Sahuarita jumper clears 6 feet 8by Rodney Haas on Apr. 25, 2009, under Sports
Daniel Conorque’s goal heading into Friday’s Mario Castro Invitational track and field meet at Sunnyside High School was to jump 6 feet, 10 inches in the high jump.
The Sahuarita senior had to settle for a meet-record jump of 6-8, breaking the 2005 record of 6-6 set by Canyon del Oro’s Jordan Powell.
It was one of 13 meet records broken in the fifth year of the 25-team event.
“I promised (assistant) coach (Trisha Evans) I’d jump 6-foot-10 inches because it’s her birthday,” Conorque said.
While Evans didn’t get her birthday gift, she was still pretty pleased with Conorque’s performance.
“I’m very proud of him,” she said.
Conorque tied the school-record jump he set earlier this season at the Rincon Relays.
Conorque transferred from Pueblo after his sophomore season and started competing in track last year.
When he started, Sahuarita head coach Joe Prince said, Conorque was afraid to jump 5 feet. He finished his junior season clearing 6-6.
“I tried to convince him that 6-6 was no fluke and he’s proved that 6-6 was no fluke,” Prince said.
Conorque has accepted a basketball scholarship at Pima Community College next year, but he could still explore potential offers from colleges interested in his track skills.
“There are a whole bunch of people who can jump 6-6 and 6-7 but once you get into 6-8 territory, that’s when the college coaches start to look,” assistant coach Ray Quihuis said.
According to Arizonatrack.com, Conorque is one of four athletes to clear 6-8 in the state this season.
Ironwood Ridge distance runner Steve Magnuson shattered the meet record in the 1,600 meters, winning in 4 minutes, 18.29 seconds. The previous record of 4:29.84, set last year by Sierra Vista Buena’s Michael Puett, was beaten by four runners Friday.
Magnuson’s 4:18.29 is the second-fastest time in the 1,600 this year by an Arizona runner.
CDO’s Kala Stepter’s winning 300 hurdles time of 43.68 seconds was also a meet record and the fastest time posted in the event this season by an Arizona runner. Queen Creek’s Mariah Bowers set meet records in the 200 (25.31) and 400 (58.04) and as part of her school’s 4×100 relay team (49.76) and 4×400 relay team (4:00.39).
Canyon del Oro won the girls meet with 77.5 points, edging second-place Queen Creek (72).
Laveen Cesar Chavez beat Ironwood Ridge 76-62 to win the boys portion of the meet.
Palo Verde sophomore Carlos Bermudez beat older brother Dominic Bermudez, a junior, 6-3, 6-3 to claim the Class 4A Gila Region boys singles title Friday.
Sahuaro’s Shane Foster (Kino) and Catalina Foothills player Zach Haffer (Sonoran) also won singles titles.
On the girls side, Douglas’ Alexis Romero (Gila), Flowing Wells’ Kari Emery (Kino) and Catalina Foothills’ Zaina Sufi (Sonoran) won singles titles.
• Prep scores and stats, Page 5C
High School Sports Editor Geoff Grammer contributed to this article.