By Garrett Estrada
Ely Times Staff Writer
The weekend provided a “big confidence boost” for the White Pine track team according to coach Justin Locke after the girl’s team finished in first place and the boy’s team took third.
“I was pleasantly surprised,” Locke said of both team’s performances this early into the season.
As the defending state champions, the girl’s team proved to be dominant in the triple jump event, with four White Pine girls placing in the top five spots, led by Kinsey Bradshaw. Shania Marques and Lucy Fullmer both tied the school record for high jump set by Marques at five feet two inches to take first and second.
“My girls are performing at the level they should be performing at,” Locke said. “There is a lot of talent there. We returned such a core from our state championship team so I hope they know that people look at them as the team to beat.”
On the boys side, Tims Bischoff placed first in the triple jump and the team of Dalton Evers, Cole Evers, Dylan Neagle and Sam Stewart won the first event of the in the 4×800 meter relay.
“That was definitely one of our strongest teams,” Locke said. “They went out and performed and set the tone for us early.”
The boy’s team came within 15 points of claiming second place at the meet at Virgin Valley, a relatively close number that Locke said the team might have been able to overcome if it were not for some soreness issues that held a few athletes back from competing in later events. Despite the set backs however, Locke said that the both teams are actually “way ahead” of where they were last year in terms of their conditioning and their times.
The team will travel to Elko this weekend for the Wells Invitational, another meet where schools can place as many athletes in an event as they like, forgoing the more traditional four-student max. As the format can benefit larger schools at the meet such as Elko and Spring Creek, Locke said that he is looking for individual performances to stand out and rise to the top.
“We are not going to compete based on pure numbers, but in terms of quality, I am still looking for some individual first place finishes,” he said.