SPRING PREVIEW: Track team in the running for a solid year
The Wolverine track team is moving closer to the 2001 spring season’s debut meet at Yerington on Wednesday, March 14.
For the last two weeks, the young group of runners, hurdlers, high jumpers and sprinters have packed into the gym and halls of TTHS to begin conditioning for the season while remaining sheltered from the elements.
This week, however, with less than seven days remaining before the first gun is fired, the team braved the cold and wet conditions for a true outside practice. Over 40 athletes comprise this year’s squad, and are looking to recapture state titles won last year in the 100 meter hurdles and the 4X400 relay.
“We have a good chance of repeating wins in the events won in 2000, and are hoping to pick up a few more along the way,” Head Coach Rich Silver asserted.
Last year’s Coach Darrel Smith handed off the reigns to Silver, leaving last year’s middle distance coach with the task of running the entire program. Gary Costello and Chris Birchard, sprint coach will be assisting Silver with the field events and Merri McKee and TTHS cross-country coach Mark Brady will be helping the distance runners achieve their goals.
Truckee placed fifth out of 18 schools at the 2000 NIAA US Bank State Track and Field Championships, and have the talent to repeat this accomplishment. Kristine Bena, gold medalist in the 100 meter hurdles and silver medalist in the 100 meter, will be on the track again for the Wolverines, looking to take home two and possibly more state titles this season.
The top-placing team of Elias Silver, Casey Nelson and Evan Birchard in the 4X400 meter relay will be joined by Danny Shannon to defend their title for the third straight year. High jumper Kyle Shane will also be looking to place high in his event after a solid freshman year last season.
In addition to accomplished veterans, the team will enjoy the membership of new freshmen like Jacqueline Diaz, who could be the secret weapon the girls’ 4X400 meter relay team has been needing. Above all, Silver and his team are looking to have a good time, work hard and set as many personal records as possible.
“That is what makes us successful, the kids keep getting stronger and faster every race,” Silver said.
Traditionally strong and deep teams like Rite of Passage and Spring Creek will most assuredly be contenders this season as ROP continues to boast speedy sprinters and the Spartans dominate in the middle distances.
The first season invitational on March 24 at Fallon will be the initial gauge of league position and how well the Wolverines will fare against the competition.
In the meantime, they are just happy to have a few days of respite from the snow so the buried track can begin to serve them again.
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As seniors from North Tahoe collected diplomas this week, a group of Lakers continued another local tradition — capturing first place at the boys’ regional golf championship.