By Garrett Estrada
Ely Times Staff Writer
Both the boys and girls track team for White Pine High School placed first in their home meet on May 2, topping the 15 other teams that competed in the meet. Several seniors ran for the last time on their home track, including Jesse Peterson, who made the most of the opportunity by breaking the high school’s records for both the 200 meter and 400 meter dash. Tommy Bischoff also broke a school record in the triple-jump.
Coach Justin Locke said he was really proud to see both teams compete at a high level this late into the season.
“The meet turned out really well. It was great to see some of the seniors really pour their hearts out onto their home track, and to win it for both teams is pretty amazing,” Locke said.
White Pine even claimed top spot for individual performance on the girls side, as Lucy Fullmer swept her events.
“Fullmer was outstanding against a lot of good competition,” Locke said.
The coach admitted that overall the season has had its “ups and downs” including a strong start that led to a bit of overconfidence in the team, eventually leading to a few poor showings in meets after Spring Break. But he feels good about how his team has rebounded at the end of the season, saying that he feels they are “farther along than they were last year” at this same time.
“We are still tweaking a few things but I like where we are at as a team. All the athletes are excited and are building a camaraderie,” Locke said.
The team will travel to Sunset High School in Las Vegas on Friday and Saturday to compete in the divisional round of the postseason. The top four athletes in each event over the weekend will then qualify to compete in the state championship. After winning the title for the first time in school history on the girls side last year, Locke said he feels a certain amount of pressure for his team to repeat, something he thinks both squads are capable of this year.
“We are strong in certain events, like the hurdles and the jumps. We are better positioned in the mid-distance events than we have been in the past. I wish we had more numbers on the squad but I’ve seen the heat sheets for Divisions and I like our chances,” he said.
In terms of motivating the team, Locke said that he doesn’t have to do much, except remind them that they are all in this together.
“I tell them ‘You are running for the person next to you. Give each event 100 percent,” Locke said, adding that he got pretty emotional last year when the girls made school history by winning their first championship. “Words can’t describe what that feeling was like. If either the boys or girls won it this year, I don’t even think I could tell you how I would feel. Words would not do it justice.”
The coach said he wanted to thank his seniors for all their hard work in their final season and that he hopes they learned some valuable life lessons from his time coaching them on the team. He also wanted to thank all the volunteers and parents that came out to help run the home meet and support the team.
“We wouldn’t have been able to do it without you,” he said.