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Track team off and running for spring

Sierra Sun Staff

Maybe only four of the 51 members of this year’s Tahoe-Truckee High School track team are seniors, but it is a determined team. A team ready to begin learning about what it takes to win state championships.

Not to say the seniors aren’t leaders. Returning seniors Christina Harvey and Corrie Cromm each won state titles in 1997; Harvey in the 3,200-meter run, Cromm in high jump.

Head coach Bob Shaffer hopes the younger team members will learn from the team leaders.

“It takes two or three years to get it down,” Shaffer said about younger members learning their respective events. “(Cromm and Harvey) have both been to state. They know how to prepare. I hope other kids will get some leadership from them.”

Harvey is optimistic about her potential for 1998.

“I want to defend my state championship and I’m looking to try to get a better time in the two-mile,” Harvey said.

Harvey’s best two-mile time in 1997 was 11:58. She also said she has worked with the younger runners when they need help.

“I’ve been trying to help. At a meet Saturday, the other two girls running the mile ran with me and I helped them warm up and do sprints,” said Harvey. “I’m trying to be a team leader, but you have to concentrate on your own thing or it will suffer.”

The team only lost a few seniors from 1997, most prominently Ryan Dustin, who placed third at state in the high hurdles.

Last year, the team placed sixth at state.

While track is an individual sport, encompassing everything from the 200 meter to boys’ and girls’ shot put and discus, the team earns points from individual efforts.

Coach Shaffer returns after taking 1997 off. Shaffer pioneered the middle school track program and worked with the high school when there were as few as 16 members and no uniforms were available.

Shaffer calls his experience with track a “long financial road,” but one that has been worthwhile, nonetheless.

Adding to the financial problems has been the bad condition of the TTHS track in the past. Last year, it was so badly damaged from snow and ice, practice on it was delayed.

This year, as snow still blankets the track, Shaffer is cautious to speculate on the current condition.

“It’s probably not in good shape, but we’ll see,” Shaffer said.

The track situation has also hampered the team’s efforts to get in shape early.

Other schools in the state, including those in Reno, are able to hold practice year-round.

Shaffer, who is assisted by coaches Lynn Harvey and Allison Shelling, said his goals for the team are simple.

“The kids did well last year, and this year they should do better,” Shaffer said. “I’d like to see constant improvement from the younger kids so maybe they can win in the future.”

Below is the 1998 TTHS track team schedule:

–April 2; vs. Washoe at Reed High School; times TBA.

–April 4; Manogue invitational at Reed High School; times TBA.

–April 8; Yerington duals at Yerington; times TBA.

–April 10; Reed Rotary Invitational at Sparks; 5 p.m.

–April 11; Reed Rotary Invitational at Sparks; 8 a.m.

–April 22; vs. Smith Valley at Smith Valley; 2:30 p.m.

–April 24; Dixon Invitational at Dixon; 12 p.m.

— May 2; vs. Colfax at Colfax; times TBA.

–May 9; vs. Smith Valley at Smith Valley; times TBA

–May 15; division 1 meet at Elko; times TBA.

–May 16; division 1 meet at Elko; times TBA.

–May 22; state meet at Las Vegas; times TBA.

–May 23; state at Las Vegas; times TBA.

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