Lake Havasu track

In this News-Herald file photo, Lake Havasu's Cody Pellaton runs to the finish line during the 200 meter race at the 42nd Annual Jim Sterling Invitational at Lee Barnes Stadium on April 10. 

A total of nine Lake Havasu High athletes competed at the Arizona Interscholastic Association Division II State Championships in Gilbert Thursday.

The Knights had 12 state qualifiers, but the other three won’t compete until Saturday.

Out of the nine who competed Thursday, Cody Pellaton and Brenton Szymanski qualified for the D-II finals in their respective events. The Knights’ boys 4x400 relay team, which includes Pellaton and Szymanski, are also moving on to Saturday.

“It’s really no surprise,” Havasu coach Zach Dunbar said of Pellaton and Szymanski advancing to Saturday’s finals. “They’re two of the hardest workers that I know.”

Jaime Serrano and Donny Fitzgerald are the other two Knights in the relay.

Pellaton, who competed in three events Thursday, will run in the 400 meter dash finals after recording the fifth fastest time at 49.48 seconds in the prelims. Syzmanski qualified for the finals in the 300 meter hurdles after finishing fourth overall in the prelims at 40.27.

Syzmanski also ran in the 110 hurdles, but missed the cut, finishing 10th overall at 15.88. The top eight in the running events advance to the finals.

Szymanski competed in four events Thursday – the most of any Knight – after originally qualifying for five. The other event he qualified for was the high jump. Athletes are limited to four events at the state meet.

As for the 4x400 relay team, Szymanski, Serrano, Fitzgerald and Pellaton made the cut after finishing with the seventh best time in the prelims. The quartet finished with a time of three minutes, 25 seconds and 46 tenths of a second (3:25.46).

“They’ve worked so hard,” Dunbar said of the 4x400 team. “Them making it to finals and consistently PRing in almost every meet in the event as is a testament to their hard work.”

Szymanski, Fitzgerald and Pellaton also competed in the 4x100 with Kaden Abal and missed the cut for the finals. The quartet finished ninth overall at 43.57 in the event.

Other Knights who competed Thursday include Gia Jehle (pole vault), Rylinn Smith (shot put), Presley Evans (100 hurdles) and Glen Adona (110, 300 hurdles).

Jehle and Smith both finished 10th in their respective events. Jehle recorded a height of 8 feet in the girls pole vault while Smith threw 31 feet, 5 inches in the girls shot put. Smith will get another chance to compete Saturday, as she’s set to participate in the discus.

Jon Justice (shot put), Sylvan Osman (pole vault) and Ashley Trafecanty will compete in their respective field events on Saturday.

Day two of the AIA D-II State meet is scheduled to start with the field events at 2:30 p.m. at Perry High School. Running events are slated for a 4:30 p.m. start with the 4x800 relays as the first event. Like Thursday, the Division IV championships will be conducted concurrently at the site in Gilbert.

“I just want to see them stay focused,” Dunbar said. “Trust the hard work that they put into the events and just do their best and have a good time while they’re doing it.”

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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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