Sydney Madrid and Kilee Hagerstrand have been among the most dominant athletes on the track in Southern Arizona this season.
Now they’ll have a chance to conquer the whole state on the biggest stage.
The Marana duo will head to Mesa Community College this week to compete in the Division I state championship meet, which begins Wednesday and wraps up Saturday.
Most of the large Phoenix-area high schools are loaded with talent, including Chandler, which will be heavily favored to win the 400- and 1,600-meter relays, two events Madrid and Hagerstrand will run.
The Tigers’ two seniors know there is a big challenge ahead of them.
“We couldn’t ask for more of them as people and as competitors,” said coach Camron Dozier, who made Madrid and Hagerstrand captains of both the boys and girls teams this year.
The Star caught up with Madrid and Hagerstrand as they continued preparing for the state championship meet. Here are a few more things to know about them:
Last year at state: The field was equally tough last year, but that did not stop Madrid from finishing third in the 300 hurdles and fifth in the 100 hurdles, as well as fourth in the 400 relay and fifth in the 1,600 relay.
Season in review: “I’m never going to forget the lessons my coaches taught me. I’ve learned to be a team leader and to always have confidence, but to never be cocky around anyone else.”
State outlook: Madrid will run the 100 and 300 hurdles and the 400 and 1,600 relays. Even with Chandler and other speedy teams in the hunt, Madrid says she has learned to block out any nerves and to not be intimidated by anyone on the track.
Favorite event: 300 hurdles. Madrid has the third-best time statewide at 44.54 seconds, so it was an easy choice as her favorite.
Future plans: Madrid is keeping all of her options open and has already spoken with numerous schools, including Paradise Valley Community College and Samford University in Alabama.
Last year at state: Hagerstrand placed eighth in the long jump and 21st in the 100, as well as fourth and fifth in two relays.
Season in review: When looking back on the season and her four-year run at Marana, it won’t be the meets or medals that stood out, but the relationships she has built. “These guys are like my family,” she said. “I’d do anything for them.”
State outlook: Hagerstrand will compete in the long jump and 200, and the 400 and 1,600 relays alongside Madrid.
Favorite event: The 1,600 relay. Hagerstrand runs the second leg of the race, something she has done since her freshman year. “I love the adrenaline rush that it gives, the way the crowd just yells and screams,” she said.
Future plans: Hagerstrand is looking at colleges around Arizona. She wants to stay close to her family.