Gaona in the Game: Macdonald primed for distance classic

2013-04-12T00:00:00Z Gaona in the Game: Macdonald primed for distance classicDaniel Gaona Arizona Daily Star
April 12, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Sarah Macdonald doesn't have any problems with sprinters, jumpers and throwers. She just can't deny it's nice to have a meet reserved only for distance runners.

She gets that chance tonight.

The Pusch Ridge Christian senior will be among approximately 350 runners at the Sabino Distance Classic, which features only distance events and the Kristen Yoder 5K Memorial Run, which is open to the public.

"It's not like sprinters are mean people or anything," Macdonald said. "But distance people, I feel like there's a common bond."

Macdonald will run in the 800 meters and 3,200 meters against some of the top distance runners from around the state. There are 21 teams expected.

"I like it a lot," Macdonald said. "It's a lot of competition and it's really fun to see all the Tucson schools together and all the really good distance runners.

"There's a lot of adrenaline in all the races. You're never alone."

Macdonald, who recently committed to Seattle Pacific University on a 75 percent combined scholarship, said the event feels like a big community event with the open 5K. It can also feel like a party: music plays during the races.

Macdonald swept the three distance events at last year's Division IV state meet and won the 1,600 at the Sabino Distance Classic last season. She's hoping to go out a double-winner this time around.

Beyond that, Macdonald is excited about her future. She chose Seattle Pacific last Thursday over offers from Pepperdine and Baylor. There were several reasons, she said, one really stood out.

"The team, when I first went there, reminded me of our team," she said. "I was like, 'This is my team from high school, (only) in college.' They're all really good and so nice."

With less than a month to go before she has a shot as defending her three individual state titles, Macdonald knows now is the time to start rolling. Pusch Ridge coach Elmer Yazzie said this will be her first big outing this season.

"I think she's doing real good but you can't see that by time because the way we work it is we want her to peak at the end of the season," Yazzie said. "This weekend will really be her first to let loose."

Two senior runners shine at national meet in Calif.

Rincon/University senior Ryan Silva won the mile race in 4 minutes 12.06 seconds at the Arcadia Invitational in Arcadia, Calif., last weekend while Salpointe Catholic senior Andy Trouard set another personal best in the 3,200, finishing seventh in 8:51.26.

3 locals earn All-America honors in wrestling

State champion Juaquin Olivas was one of three wrestlers to earn All-America honors at the National High School Championships in Virginia Beach, Va., last weekend.

Olivas placed fourth in the sophomore 113-pound bracket while Jesse Villegas finished seventh in the sophomore 152-pound competition. Future Blue Devil David Salazar took second in the 95-pound middle school bracket.

Seven Salpointe athletes sign letters at ceremony

Salpointe Catholic held a signing ceremony Wednesday for seven athletes going on to play in college.

Leading the way was golfer Brianna Vogel. The reigning first-team All-Southern Arizona selection is headed to St. Edwards University, a Division II school in Austin, Texas.

Tennis player Tyler Linscott, who was named to the All-Southern Arizona first team as a junior, will play at Division III Whittier (Calif.) College.

Aztecs sign seven locals for women's hoops

Five of the seven local girls basketball players Pima College signed this week were members of the Star's All-Southern Arizona team.

Catalina Foothills' Julia Cooper was on the first team while Mountain View's Melody McLaughlin made the second team.

Alexa Arndt of Sabino, Brittany West of Canyon del Oro and Amanda Gamez of St. Gregory were on the third team.

If you go

• What: Sabino Distance Classic

• Where: Sabino High School

• When: 6 p.m.

• Events: 1,600 meters, 800, Kristen Yoder 5K Memorial Run, 3,200 and 3,200 relay

Contact high school sports coordinator Daniel Gaona at dgaona@azstarnet.com or 807-7761. On Twitter @DanielGaona13

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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