The Truckee track and field team participated last Friday in the High Desert Invitational at Reed, which was the Wolverines’ last opportunity to face off against their Division I-A competition before regionals and state.
“This was a good training meet for everybody,” said Truckee coach Diana Yale. “Our field event athletes, sprinters and hurdlers did very well, many of them setting personal records — 35 in all events. Our 4 x 4 and 4 x 8 teams looked very strong, and if we can get our sprint relay handoffs down in practice, we will be ready for regionals.”
Top performers among the girls included freshman Heather Pendleton, who won the high jump competition with a leap of 4-10.
The all frosh/soph girls 4 x 400-meter relay team (Brenna Wapstra-Scott, Olivia Yale, Julia Veliquette and Claire Lang-Ree) also impressed by placing first in 4:11.03.
The girls 4 x 800 team, also consisting of three freshmen and one sophomore (Syra Fillat, Veliquette, Lang-Ree and Yale) finished second in 10:06.35.
Other individual standout performances among the girls included Yale’s third-place finish in the 400 (63.29) and Pendleton’a sixth-place finish in the 400 (64.33), Wapstra-Scott’s sixth-place finish in the 200 (27.83) and 10th-place finish in the 100 (13.44), Carrie Bradley’s fifth-place finish in the 3,200 (12.52.46), Nicole Rathbun’s 10th-place finish in the 100 hurdles (18.66), and Cassandra Sawyer’s 13th-place finish in the shot put (28-08.25).
For the Truckee boys, top individual finishes included Noah Oberriter’s second place in the 3,200 (10:10.35), Colin Deurlington’s ninth place in the 400 (53.96), Nathan Ariza’s ninth place in the 1,600 (4:59.06), Baldo Ramirez in the shot put (34-08.75) and Mason Kimmel in the discus (95-02).
The boys relay teams also performed well. The 4 x 400 team, consisting of Deurington, Max Barta, Tanner Sawyer and Eli Yale, finished fifth in 3:40.58. The 4 x 800 team of Yale, Ariza, Oberriter and Deurlington finished fourth in 8:37.16.
Meanwhile, senior Quinn Parker and juniors Gabrielle Rinne and Skyler Flora qualified for the Sacramento Meet of Champions, held on Saturday at American River College under extremely windy conditions.
The standout Truckee trio hold the top spot in the Nevada Division I-A rankings in each of their respective signature events: the 400, 800 and 3,200. They each proved they can hold their own against their elite California counterparts by registering podium finishes at the competitive meet.
Parker finished third in the 400 with a season-best time of 58.40, which is the 26th-fastest time among California seniors this season. Camryn Cook (57.93) of Monterey Trail and Imani Boggan (58.10) of Acalanes finished 1-2 in the race.
After Rinne and Flora recorded sub-5-minute times in the 1,600 last week, both also achieved their first national elite times of the season in the 800 and 3,200, respectively.
Rinne won the Invitational 800 with a season-best time of 2:13.94, taking the lead from the start and never looking back. It was the 25th-fastest time in the nation this season among high school juniors and the fifth-fastest junior time in California. The next-closest finisher was Ariane Arndt of St. Francis, in 2:15.27.
On her way to breaking her own Truckee High record, Flora shaved 27 seconds off her season-best time in the Invitational 3,200, with a new personal-best of 10:56.01. That was the 51st-fastest time in the nation among high school juniors and 12th-fastest junior time in California. She finished third in the race behind Fiona O’Keeffe (10:36.79) of Davis and Kyra Hunsberger (10:49.29) of Reno.
With such a talented group of young athletes, coach Yale is looking forward to the weeks ahead.
“We are at a challenging yet exciting point in the season, trying to make entry decisions on athletes to determine our best team going into regionals,” she said. “We just need to stay focused on our goals and the possibility of what we can really accomplish at regionals and state. As we begin to taper, athletes will feel more rested and ready to race. I believe the timing will be perfect.”