When White Pine High School Track Coach Justin Locke pulled into the parking lot of Moapa Valley High School on March 27, he was trying to be realistic with his goals.
“I don’t want to sell my girls short, but I went into that meet thinking we were going to have to fight for a third place finish,” Locke said.
Maybe it was the old memories of getting defeated by Mojave High School back when he was competing. Or it could’ve been the statistic that White Pine had never taken first as a team at Moapa. Either way, coach Locke was wrong, and he couldn’t be happier for it.
“Midway through the meet, my assistant coach leaned over to me and told me we were in the lead, I couldn’t believe it,” the coach said.
The shock wasn’t from a lack of faith in his girl’s squad, he just knew how hard it was to take down a big Las Vegas school like Mojave with the number of athletes they have.
The Ladycat track team ended the meet with a third place finish in the 4×400 meter relay race, securing a four point team vitcory over Mojave to be the first ever team out of White Pine to win in Moapa. Coach Locke said that he hopes the win will help keep his team confident and motivated through Spring Break.
“Our girls team has won two state championships so they have pretty high expectations for themselves. I could sense that when they weren’t taking first place every race, they started to get a little worried and doubt themselves but I just kept telling them what I tell them every week, until they hit divisions, they are only competing with themselves,” Locke said.
“When they won that meet, I think that helped get them back in the right mindset.”
Mikinley Prengel continued her dominance at the triple jump event, claiming the sole top spot of the meet for the girls team.
The boys track team finished in seventh place out of the 12 schools competing in the meet. Locke said that his squad didn’t have enough athletes to compete for a team title in the meet but he was impressed with the individual performances from his boys.
Sam Stewart ran away with two long distance events, taking first place in both the 1600 and 3200 meter races.
The boys and girls track team will enjoy their Spring break without competing in a meet. Their next competition will be on April 11 for the Elko Invitational.
Locke said he is currently looking for volunteers to help run the teams’ home meet on April 24.