championship. Kuskie also had a state championship in basketball this year.

After being a part of the 4x100 relay title squad, Aguilar, a senior, was the runner-up in the 100-meter dash in a time of 12.76.

Truckee’s Jasmine Harris won the race with a time of 12.56, just. 20 seconds ahead of Aguilar. 

Lowry had three runners in the 100 meters, as Pettis was fifth in a time of 13.18. In addition, Pettis was eighth in the 200 meters in a time of 27.67. 

Senior Hannah Whitted notched a runner-up finish in the high jump with a mark of 5-1 and teammate Kenzi Petersen was fourth at 5-1 as well. That mark for Petersen was a personal best. Churchill County’s Mccartney McAlexander won at 5-4. 

Spring Creek won the team title with 104 points and Moapa Valley (78) was second. Virgin Valley (76,5) placed third and Lowry (74) and Truckee (70) rounded out the top five.