Lake Havasu track

In this News-Herald file photo, Lake Havasu’s Brenton Szymanski (right) hands Donny Fitzgerald the baton during the 4x400 boys relay at the 42nd Annual Jim Sterling Invitational at Lee Barnes Stadium on April 10.

Lake Havasu will be represented at the Arizona Interscholastic Association Track & Field Division II State Championships this week.

A total of 12 athletes will compete throughout the two-day event – taking place Thursday and Saturday at Perry High School in Gilbert – with five competing in multiple events. Cody Pellaton, Brenton Szymanski, Donny Fitzgerald, Glen Adona and Rylinn Smith are the five athletes competing in more than one event.

Szymanski will compete in four events – the most of any Knights athlete – running in the 110, 300 meter hurdles, 4x100 and 4x400 relays. The junior’s qualifying time in the 110 hurdles was 16.23 seconds while his time in the 300 hurdles was 40.65.

It’ll be his second time competing against state competition with his previous time coming as a freshman. He expected to qualify as a sophomore until last year’s meet was canceled due to the covid-19 pandemic.

“It feels really good because putting all this hard work during the practices and trying to PR at every meet and when you make it to state, it really feels like all your hard pays off,” Szymanski on competing at this year’s meet after last season’s cancellation.

Other Knights competing at state are Jaime Serrano, Kaden Abal, Presley Evans, Gia Jehle, Sylvan Osman, Jon Justice and Ashley Trafecanty. Justice, Trafecanty and Smith competed in the javelin state meet this past Saturday in Chandler.

In the boys javelin finals, Justice threw 147 feet and 3 inches. Trafecanty threw 92-05 and Smith recorded a distance of 84-01 in the girls finals. Smith will compete in the shot put and discus at state and is the only girl from Havasu to compete in multiple events this year. Justice will compete in the shot put while Trafecanty will throw in the discus this week.

“It was brand new for me, it was my first time at state,” Trafecanty said about the javelin meet. “I was nervous and excited for that, but overall it was really fun.”

Havasu’s 4x100 relay team includes Abal, Fitzgerald, Szymanski and Pellaton. The quartet of Szymanski, Fitzgerald, Serrano and Pellaton make up the 4x400 relay team. Along with the relay races, Pellaton, a junior, has the second most events on the team at three with the other being the 400 meter dash.

His qualifying time in the 400 was 50.56 seconds and he’ll be making his first appearance at the state meet after coming close his freshman year.

“I’m nervous, but you just go through the day and your heart starts beating,” Pellaton said. “Every day, you think about track and running, your heart beats, so it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be scary at first, but once you get on the line, all that goes away and it’s just focus mode.”

The 4x100 relay team qualified for the state meet with a time of 43.64 seconds and the 4x400 quartet’s seed time was three minutes, 28 seconds and 85 tenths of a second. Pellaton is the anchor in both relays.

“We’re trying to break the school record (in the 4x100),” Pellaton said. “It’s a 43.43 and we have 43.64. If we get our hand-offs clean and everyone does their job, we should be able to beat it and go to the finals. Same as 4x4.”

According to the Lake Havasu High Athletics record book, Trey Athay, Trevor Athay, Blake Garcia and Brent Michaels hold the school record in the 4x100 relay. That quartet set the record at 43.43 seconds at the AIA 4A-1 State Finals on May 10, 2008.

As for the Knights’ other state qualifiers this year, Jehle will compete in the girls pole vault while Evans will compete in the girls 110 hurdles. Osman will compete in the boys pole vault while Adona will run in both boys hurdle events.

The Division II state meet is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. on Thursday. The meet continues Saturday at Perry High with the field events starting at 2:30 p.m. and the track events beginning at 4:30 p.m.

“I just expect them to go out and give it their best and just rely on the training they’ve done leading up to this point,” Knights coach Zach Dunbar said.

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Jeremiah Martinez is a California native and a graduate of Sacramento State University. He covers sports and recreation for the Today's News-Herald. You may reach Jeremiah at jmartinez@havasunews.com and you could follow him on Twitter @TheJerryMartin.

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