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Anybody not including Sedona Red Rock High School in the conversation over Arizona’s top track and field contenders should see how far Hannah Ringel can throw them.

Hannah Ringel practices her shot put at a recent Sedona Red Rock High School track and field practice. The sophomore thrower finished fifth in the shot put Saturday, March 21, at the Nike Elite Rotary Invitational in Chandler.
“I didn’t expect myself to be throwing what I am now,” she said. “I had it in my mind, ‘I’ll never throw what I threw in State last year. It’s going to take me so long.’

“Then I threw it again in one of my first meets and I was like, ‘Oh, wow. I guess this is attainable.’”

Since a fourth-place finish as a freshman in last spring’s Division III state shot put competition, throwing
36 feet, 11 inches, the Scorpions sophomore has brought home a gold or silver medal in the event, winning her last four meets outright prior to March 21.

That day was the exception that is proving the rule for Ringel, as she threw her personal best in the shot put to finish fifth among the West’s elite throwers at the Nike Rotary Invitational in Chandler.

“Every meet that comes, it’s closer to State, so I get more pumped,” Ringel said. “I’m like, ‘I’m going to make this my best meet.’”

For the full story, please see the Friday, March 27, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

Cortez High School was an excellent tonic for Sedona Red Rock High School’s woes on the diamond Tuesday,
March 24.

Junior Emma Keider practices turning the double play for the Scorpions. Keider went three for four with a triple and three RBIs during the Scorpions' 15-3 win over Cortez High School.
Junior shortstop Emma Keider had a triple, batting in three runs in four plate appearances as Scorpions softball roughed up Cortez on the road in five innings, 15-3.

Senior first baseman Josh Hafner closed out the Colts baseball team in the bottom of the sixth inning, driving in the 11th SRRHS run in a 10-run win.

Both teams used the win to rebound from losses that ended early because they were run-ruled. Northland Prep beat SRRHS baseball, 14-3, March 21 — four days after Camp Verde High School allowed the softball team just one hit in a 14-0 home shutout.

After returning home Thursday, March 26, from their game at North Pointe Preparatory Academy, head coach Mike Keider’s girls will host Horizon Honors High School in a rare double bill Saturday, March 28, at noon. Before joining them in playing the Panthers, head coach Craig Eagle’s boys have their first loss to avenge Friday,
March 27, at Central High School.

For the full story and more photos, please see the Friday, March 27, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

Seniors Natalie Cox and Tia Myers and sophomore Hannah Ringel all set new personal bests for Sedona Red Rock High School track and field Friday and Saturday, March 20 and 21, at the Nike Elite Rotary Invitational at Chandler High School.

Freshman Chenoa Crans works on her technique as she prepares for the Nike Elite Rotary Invitational at Chandler High School on March 20, where she finished ninth in the 110-meter hurdels after a competitive heat, a performance head coach Harry Schneider called "exceptional."
Cox ran the 3,200 meters in under 11 minutes and 45 seconds to finish 20th among all elites at the event, also running a PR for third place among seeded runners in the 1,600 meters at 5:26.

Myers’ PR came in the seeding bracket in the 800 meters, at 2:24.42.

“Natalie had two personal bests, which is tough on one day,” head coach Harry Schneider said. “I’m very happy for her. Tia ran exceptionally well — her best.”

Ringel had the highest finish at Chandler High School of any SRRHS athlete. She threw the shot put 37 feet, 10 inches and the discus 95 feet, 10 inches to make up for senior Marisa Carrara’s disappointing scratches in those events.

“That’s what people need to realize,” Schneider said. “[Ringel]’s only a 10th-grader, and these kids were the best in the country, not just Arizona.”

For the full story with more photos and results, please see the Wednesday, March 25, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

Defeat remains wonderfully elusive for the Sedona Red Rock High School golf team.

Junior Keagan Webster of Sedona Red Rock High School tees off on the first hole at Verde Santa Fe Golf Course in the Scorpions’ season-opening win at Camp Verde High School. Webster’s rounds have placed him a solid third on the varsity ladder this season.
The Scorpions followed up a tie for first at the Pahrump Valley Invitational in Nevada with their second straight team victory, a St. Patrick’s Day road rout of Chino Valley High School.

“The Pahrump trip bore fruit immediately,” said Dennis Mobley, Sedona Red Rock High School golf coach. “We recorded our best team golf score in 12 years.”

In the process, SRRHS [2-0] also got a nice tune-up for the Division III state golf tournament, as the Scorpions shot a 146 on the host course at Antelope Hills in Prescott.

“On the par-36 South course ... as a team we were only two over even par,” Mobley said. “Gary [Schlee] was two-under-par himself heading into the last hole, when disaster in the form of a lost ball and an out-of-bounds [hit] contributed to a snowman score of eight.”

The Scorpions senior had just tied for second individually at Pahrump, but it was senior Jasper Herrick who had a first-hole eagle on his way to a career-best three-under-par from the No. 5 position on the varsity ladder.

The Scorpions also maintained their Section V lead March 17 with their 44-stroke victory. The sectional winner automatically advances to Antelope Hills Golf Course for State beginning Friday, May 8.

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, March 25, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

Two pitchers decided the rivalry on the diamond between Camp Verde and Sedona Red Rock high schools Tuesday, March 17.

Senior Sophie Copenhaver, left, hauls in the throw at third base for Sedona Red Rock High School ahead of a sliding Sharli McDonald. The Scorpions, however, could not hold on for the out in a 14-0 home loss to Camp Verde High School.
Senior Scott Moker struck out six and threw a complete game three-hitter to lead baseball to its fifth straight win, 3-1 over the Cowboys.

Softball was a different story in the Scorpions’ Section III opener as opposing pitcher, junior Taya Smith, struck out 10 and allowed one hit in a 14-0 win in five innings for the Cowboys.

While head baseball coach Craig Eagle takes a section-leading 2-0 record into a stretch of four games over the next week, head softball coach Mike Keider is using all possible practice time before the Scorpions get into the heart of their schedule Tuesday, March 24, against sectional rival Cortez High School.

Senior Josh Hafner, right, attempts to catch up with the Camp Verde High School pitch before it reaches the glove of the Cowboys catcher. Hafner had a single for the Scorpions and secured the infield defense to help SRRHS win, 3-1.

For the full story, please see the Friday, March 20, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

Seniors Victor Gomes and Nick Hambrick swept their singles and doubles matches as the Sedona Red Rock High School boys tennis team got its first win of the season Tuesday, March 17.

Senior Nicholas Hambrick returns a volley during his singles match victory over junior Logan Connella of Mingus Union High School. Hambrick swept his singles and doubles matches against the Marauders to help SRRHS boys tennis win its first match of the spring, 7-2.
Hambrick’s wins helped overcome a straight-set loss from senior No. 1 player Max Hauserman in a 7-2 win for the Scorpions over cross-Valley rival Mingus Union High School.

“This year, our boys just have the desire to play hard,” said Phil Kovac, SRRHS girls tennis head coach who also assists the boys team. “They’re not goofing around. They all put up a fight — Mingus as well as our boys.”

With only four available players, the Marauders did not have quite the fight of the fully-loaded Scorpions. But Kovac will take the win, no matter how much by default or forfeit.

“Three of our boys weren’t there, either, for various reasons — the doctor, eligibility, traveling,” he said. “We would’ve probably won the matches anyway.”

Hambrick teamed up with Hauserman on the No. 1 doubles team for SRRHS, taking down the Marauders, 9-7.

“Another important thing is, they’re playing, as a team, better than I’ve ever seen them in the last couple years,” Kovac said. “All the kids who didn’t play, showed up and cheered them on when they hit shots. That helps them a lot.”

For the full story, please see the Friday, March 20, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

A full rehabilitation of the trail over the Sedona Airport Saddle continues this week.

Mae Godfrey, left, holds a fence post as Jared Short drives it in. Both are members of the American Conservation Experience crew that is rehabilitating the Airport Vortex, removing all the equestrian trails while building a more sustainable trail up to the vortex behind a fence line.
Using a state parks grant and with help from the city of Sedona and Friends of the Forest, the Red Rock Ranger District is coordinating work to widen and enhance the Airport Vortex Trail adjacent to the Sedona Airport.

“There is a lot to the story,” said Jennifer Burns, recreation staff officer for the Red Rock Ranger District. “[We are] restoring a site that is a ‘vortex’ and that’s been trampled to death.”

According to a 2013 Red Rock Trails planning summary, hikers make up 80 to 98 percent of all of the trail users in the Airport Loop area.

The resulting heavy use and creation of unmarked equestrian trails has destabilized the trail and resulted in enough damage, on and off the trail, to necessitate a new, wider route with improved signage.

While no estimate has been given for the completion date of the full rehabilitation, Burns and Forrest Saville, district trails lead, both expect work on fencing to continue through at least Friday, March 20.

For the full story and trail work schedule, please see the Wednesday, March 18, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

Sedona Red Rock High School placed 18 athletes on the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s All-Division III and All-Section winter sports teams.

Junior Alejandra Betancourt, right, a defender for the Sedona Red Rock High School girls soccer team, was named First Team All-Section I in Division III. Betancourt and junior midfielder Jasmine Geurts were on the first team, while senior Jordyn Diepstraten and freshman Gwendolyn Robinson made the second team. All four girls received honorable mention on the All-Division team.
Liza Westervelt was named first team All-Section III after tying for the most steals in the section as a full-time freshman starter at guard for head girls basketball coach Joe Donaldson.

Senior striker Jose Aviles-Moya, along with juniors Jasmine Guerts and Alejandra Betancourt, made first team All-Section I in boys and girls soccer, respectively.

All of them also received honorable mention on the All-Division teams for their efforts. Here is a full roundup of the local AIA postseason winter sports honorees:

For more photos and the full story, please see the Wednesday, March 18, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

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