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Jose GarciaMultimedia Journalist/Historian firstname.lastname@example.org
RSK makes a name for itselfMay 22, 2013
(L-R Coach Ryan Prassas, DJ Hampton, Ricky Bain, Patrick Murillo, and Deon Parks helped Raymsond S. Kellis win its first track and field title this season. Photo by Steve Paynter/paynterpics.com)
If Division II’s boys track and field teams didn’t know what RSK stood for at the start of the season, they were certainly aware by the end of the season that the initials belonged to only one school — Raymond S. Kellis.
To make a bold statement when this season started, Raymond S. Kellis’ boys track and field team had its school’s initials emblazoned on their jerseys. But winning the D-II state crown was the loudest statement RSK made this year and did so with six of its eight state qualifiers scoring points at state.
The relatively small group brought home the first track and field state title for the Glendale school. RSK finished fourth at state last year and returned almost everybody this year, including a great group of sprinters.
With no throwers and distance runners at the state meet, RSK leaned heavily on its sprinters to gobble up points.
“We didn’t have one stud, but we had a lot of guys who were solid,” RSK’s second-year coach Ryan Prassas said.
That was evident when RSK’s 4x100-meter relay team of Deon Parks, DJ Hampton, Ricky Bain and Patrick Murillo defended their state title in style.
The seniors set a new school record (41.9) at state in that event.
“For those guys to stay motivated and set the school record was exciting to see,” Prassas said. “We won the race by half a second. They pushed themselves to get that school record.”
Parks did a lot of the heavy lifting for RSK at state, finishing fourth in the 100-meter race and first in the 200.
(Deon Parks, the anchor leg of this year's Division II 4x100-meter state title relay team, had a good state meet for Raymond S. Kellis. Photo by Steve Paynter/paynterpics.com)
But RSK didn’t seal its state team title until the night events started at Mesa Community College on May 11.
Prassas believed he needed his runners in that race to finish 1-2-3 in the 200 to secure the D-II title. RSK finished 1-3-4, however, leaving the squad waiting anxiously for about three hours for the final events to finish.
When they finally heard the state championship announcement, coach Prassas’ kids ran to get their team title trophy. Needless to say, the tired athletes were extremely happy when they lifted the trophy.
RSK scored 47 points, five more than the second place team. RSK’s sprinters grabbed a majority of the points for their team, but the team wouldn’t have won the title if a couple of long jumpers, Murillo and Tyler Williams, hadn’t collected seven valuable points.
Murillo placed sixth and Williams fifth in the long jump, a surprising result for an RSK team that didn’t have a long jumper ranked in the top-11 heading into state. Williams, a baseball player, was a late addition to the team.
He didn’t join the track and field team until the final regular season meet, where he qualified for state. Once his baseball team lost its first playoff game, Williams then slipped on the RSK track jersey.
“We had a really good group of kids,” Prassas said. “When I sat down with them at the start of the year I told them I was I’m going to push them hard this year. They were mad at me.”
But the anger quickly dissipated once the medals started rolling in.