By Garrett Estrada

Ely Times Staff Writer

The White Pine High School track team travelled to Buell, Utah over the weekend to compete in one of the largest and most competitive meets they will see this season. Of the 16 schools participating in the meet, the White Pine girl’s placed fifth and the boy’s team placed seventh. While rankings weren’t among the top spots, coach Justin Locke said that he was happy with both team’s performances.

“We were competitive in all the events with our core group of kids,” Locke said. “We really went out there and wanted to test our best. We had several kids set new personal records which is always the goal.”

Tommy Bischoff was the sole White pine athlete to claim top spot in an event at the meet, placing first in the triple jump. Locke said that in larger meets like Buell’s, it’s important for athletes not to get discouraged over not medalling.

“I always preach to the kids that it is nice to get a medal or to be in the top three, but you really have to compete against yourself, because that is what is going to show at the end of they year,” Locke said.

As for the team’s overall progress midway through their season, Locke said that he is happy with where the team is at. Specifically, he pointed out that attendance and attitude in practice has been better this year than in years past.

Attendance could be an issue for the team’s next meet in Wendover over the weekend, as it clashes with the high school’s start of spring break as well as Easter weekend. Locke said that in light of those circumstances, attending the Wendover meet is recommended, but not required.

“We probably won’t have our full squad this weekend. I won’t require them to be there, but as a coach, you hope that the kids will continue to do something so the week off won’t set us back,” he said.

He huddled the team up after they finished their initial warm-ups and spoke with both teams about trying to stay active over the break.

“They’re kids and they want to enjoy their youth for a bit and I understand that. I just preach to them and tell them that they have goals they’ve been working towards so they need to try and continue to make steps toward them instead of giant leaps back.”