By Kevin Cloe
State championship qualifiers Masaada Johnson and Jackson Tillapaugh were recognized last month as the Most Valuable athletes on this past spring’s Wickenburg High School track and field team.
Johnson became the third girl in the school’s 34-year track history to be recognized as a three-time Most Valuable athlete. The previous three-time recipients were Alexandria Gallagher and Viviana Ruiz. She also was one of the recent season’s three track and field athletes who had set new school records, and she did it in two events — girls long jump and triple jump. The other two Wranglers to earned those new school records were Gabriela Acuna and Levi Spillane — both in the relatively new school sport, the javelin. They both were recognized with the Coach’s Award at the recent ceremony.
Tillapaugh qualified for the second consecutive year for the Division III state championships this spring. His finished 11th in the boys discus after making it to the state meet last year in the shot put.
The other awards presented at the awards banquet included:
— Most Improved: Alexandra Richter and Tanner Coughanour
— Outstanding Freshmen: Mason Threewit and Kaizley Davidson
— Four-Year Seniors: Gabriela Acuna, Austin Sarber, Masaada Johnson, Levi Spillane, Alexandra Richter, Jennifer Smith and Zuell Zhu.
— One, Two or Three-Year Seniors: Isaac Olson, Tanner Coughanour, Braden Ravenscraft, Jackson Tillapaugh, Jaden Vigueria, Katie Ames, Emersyn Forbrook and Maryan Alvarado
— Junior Track Athlete: Ian Haviland
— Junior Varsity Track: Madison Roddy, Wyatt Sarber, Mateo Romero and Brooks Jones
— Track Participants: Carlos Yescas and Khan Rausch
— Varsity Track Managers: Xueli Zhu, Maryan Alvarado
— Varsity Track Participants: Cody Ballinger, Gabriela Acuna, Katie Ames, Tanner Coughanour, Isaac Olson, Maya Bryant, Kaizley Davidson, Austin Sarber, Levi Spillane, Emersyn Forbrook, Kelsey Hershkowitz, Mason Threewit, Jackson Tillapaugh, Masaada Johnson, Grace Lopez, Jaden Vigueria, Alexandra Richter, Jennifer Smith and Braden Ravenscraft
— Fan Cloth Sales Champion: Alexandra Richter.
The senior athletes also presented Coach Doug Clementz with a packet of individual autographed action pictures of themselves taken during the season and a pair of Brooks “Boston” running shoes.
Assistant Coach Ronn Tillapaugh was given a neon green personalized shirt so he could easily be found at future track meets … and also a 10-pound ham, his favorite food.