SPARKS - Tasha Thompson and Kristyn Jacobson set the tone for Dayton High School when they went 1-2 in the 3A girls shot put at the NIAA/U.S. Bank Track and Field Championships on Friday. And Rebecca Edie finished up on Saturday when she won the discus to give the Dust Devils a gold medal sweep of the 3A girls weight events during the two-day meet at Reed High School.
Edie won the event as she hurled the plate 119-11, a mark that would have placed second in the 4A division. The junior's throw was also more than 10 feet past the personal best she set on April 22 at the Dayton Invitational.
"She's been practicing really well. We saw a lot of 119s, 120s in practice this week, so this was not a surprise at all," Dayton assistant coach Mike Paul said.
A state gold medal certainly wasn't expected at the start of Edie's first season in the discus ring.
"She's new to this. It's just her first year, so she's just starting to get into the groove of it. Next year's really going to be great," Paul said.
Edie's shortest throw on Saturday was measured at 105 feet. She would have been elated with that distance just a month ago.
"It's a lot of hard work, but practice pays off. It does, really," Edie said. "I've been improving a lot. With other people doing better than you, it kind of puts you down sometimes, but when you work hard at it, you like, strive for it and you get a lot better."
A big boost came on Friday, when Thompson and Jacobson placed first and second in the shot put. Thompson, a senior, won the event with a school record throw of 37-6.
"That was really cool when Tasha and Kristyn got first and second place. I was really excited for them, and today, I was like telling myself, 'I will get first place.' And it paid off," Edie said.
Mental preparation paid off, in this case.
"Before I threw, I got really nervous, just like everybody else does," she said. "You just have to concentrate and not think about everybody else throwing and how good they're doing. You have to concentrate; that's what I did and I felt great because I got what I wanted."
Strength in the weight events helped Dayton finish seventh in the 3A girls team standings with 54 points, just six points behind Bishop Manogue in the fourth spot.
Dayton's boys finished ninth as a team with 29 points, aided by a third-place finish in the 4x100 relay on Saturday. Jose Marquez, Anthony Martinez, Shaun Merrill and Genaro Coronado combined to post a time of 45.63 in the race.
Yerington's best state performance on Saturday was delivered by Josh Allen, who placed second in the boys 300-meter intermediate hurdles. The junior ran 42.83.