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Dashing through the snow

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun
Photo by Ryan Salm/Sierra SunTruckee High senior Whitney Brixey, left, and sophomore Melanie Lashbrook run laps around the softball field during practice Wednesday.
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Maybe you’ve seen them, members of the Truckee High track team, trotting alongside Donner Pass Road squinting through falling snow.

It’s the early season routine for Truckee’s spring sports teams, particularly the track team.

“That’s pretty typical,” said Cooper Doos, a junior who plans to compete in shot put, discus, long jump and high jump. “It happens every year at the beginning. There’s usually snow.”

Still, about 50 kids are out for the team this year, which is up from the 40 at the start of last season, said Diana Yale, Truckee’s head track coach.

“There’s a lot of new kids, which is good,” senior distance runner Whitney Brixey said between running timed laps around Truckee’s softball field ” a 1,000-meter lap that runs from the north end of Surprise Stadium, between the baseball and softball fields, by the fire station onto Donner Pass Road and back.

“It’s freezing,” Brixey said. “It makes your lungs a little tight.”

A winded Melanie Lashbrook, a sophomore fresh off her lap in the same pack of distance runners as Brixey, agreed about practicing in the cold.

“It’s hard on the body and lungs,” Lashbrook said, “but I guess it gets you in shape better.”

About being hard on the body: “I had shin splints pretty bad last year, and I think I’m getting them again,” Lashbrook added.

Eventually, the track will thaw. Until then, however, the team will continue to split practice time between the snowy roadsides and the Truckee High gym, where it starts with a round of stretching and strange-looking ” albeit effective ” calisthenics across the width of the basketball court.

Although it’s early ” the team began practice on Feb. 27 ” Truckee’s head coach holds high hopes for her squad.

“I’m enthusiastic about this team,” Yale said. “I think we have a really good chance of doing well at state.”

Last year’s team finished fourth overall in the state meet, a place Truckee coaches believe would have been higher had there been more long-distance runners and athletes in the weight events (shot put, discus, etc.).

“Last year we had a lot of sprinters, a lot of speed,” Yale said. “This year we’re heavy on the distance runners. I think we’ll also have more depth with the weight events and more kids jumping …

“This year we’re going to have an awesome 4 x 400 team and a strong 4 x 800 team, for boys and girls. We’re really strong in distance and middle distance this year.”


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