In the 11 years track coach Robert Kennerly has been at Mountain View, the school has never hosted an invitational like the Southern Arizona Championships.
So when junior Hannah Bartz won the 100 meters Friday afternoon after taking the triple jump Wednesday, it was icing on the cake for Kennerly and the Mountain Lions. Bartz also placed second in the long jump and third in the 200.
“She’s getting over her fear of running hard and really letting go,” Kennerly said. “When she does that, she just takes off.”
While Bartz shined for the Mountain Lions, district rival Marana placed second at the meet thanks to a flawless performance by Sydney Madrid.
Madrid won all four of the events she competed in, taking the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles and 400 relay before saving her best for last as she anchored the Tigers to a win in the 1,600 relay.
Madrid was handed the baton with Marana trailing by a couple of strides. As she seemingly always does, the senior standout hit another gear in her lap around the track as the Tigers went on to win in 4 minutes 3.75 seconds.
“All my focus goes to running. It’s a lot of adrenaline in the final lap,” Madrid said. “I clear my mind from the crowd and everything else and just run.”
Bridgette Doucette of Canyon del Oro was another standout at the championships, winning the 1,600 and 3,200 at the two-day event that started Wednesday and is modeled after the state championship meet, which starts May 7.
Harvey Nelson of Catalina Foothills, who has signed on to run for Northern Arizona next year, won the boys 3,200. Nelson was the Division II cross country state champion in the fall.
“The running conditions weren’t perfect with all the wind, but I’m happy with the win,” Nelson said. “The conditions aren’t ever perfect, and you just have to deal with it.”
The Catalina Foothills girls won the team title with 80 points, narrowly edging Marana’s 74. Sierra Vista Buena took home the boys title with 92.5 points, nearly 25 points more than the runner-up.
Even with a solid fourth-place finish, Bartz and her Lions teammates were all smiles as the sun set on Mountain View.
For an invitational often referred to as a “last chance” to qualify and gain some momentum for the state meet, the shy-yet-confident Bartz did exactly that.
Her older sister, Emily, holds the school record in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter relays. She was at the invitational Friday afternoon, cheering on her sister.
With another year of school to go, Hannah could be the next in line to
break into the Mountain Lions’ record book if her performances at the championships were any indication.
“It’s great having them out here watching me,” Bartz said of her family. “It makes me want to be even better.”