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On April 2, Toby Qualls, a sophomore at Mammoth High School, traveled to Lancaster, Calif., to run in the very competitive, Michele Perry Invitational. Many California high schools travel to this invitational, because of the high level of competition.
Qualls began competition in the varsity 1600 meter event. Because of his previous fast times in the 1600, he was then bumped up automatically into the elite championship race.
Twenty nine runners started the race. When the dust had cleared, Toby finished 8th, with a 4:47 mile. The winning time, was 4:27. Quals was the fastest freshman-sophomore runner of the day.
His second race was the 3200 meters, in which he placed fifth.
On April 9, little Fernley, Nev., hosted one huge high school track and field invitational. Twenty eight high schools, and more than 1,400 athletes showed up on a cold and windy day.
Mammoth High School sent five athletes to this event. Included were sophomores Toby Qualls and Sydney Knadler, and freshmen Trevor Meads, Haley Hugelman, and Maria Lopez. Because of the size of the races, many of the events had as many as 10 heats.
Trevor Meads got things started in the long jump, 800 meter, and 1600 meter runs. Although only a freshman, Meads finished in the middle of the pack in the long jump and the 1600.
Maria Lopez ran the 800, finishing 13th, with a time of 3:07. She then ran the 1600, finishing 20th, and the 3200, finishing 18th. Considering there were at least 50 runners, this was a strong showing for the Mammoth freshman.
Sydney Knadler ran the 1600 and finished in a time of 6:27, good enough for a 14th place finish. She then ran the 3200 and finished 17th, with a time of 15:00 flat.
Hailey Hugelman finished 11th in the 800 meter run, with a time of 2:59. She also finished 16th in both the 1600 and 3200. Again only a freshman, and with the number of runners, a very strong showing.
Toby Qualls competed in the 3200 meter race. Many of Nevadaâ€™s top 3200 meter runners were present, including Nathanael Williams. Qualls and Williams exchanged the lead many times, and built a 24-second lead over the next fastest runner. When it was over, both boys finished at 10:20, but Williams, a junior, got the win, finishing tenths of a second ahead of Qualls. Both boys ran a personal best in this race.
On April 16, Mammoth High School track and field entered its third and final invitational in preparation for the up oming C.I.F. league preliminary elimination round. Coach Brian Pennington took four athletes to the Carson Invitational.
Mammoth athletes present were freshman Hailey Hugelman, Maria Lopez and Trevor Mead. and sophomore Toby Qualls.
Against many of Nevadaâ€™s top milers Qualls turned in a outstanding time of 4:37 to finish in the top three.
Qualls then ran the 800 m race, a race he has never even practiced before. He medaled, with a outstanding time of 2:06. The winning time, by a senior, for this race was 2:02.
Freshman Trevor Mead ran three events. He finished highest in the J.V. 800 meter race, finishing 12th with a time of 2:42. Only three freshmen had faster times then Meads.
Hailey Hugelman, a freshman, had her strongest showing in the varsity 400 meter run, where she finished 13th, in a time of 73 seconds.
Maria Lopez, normally a strong contender, became ill, and had to sit out most of her races.