Fleet on their feet | SierraSun.com

Fleet on their feet

Court Leve/Sun News ServiceTruckee's Austin Lynch, left, and Brandon Peterson put on their tough faces at track practice on Wednesday.

An impact player on the football field and basketball court, Peterson decided to try his hand at track his final year of high school.

Even coming off basketball season, a sport that requires physical endurance, Peterson found the track training regimen to be taxing.

“In the beginning I thought I was gonna die, to tell you the truth,” he said. “I didn’t really know what to expect going into the season.

“But I always considered myself a fast person, so I just wanted to get out there and compete.”

Truckee track coach Diana Yale would have liked to see him competing before this year, as Peterson has increasingly dominated the sprint events as the season has progressed.

“I expected him to do well knowing his athleticism,” Yale said. “I saw him play football, so I knew he was a good natural runner. But he has definitely exceeded my expectations.”

In the regional meet at Yerington last weekend, Peterson earned four gold medals ” in the 100 (11.17), 200 (23.10), 4×200 relay (1:33.12) and, albeit not a sprint event, high jump. Yale thinks he is the first Truckee athlete to win four golds at regionals.

The senior also holds the fastest times in the state in the 100, 200 and, along with teammates Drew Stewart, Sam Silver and Lynch, the 4×200. He also has a good chance in high jump, Yale said. Last week he cleared the bar at 6-feet-2-inches.

But it’s in the sprint races that Yale expects the most from Peterson.

“Every race should be close, but with his focus and determination to win, he’s got a mental edge going into it,” she said.

With the fastest sprinters in greater Nevada competing this weekend, Peterson agrees that his races will be evenly matched.

“Whoever is there, they’re gonna run their fastest, and that’s what I’m going to do,” he said “And may the best man win. I like that stage.”

That stage, he hopes, will be similar to that of Truckee football’s.

“I hope it’s the same (as football),” Peterson said. “I like to feel that rush.”

No matter how he does, there will be witnesses to see it, as Peterson said he told everyone he knows to come out and watch.

While Yale knew little about Peterson going into the track season, she knew even less about Lynch.

“I didn’t know anything about Austin, other than that he was a soccer guy,” Yale said. “I knew he was a really great kid, but I didn’t know he’d do so well.”

Besides being on the 4×200 team that won gold with the fastest time of the year at regionals, Lynch finished second in the 400 (52.95) and fifth in both the 100 (11.67) and 200 (24.03) last weekend.

He credits soccer for his success.

“Soccer definitely helped me a lot coming into (track) ” with the short sprinting,” Lynch said. “It kind of motivated me to come out for track.”

Yale also thinks soccer gave Lynch a head start.

“He came in with great cardio training from soccer,” she said. “That really helped him in the 400.”

The 400, Yale said, is definitely Lynch’s strongest race. She expects a good showing from him in the event at state.

“I think he’s got a chance (of winning gold),” she said, adding that unlike the 100 and 200, the 400 requires strategy.

And Lynch typically enters with a good strategy, running the second half of the race faster.

“If he runs a smart race, he’s got a good chance of being right there,” Yale said.

It’s funny, the 400 is not Lynch’s favorite event.

“Not really,” he said when asked. “It’s pretty tough. I hate it, actually. It takes everything out of me.”

Instead, the 4×200 takes top honors as his favorite, Lynch said.

“It’s pretty exciting to be a part of the team, and to lead it off.”

Goodpaster may be better known in Truckee athletics as a national-caliber Nordic skier. In fact, she’ll soon be racing cross-country at University of Colorado alongside older brother Joaquin, who already is on the team there.

But the senior has had her share of success in track, as well. As a sophomore she won gold at state in triple jump.

And coming off Truckee’s Nordic season, she was in the same boat as Peterson and Lynch in regards to endurance.

“She came off Nordic in great shape, too,” Yale said of her four-year veteran.

“She just had her best jump ever in the triple jump at regionals. So, she’s got a good chance at winning state if she jumps her best,” her coach said.

The senior also qualified for state in the long jump, 4×400 relay (with Emilia Skytte, Melanie Lashbrook and Rachel Hines) and 4×800 relay (with Whitney Brixey, Skytte and Lashbrook). The 4×400 team placed fifth and the 4×800 team fourth at regionals.

In addition to her quality performances at meets, Yale said Goodpaster has showed the maturity that a four-year veteran should at practices this year.

“She’s a team person, a team leader,” Yale said. “And she’s got the track experience.”

Goodpaster said she is looking forward to the relay races this weekend, but was hesitant to make any predictions about her strongest event.

“I’m hoping to do really well in the triple jump, but I don’t want to jinx it,” she said.

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