Immaculate Heart High producing top-notch track athletes - The Explorer: Sports

Immaculate Heart High producing top-notch track athletes

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Posted: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 4:00 am

Despite the school’s small size, Immaculate Heart High School has some of the top track and field athletes in Tucson.

Competing against schools such as Sahuaro, Santa Rita and Safford High School, senior Justine Mona and sophomore Amity Brown are holding their own. Mona, who’s been in track since her sophomore year, primarily competes in the triple jump, long jump, 300 hurdles, 100-meter and 200-meter. 

Wanting to tackle a new event this year, Mona tried the triple jump - one of the more technically difficult events. Though it may have its difficulties, head coach Tom Danehy says that has not impacted no weight on Mona’s performance. 

“She’s explosive. It’s very impressive how she does the triple jump. It looks like the college or world class athletes,” said Danehy. “She has the form down perfectly. It’s not my coaching either - she just does it right.”

But Mona’s skills don’t stop there. About a week ago, the Immaculate Heart track team traveled to San Manuel for a meet. Due to how small the team is, the athletes are often asked to compete in multiple events, some of which they’ve never tried. Danehy asked Mona to compete in the 300 hurdles for the first time.

“I told her to try and just get under a minute. She got under a minute with 57 seconds,” said Danehy, who added that three days later at the Bisbee Invitational she dropped her time to 53 seconds. “She’s got a God-given athletic ability. It’s a great combination to have that athletic ability and to work hard and try new things. A coach couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Along with track, Mona plays soccer, volleyball and basketball. She is a straight “A” student and will attend the University of Arizona next year where she plans to pursue a degree in either engineering or social justice. Whether she ends up playing a sport in college is yet to be determined.

“If I would play a sport in college I’d play soccer,” said Mona with a smile. “That’s my favorite sport.”

Not needing to make decisions concerning college yet, sophomore and teammate Amity Brown, is another athlete that has taken great strides in each of her track and field events. Her events include the 200-meter, 4x1, discus, long jump and her best event - the high jump.

Brown last ran track back in seventh grade. Even though she didn’t go out for her freshmen year, Brown’s natural athletic ability and competitive drive has helped her finish in the top spots in most of the events she’s competed in. Her best event is the high jump, which she currently remains undefeated in. 

“It feels really good to be undefeated,” said Brown, who adds that she likes competing against the bigger schools. “Its really good to place against good people who I can potentially lose to, because that’s how I think I can learn. Playing against people better than me helps.”

In a recent meet, Brown went up against last year’s defending state champion from St. David High School. Both ended up tying for first at 5’2”. The state record is 5’6” and that is what Brown is striving to get to. 

“She is very graceful - even when being six-feet-tall and just turning age 16,” said Danehy. “She’s got a toughness about her that’s really impressive.”

Moving forward, the two girls hope to compete against bigger schools and eventually reach state where they hope to claim a title.

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Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)

Swimming

Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

 

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