Wolverine athletes reach new heights at state meet; Truckee’s Crom, Harvey win individual AAA titles
Bolstered by first-place performances by high jumper Corrie Crom and distance runner Christina Harvey, the Tahoe-Truckee girls’ varsity track team finished in sixth place at the NIAA/U.S. Bank AAA state track and field championships Saturday at Reed High School. Moapa Valley won the state title with 111 points, while Truckee finished with 50 points.
“With only 10 girls competing in the meet, I think it’s remarkable we scored that many points,” said Wolverine coach Doug Roberts. “In some races, we could’ve run faster and the weather wasn’t the best, but the team came together and we peaked at the right time.”
The Truckee boys’ team scored 17 points to place 16th. Moapa Valley won the boys’ title with 122 points.
Points early on Friday
The meet began well for the Wolverines Friday night, as Truckee was able to score points in three of its stronger events, the 3,200-meter run, 1,600-meter relay and 300-meter hurdles.
After finishing second at the state meet at 3,200 meters last year, Harvey entered this year’s race as the fastest qualifier in the state with a time of 12:15 that she recorded last week in the Division I championships.
“I really wanted to try and win this race – I knew I was capable if I ran my best,” Harvey said.
In order for Harvey to win the race, she knew she had to break away from Spring Creek’s Dana Garcia before the race came down to a final sprint.
“If it came down to the last 100 or 200 meters, she’d probably beat me,” Harvey said.
Neither Harvey or Garcia wanted to lead for the opening mile, but a reluctant Harvey went to the head of the pack when no one else was willing to set an early pace. With the rest of the pack broken after six laps, the race became a two-person duel between Harvey and Garcia.
With 600 meters to go, Harvey saw her chance to move away from Garcia.
“I came to a spot on the track where I could see that her shadow had dropped off my shoulder,” Harvey said. “I thought I had the chance to run away and then I ran the fastest 500 meters of my life.”
Harvey ran the last of her eight laps in 80 seconds, leaving Garcia 19 seconds behind. Her finishing time of 12:08 was her fastest of the season.
Truckee also scored in the 4×400 relay as the team of Jackie Robinson, Becca Shook, Sarah Murray and Jenna Funston placed fourth with the time of 4:15. Robinson added a sixth place finish in the low hurdles with the time of 52.18.
Also on Friday, Truckee received its best individual result in boys’ competition as Ryan Dustin took third in the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 15.81.
Saturday highs and lows
Entering Saturday’s high jump competition, Crom was expected to score points for the Wolverines as she entered the meet ranked third in the state. But after passing at the opening height of 4’6″ and recording two misses at 4’8″, it appeared the sophomore might “no height” and fail to score.
After making some adjustments, however, Crom cleared 4’8″ and then went on to easily clear 4’10” and 5′. When her competitors failed to clear 5′, Crom was left standing as the state champion.
“At my early heights, my marks were wrong and didn’t have much speed,” Crom said. “I wasn’t really expecting to win; Tracy Argo from Battle Mountain was the favorite.”
In the girls’ 4×800-meter relay, Truckee, comprised of Robinson, Shook, Murray and Harvey, tried but couldn’t chase down Spring Creek, finishing the race in second place with a 10:27 clocking. Spring Creek won with the time of 10:09.
“The girls ran well, but if we could’ve ran as fast as last year, we would’ve won the race,” Roberts said, thinking back to the 10:06 that the Wolverines clocked in 1996.
Following his third on the high hurdles Friday, Dustin had high hopes for the 300-meter low hurdles Saturday. But some fast competition and allergies left Dustin in a distant seventh place in 45.6.
“I know I’m tired from the high hurdles,” Dustin said. “I should have at least medaled today, but I can’t even breathe because of allergies.”
Most of the Wolverine boys’ points on Saturday came in the relay events, as the 4×200-meter team finished fifth (1:35.91), the 4×400 finished fifth (3:35.88) and the 4×100 finished eighth (45.96). The participants on the Wolverine relays were Nick Candler, Juan Aguilar, Ben Loomis, Matt Meek, Jarome Pond and Andrew Cross.
“The 4×400 was our best relay of the day,” Roberts said. “We missed out on third by only one-tenth of a second.”
The Wolverine girls 4×100 meter relay, which included Quincy Young and Jill Marchi, finished in seventh (53.6) and the 4×200 team of Shook, Duroure, Robinson and Murray finished in fifth to add more points to the Wolverine totals.
Other points Saturday came from Sara Brown and Jill Marchi in the 100-meter hurdles and Harvey in the 1,600-meter run.
After the final team scores had been tallied, Roberts said he was pleased by the performance of his young team which included no seniors.
“In the end, we came in about what place I thought we would come in,” Roberts said. “All of the people we took to state are good, quality athletes who turned in good performances.”
State academic team
Several Wolverine track athletes were named to the state all-academic track team by maintaining a 4.0 GPA while participating in track this season. The athletes from Truckee included: Shannon Baker-Branstetter, Kim Collins, Harvey, Nicky Knopf, Kirsten Mickelson, Ashley Rosenow, Pond and David Wells.
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North Tahoe senior Etienne Bordes had a standout day on the track in Colfax, capturing a pair of first-place finishes as athletes from nine other schools competed at Friday’s invitational.