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Fayetteville coach Drew Yoakum said he’s had to bring up a few more ninth-graders than he would like to fill his teams this spring, but they have done what it takes to earn their spots on the rosters.

One freshman — Isaiah Sategna — has already made his presence felt in a big way. Sategna, the son of new Arkansas assistant track coach Mario Sategna, moved to Fayetteville from Austin (Texas) Westlake and is currently the leader among Northwest Arkansas track athletes in four events: the 110- and 300-meter hurdles, the 200 and the long jump.

“I immediately said he was going to move up to the high school team,” Yoakum said. “After looking at his past and talking to his parents, there was no doubt he was going to move up.”

In his first meet as a Bulldog, Sategna broke a 17-year school record in the 300 hurdles with his time of 38.32 seconds and won the event by more than 2 seconds. Yoakum said that the 300 hurdles and the long jump are probably Sategna’s favorites and he puts a lot of pride in those events.

Yoakum said he sees a lot of similarities between Sategna and former Fayetteville standout Wallace Spearmon, who went on to run at Arkansas and in the Olympics.

“In my years here, I’ve been blessed to have kids like Isaiah that can do multiple events like this,” Yoakum said. “He is very similar to Wallace in the way he runs and jumps, and having those type of kids in track has been a big deal in Fayetteville. He’s definitely the piece that we had missing in this ninth-grade class.”

Yoakum said he hopes to have Sategna compete in the 100, the long jump, the 300 hurdles and the 4x400 relay during today’s Tiger Relays at Bentonville.

Pea Ridge takes on bigger schools

A fourth-place finish in last week’s Springdale Schools Invitational doesn’t seem that impressive at first glance. Pea Ridge’s girls, however, gladly took that kind of performance as the Lady Blackhawks ran against Class 6A stalwarts Bentonville, Rogers and Fayetteville.

“I was very pleased with how we stepped up against the larger schools and with how we finished,” Pea Ridge coach Heather Wade said. “The girls were pleased and excited.”

Pea Ridge, the defending Class 4A state champion, has run against 6A-West competition in the Y-Timing Invitational and last week’s meet at Springdale. It will continue that trend today as the Lady Blackhawks take part in the Tiger Relays in Bentonville.

Wade said she simply wants her team to run against quality competition and has chosen closer meets that fit well into Pea Ridge’s schedule.

“Our goal right now is to prequalify as much as we can,” Wade said. “Who knows when our softball team may have to alter its schedule, and we would have to be without Blakelee Winn.”

Winn, a sophomore, is among the area’s leaders in four categories and compiles plenty of points. Wade said senior Shelby Dunlap — who signed a national letter of intent Wednesday with Arkansas-Little Rock — is very focused and had a good showing at last year’s state meet, while Jamison Toms scored points last week in the long jump and the 100 meters.

Wade said the Lady Black-hawks have a young group of distance runners that are coming together. High jumper Kynley Burton, who won the event in the state indoor meet, has yet to compete in outdoor meets and is expected to produce points as well.

Record Watch

Two Northwest Arkansas athletes have put state records in danger of being rewritten, thanks to their performances last week at the Springdale Schools Invitational.

Pea Ridge junior Cassidy Mooneyhan did it first when she won the girls pole vault, clearing a personal-best 12 feet. The Class 4A state record in that event is 11-6 set by Mena’s Staci Yahn in 2006, and Mooneyhan set the indoor state record for 1A-4A schools last month when she cleared 12-6.

Meanwhile, Bentonville senior Lainey Quandt surpassed one state record mark with her performance in the 1,600 meters, where she finished in 5 minutes, 1.29 seconds. The Class 6A state record in that event was set in 1986 by Conway’s Julie Jiskra, and her hand-held time of 5:01.8 carries a FAT equivalent of 5:02.04. Quandt, who has already signed to run track at Arkansas, is not far off from threatening another state record as she ran the 800 in 2:15.69 during the Y-Timing Invitational two weeks ago in Fayetteville. The 6A state record is 2:15.33 set by Jonesboro’s Katya Kostetskya in 2003, while the 7A state record is 2:14.71 by Fayetteville’s Amanda Agana in 2014.

State records can only be set during state meets, according to Arkansas Activities Association guidelines.

Today On The Track

Tiger Relays

WHERE Tiger Athletic Complex, Bentonville WHEN 3 p.m. for pole vault, 4 p.m. for remaining field events and running events SCHOOLS Bentonville, Decatur, Fayetteville, Pea Ridge, Rogers Heritage, The New School

Tyson Relays

WHERE Green Forest WHEN 3:30 p.m. for field events. SCHOOLS Bergman, Clarksville, Eureka Springs, Flippin, Gentry, Gravette, Green Forest, Harrison, Huntsville, Prairie Grove, Shiloh Christian, Springdale, Valley Springs, Western Grove, Westville, Okla., Yell-ville-Summit

Greenwood High School Invitational

WHERE Greenwood WHEN 4 p.m. for field events; 4:15 p.m. for girls 4x800 relay (followed by boys); 5 p.m. for all other running events SCHOOLS Alma, Fort Smith Northside, Fort Smith Southside, Greenland, Greenwood, Magazine, Mansfield, Providence Academy, Rogers Heritage, Rogers High, Roland, Okla., Russellville, Siloam Springs, Van Buren, Waldron.

Henry Apple can be reached at happle@nwadg.com or on Twitter @NWAHenry.

Print Headline: Fayetteville freshman makes fast impression

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