It is hard to win a state championship. It’s even harder to win two, back-to-back. But that is exactly what White Pine track coach Justin Locke has been able to do on the girls side of the co-ed sport, and if he has his way, they’ll be on their way to a three-peat. But before a team can become champions, they have to practice like champions first.
“My strategy has always been to push these kids to beat themselves each and every day,” Locke said.
It helps remove an athletes attention from things they can’t control, like their opponents, and keeps them focused on the one thing they can control, themselves. That kind of focus will become key for some of Locke’s newest freshmen as they will have to take up the mantle their successful predecessors have earned. Only two seniors return from that state championship team on the girls side, but if the Ladycats’ first meet was any indication, they haven’t lost their winning ways.
The girls placed first in several events including high jump and triple jump. Senior Nate Lee on the boys side also impressed, posting a team high 24 points through his multiple events. Locke said that having key athletes like that can really help the team overall while the younger, less experienced athletes get up to speed.
“It never hurts to have quality like that,” Locke said.
The White Pine track team will head to Mesquite this weekend to compete in the Bulldog Classic, a meet that the girls team won last year.
“I don’t know how it will go but I expect it to be a strong second meet for us,” Locke said.