Jeffery Miller (left) in a meet earlier this season.
(May 12) (UPDATED May 13) Page High’s Jeffery Miller won the 1,600 meters and finished second in the 3,200 meters to lead the Sand Devils boys to fifth place at the Arizona Interscholastic Association state track and field championships May 10 and 11 at Mesa Community College.
The sophomore ran 4:21:06 to defeat Chinle’s Searle Tracy by little more than one second in the 1,600, but Tracy won the 3,200 by about six seconds.
Page’s Justin Littleman finished 11th in the 3,200 and 16th in the 1,600, while teammate Tyron Yazzie was 18th in the 1,600.
Miller also was part of the 4x800-meter relay team that took second place. Littleman ran the lead-off leg, followed by Yazzie, Miller and Ammon Secody. All are sophomores except Secody, a senior.
They finished in 8:15.92, about seven seconds behind champion Rio Rico. The Sand Devils had the fastest qualifying time among Division III schools this season at 8:12.4, but Rio Rico ran 16 seconds faster than its own qualifying time of 8:24.4.
In the boys team standings, Page and Rio Rico tied for fifth place with 35 points, as Miller alone accounted for about half that total with 10 points for his win and eight points for second place.
Paden James tied for second in the high jump with Everett Lunt of Snowflake, both clearing the bar at 6-04. Colton Wilson of Round Valley took the title with a jump of 6-06.
Jason Moore was 13th in the long jump with a leap of 20-01.75.
Secody placed seventh in a tightly-bunched group at the top of the 800 meters; his time of 1:59.29 was little more than three seconds off the pace set by winner Travis Okie of Snowflake.
Alexis Smith led the girls with a pair of top ten finishes: fifth in the discus with a throw of 104-06 and eighth in the shot put (33-09.75). She accounted for all of the Lady Sand Devils scoring as they tied for 23rd place with Empire.
Nicolette Coleman took 11th in the 1,600 meters and 13th in the 3,200 meters. Jayde Secody placed 17th and 19th, respectively, in those races and Jordan Roskelley 23rd and 20th.
The girls 4x800 relay team was 15th.
(May 4) A pair of errors leading off the first inning helped third-ranked Fountain Hills score five runs, a deficit Page High couldn’t overcome as the #14 Sand Devils lost 7-2 yesterday and were eliminated from the state baseball tournament at the Surprise Sports Complex.
After second baseman CJ Ripka’s errors allowed the first two batters to reach—and the leadoff man to score—pitcher Brendan Catron gave up consecutive run-scoring doubles. He walked the next batter, and allowed a run to score on a wild pitch.
Coming into the game, Ripka had just six errors in 95 chances.
Catron struck out the next two Falcons, but surrendered an RBI single before closing out the inning. Three of the five runs were unearned.
Collin Knight took over on the mound in the bottom of the second and allowed two runs, both earned, over the final five innings.
The Sand Devils outhit Fountain Hills 7-6 and drew 10 walks, but they hit into double plays that squelched two potential big innings.
Denton Siebrecht led off the fourth with a single, but Steven Christie grounded into a 5-4-3 twin-killing. Waylon Black followed with a double—the Devils’ only extra-base hit— and Catron walked, but Ripka struck out to end the inning.
Of Page’s 21 outs, 14 were on strikeouts, including four in the first when Fountain Hills starter Nick Wojtysiak struck out Ripka, Tyler Janes and Carson Wright in order, but Wright reached first when strike three was a wild pitch. After Knight walked, Wojtysiak struck out Dillon Nockideneh.
The Sand Devils’ biggest threat—and potential turning point in the game—came in the fifth when Janes led off with a walk, Wright singled and Knight walked to load the bases. Nockideneh then drew a walk to score Janes.
Though the Devils were down 6-1, they had the bases loaded with nobody out. But Seibrecht popped out to the pitcher and Christie hit a grounder up the middle that Falcons’ shortstop Cory Kukkola gloved, then stepped on second and threw to first for the inning-ending double play.
Page scored its final run of the season in the top of the seventh when Janes singled, went to second on Knight’s single, and scored on a base hit by Nockindeneh.
The Sand Devils finished with a record of 16-12.
They’d beaten Snowflake, 1-0, in the first round of the Division III tournament thanks to a five-hit shutout by Wright and a timely hit by Seibrecht, one of just two hits for Page.
Leading off the second inning, Knight reached base on an error by Lobos’ third baseman Jarom Beecroft. He advanced to second on an infield out, and scored on Siebrecht’s single.
Wright, who struck out seven and walked two, gave up a lead-off single to Nik Tate in the seventh. An infield out moved him into scoring position, but Wright got the next batter to fly out to left, then retired Beecroft on a pop-up to second for the victory.
“Great performance from our guys,” head coach Alex Randel said after the win. “Great day to be a Sand Devil.”
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