By Garrett Estrada
Ely Times Staff Writer
The White Pine High School track and field team put on another impressive performance that resulted in first place finishes for both the boys and girls squads. Coach Justin Locke said that the entire team came together and excelled in the meet held at Spring Creek over the weekend.
“We competed well in everything,” Locke said.
According to the coach, the amount of success the teams have had in the “fresh” part of the season bodes well for their postseason aspirations.
“We’ve never been this strong at the beginning of the year,” Locke said. “It’s a different place for us and I think just being able to keep this momentum going is going to help us.”
The coaches thought the team was going to enter the meet at a disadvantage. Similar to a meet at the beginning of their season, the competition at Spring Creek allowed schools to enter as many athletes into events as they chose, naturally leading to schools with more athletes having more chances to place.
While some of the most popular events like the 100 meter sprint or the long jump had close to 50 participants, White Pine assistant track coach Darin Stewart said that his team didn’t let themselves get lost in the shuffle.
“We thought we might be at a disadvantage but our kids really stepped up and said that there is no disadvantage for us coach,” Stewart said.
There were many individuals that stood out on the team at the meet, including both the boys and girls 4×400 meter relay teams that claimed first place finishes. Katelyn Stafford and Ian Carson both placed first in the 800 meter run for the girls and boys teams respectively and Lucy Fullmer placed first in the high jump and 110 meter hurdles among several other first place athletes.
Stewart pointed out that the unique nature of the meet let the coaches and athletes experiment a bit and try out different events that they might not normally attempt.
“Quite a few of them got into events that they always wanted to do that they hadn’t done, so we as coaches said to the team that they could each try one event that they wanted,” Stewart said.
Locke joked that some of the athletes will probably never try that event again, but that it again helped the coaches try and finalize the last pieces of the puzzle as they prepare to take on rival schools like The Meadows later in the season.
“We like going to these events because we let kids choose one of their events, some of which chose things they’ll probably never ever do again,” Locke said.
The team will next travel to a meet that they haven’t competed in before at Panguitch High School in Utah. White Pine triple-jumpers will get to try another new event as Utah track and field replaces the triple -jump with the javelin. Locke said he doesn’t expect it to hurt the team overall though, as the team has a “dummy javelin” to practice with before the trip.