By zach alvira
GSN Sports Editor
Champions have been crowned, seniors have graduated and fall prep sports teams have begun preparations for the upcoming season in August.
Now that the school year has officially come to a close, it presents an opportunity to look back at some of the top programs from each school this spring.
Here’s a look at how all of the Gilbert-area high schools fared this spring.
Campo Verde’s boys track and field program was the first from the school this week to hoist a championship trophy. The Coyotes were dominant at the state meet in May, as they had 15 athletes place in the top-five of several events.
The girls track and field program also had success at the state meet, as they finished second overall in the team rankings. Campo Verde’s boys volleyball program continued its own reign of dominance in the 5A tournament, as they ran the table and beat Marana Mountain View to win the state title.
Highland’s boys track and field team set a new state record in the 4×800-meter run with a time of 7 minutes, 42.18 seconds at the state meet. The record, along with two gold-medal runs by Leo Daschbach and several top-five finishes helped the Hawks place second overall in the team rankings.
On the girls’ side, senior Cierra Tidwell won the title in high jump for the third straight year. The girls also placed first in the 4×100-meter relay. Highland’s spring sports season was also capped off with a strong performance from the boys volleyball team. They were the top-ranked team in the tournament and made it to the semifinals before losing to Mountain View.
Gilbert senior James Coons was one of few competitors at the state track and field meet in May. Specializing in pole vault, Coons delivered a vault of 14-feet, 3 inches to win the state title. Fellow senior Tsion Hawkins placed second in high jump. In tennis, Owen Reynolds represented the Tigers in the singles tournament. He made it to the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion Ethan Lee from Rincon High.
Mesquite’s beach volleyball program was top-ranked all season, led by seniors Jen Jacot and Layni Rodriguez. The Wildcats dominated their way to the division II championship game, beating defending champion Fountain Hills to claim the program’s first state championship.
Mesquite’s baseball program entered the postseason as the No. 1 team. The Wildcats put on a show in their first four games of the tournament, outscoring opponents 32-7. However, they lost in the 4A title game.
Carson Abril and Zhiyuan Ren represented the Higley boys tennis program in the division II doubles tournament. The pair advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to Harry Corrozza and Ryan Hildebrand from Cactus Shadows. On the track, Laci Simmons placed fourth in the girls division II 800-meter run at the state track and field meet. Emily Kahler placed fifth in pole vault.
Williams Field junior Roy Vasquez represented the Black Hawks in the state track and field meet by placing second overall in the boys division II pole vault. On the girls side, Belle Huber also placed second in pole vault. Williams Field’s baseball program entered the state tournament as the 11-seed, but fell to Millennium in the first round.
Desert Ridge’s Koa Tuipala wanted to end his senior year on a high note at the state track and field meet. One of the favorites to win one of the hurdles events, Tuipala didn’t disappoint. He beat Chandler’s DeCarlos Brooks by a slim margin to win gold in the 110-meter hurdles. He went on to place fourth in the 300 hurdles. Zachary Landa placed fifth in both discus and shot put at the meet.
Perry’s athletics program has become one of the best in the state in short order. The beach volleyball program advanced to the division I state championship for the second year in a row, but fell to Xavier in five sets.
The Pumas won the title last season. The baseball program, playing with heavy hearts all season as Jacob Medina, a former player, battled leukemia, made it to the 6A tournament but fell to Basha in the first round.
Gilbert Classical’s Katerina Stender represented the Spartans in the division III singles tennis tournament.
She defeated singles players from Sahuarita and Benson before moving on to face Sangeet Bhalla from Chandler Prep in the semifinals.
Bhalla won, however, ending Stender’s run in the tournament.
Eugenia Trakal was also in the singles tournament for Gilbert Classical, but lost in the second round.