While the combination of talent and hard work is what is necessary to secure a berth at the state championships in track and field, lucky No. 7 came into play over the weekend for Truckee at the Northern Division I-A regional championship at Yerington: Seven qualified individually for state, along with an unprecedented seven relay teams.
“This whole team proved they are a dominant force in the North,” said Truckee coach Diana Yale. “We came in winning the first event and finished winning the last. The relays really came together, and winning so many shows the spirit and pride these kids have to race for their team and give it their all.”
Relay performances were the story of the day for the Wolverines, with seven teams out of a possible eight qualifying for state. These included five relay victories as the boys qualified in every relay event, from the 4x100 to the 4x800.
The 4x100 and the 4x200 sprint relay teams consisted of an identical all-senior roster: Javier Virrey, Jake Pettit, Tyler Griffin and Adam Morgan. While the 4x100 team placed third in 44.55, the 4x200 placed first in 1:31.68.
“The senior sprint team ran with absolute confidence and determination and proved they are true champions,” Yale said.
The 4x400 relay team of Morgan, Griffin, Toby Zeigler and Ian Wilson ran to victory in a time of 3:28.97, and the 4x800 team of Zeigler, Wilson, Oscar Sanchez and Colin Deurlington also was victorious, with a time of 8:29.16.
In the girls competition, both the 4x400 and the 4x800 relay teams captured regional titles.
Truckee’s 4x400 team is the reigning Division I-A (formerly 3A) state champion. On Saturday, the team was able to shave a full seven seconds off its winning time from last year, with a most auspicious time of 4:04.04. Returning from last year are Quinn Parker, a junior, and Gabrielle Rinne, a sophomore, joined by newbies Ashley Harris, a senior, and Olivia Yale, a freshman.
The younger 4x800 team of Rinne, Yale, and sophomores Michaela Welch and Skyler Flora earned a solid win with a time of 9:52.07, the top I-A time of the season.
The girls 4x100 relay team of Parker, Harris, Sara Lade and Natalie Seelenfreund placed fourth in 52.94 to secure yet another berth at state.
In addition to the roster of relay teams, seven Truckee athletes also qualified individually, four of whom qualified in all four events they competed in. Senior and first-year track phenomenon Morgan came from behind in an exciting 400-meter race, winning with a new personal record (PR) of 50.73. He was also instrumental in helping three of the four boys relay teams qualify in the 4x100, 4x200 and the 4x400.
The reigning state champion in the 100, 200 and 400, Parker easily won her 200 (26.00) and 400 (58.96) individual contests while anchoring the 4x100 and 4x400 relays.
Rinne extended her undefeated streak in the 800 in Nevada with another commanding win, just shy of a new PR in 2:17.30. She placed second to teammate Flora in the 1,600, in an exciting photo finish, in 5:21.80, and also played a key role in the winning 4x400 and 4x800 relays.
Flora was the top point scorer for Truckee, qualifying in three individual events and the 4x800 relay. She won both the 1,600 (5:21.62) and the 3,200 (11:48.12) and was second in the 800 with a new PR of 2:21.80.
Triple qualifiers included Virrey, Zeigler and Harris. Virrey was the sole qualifier in a field event for Truckee. He placed second in the long jump with a 20-03.00. Virrey also ran the 4x100 and 4x200 relays.
After a rough start in the 800, Zeigler managed a herculean second-place finish in 2:01.48. Zeigler also qualified in the victorious 4x 400 and 4x 800 relays.
Harris, also a senior and first-year track athlete, placed third in the 400 with a new PR of 1:01.92. Harris also qualified in the 4x100 and 4x400 relays.
While both the boys and the girls finished mid-pack among the nine Northern teams, boys in fifth with 84 points and girls fifth with 106 points, the numbers don’t tell the whole story. DyeStat Nevada highlighted 19 (state level) elite performances over the two-day meet of 28 teams. Truckee led the way with more elite-level performances than any other team, with five: Parker’s 200 and 400, Rinne’s 800, the boys 4x200 relay and the girls 4x400 relay.
“Not only did we earn a lot of gold medals, every athlete who competed earned a personal record or achieved something great,” Yale said. “It was an extraordinary and successful meet for Truckee track and field. I am very proud of this team and am looking forward to a great state meet.”
A total of 18 athletes and three coaches will travel to Las Vegas for the state championship meet on Friday and Saturday.