From left, Start’s Damar Ellis, Rogers’ John Gauldin, and Scott’s Marvin Gardner race in the 100-meter dash at the City League track and field championships on Thursday at Rogers. Ellis swept the 100 and 200-meter events. THE BLADE/ANDY MORRISON
Bowsher’s Siera Kovar and Start’s Damar Ellis share a similar history.
Both are seniors, and neither had run track in high school before this spring.
Yet they proved it was better to run later than never on Thursday afternoon at the City League track and field championships held at Rogers.
Kovar won the 100 and 400-meter races and placed second in the 200 to lead Bowsher to the CL girls championship with 172 points. Start finished second with 147 points, followed by Rogers (93), Woodward (58), and Scott (33).
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Ellis did his part to help Start win the CL boys team championship by sweeping the 100 and 200. The Spartans finished with 154 points, followed by Rogers (130), Bowsher (126), Scott (67), and Woodward (38).
Kovar, who avoided running track for three years to concentrate on playing soccer, won the 100 with a time of 13.18 and the 400 with a time of 1 minute, 3.79 seconds. She finished second in the 200 (27.49) and ran a leg on the Rebels’ 400 relay that placed second (53.68).
“I’m really proud that I made it this far, and I think I accomplished a lot for the team and individually,” said Kovar, named the top girls runner of the meet.
Ellis, who focused on basketball, ran a time of 11.17 to win the 100 and a time of 22.96 to finish first in the 200. He was a member of the Spartans’ 800 relay team that placed first with a time of 1:33.72 and the 400 relay team that finished second in 44.93.
“I felt loose, and I’ve had better times, but with the wind and the rain, I was still able to truck through it,” said Ellis, who was named the top boys runner of the meet.
Bowsher’s Rachel Marter helped the Rebels win the girls title by taking first in the long jump with an effort of 15 feet, 9½ inches, while Kyra Hollins cleared 5-2 to win the high jump.
Start’s Genova Hooker scored a sweep by winning the 100 and 300 hurdles with times of 17.14 and 51.13, respectively.
Start’s Rachel Bonar prevailed in the 200 in 27.31 seconds, and Ashley Dutridge won the 1600 (5:47.24).
Woodward’s Shy-Ann Williams recorded throws of 33 feet to win the shot put and 92-2 to win the discus, earning her honors as the top field events performer.
In the boys competition, Jaquan Hughes, Evan Butler, Michael Williams, and Ellis got things going for Start early by winning the 800 relay with a time of 1:33.72.
Start’s Tremain Batson and John Kennedy took the top two places in the 800. Batson won with a time of 2:08.78, followed by Kennedy (2:09.15).
Kennedy, Batson, Jon Luna, and Sean Yates teamed up to win the 3200 relay (8:35.01).
Running in lane No. 1, Yates chased down the 400 field and became a league champion with a winning time of 53.60. Bowsher’s Ka'Ronn Osley crossed the finish line second with a time of 54.06.
Armond Wimberly also delivered for Start, winning the the long jump at 20-6½.
Rogers’ Kameron Jones topped the boys hurdlers by sweeping the 110 and 300 events. He won the 110-meter race in 15.92 seconds, then the 300 in 41.35.
Jones also ran anchor for the Rams’ 400 relay team — which included Elijah Triplett, John Gauldin, and Michael Moore — that placed first with a time of 43.76.
Bowsher’s Tom Heckman and Nate Price dominated the distance events. They ran away from the 1600 and 3200-meter fields. Heckman crossed the finish line first in the 1600 at 4:44.99, with Price second (4:49.93). Price won the 3200 with a time of 10:41.75 as Heckman came in second (10:42.28).
Rogers’ Kristen Fink claimed victory for the 3200 (12:55.97).
Bowsher’s Andrew Zielinski won the discus (114-2), and Scott’s Ernest Wagner won the shot put (37-11¾).