SPARKS -- Josh Carter hurled himself right off a plateau with his record-setting performance in the shot put. Javier Vega and George Pincock proved they deserve to be considered among Northern Nevada's top sprinters when they won the 100- and 200-meter dashes respectively to supply major highlights for Carson High School at the Reed/Sparks Rotary Invitational track and field meet on Saturday.
Carter won the shot put with a lifetime best and meet record throw of 57-feet, 1/4-inch, Vega earned a gold medal the 100 with a time of 11.08 seconds while Pincock won the 200 meters in 22.37 and placed second in the 400 at 49.57 to help Carson's boys finish fifth as a team with 72 points.
Meanwhile, Cassia Roth ran to third-place in the girls 1,600 meters and then came back to post an impressive victory in the 3,200 on a warm afternoon at Reed High School. Carson finished with 53 points to tie Spring Creek for fifth-place in the team standings of a team that showcased athletes from more than 30 schools representing Northern Nevada and California.
"We had a pretty good day overall," Carson coach Todd Ackerman said. "The weather was great and the kids had some really good performances."
Early on, Carter had a breakthrough early in the shot put when he got off a 57-foot throw on his first attempt -- a personal best by more than two feet. To show consistency, he also had throws of 56-3 and 56-9, all better than the second-place mark of Wooster's J.J. Milan (54-1).
"I had a good week of practice over Easter vacation," Carter said. "I had a chance to get in the weight room, and just calm down. I had been stuck on 54-55 feet, which was getting me frustrated. I couldn't seem to get past that, then today, I had three throws over that.
"I think I have a better throw in me. Right now, I'd just like to get better every meet," the senior added.
Carter also placed second in the discus with a throw of 150-6. Milan won the gold at 152-11.
Vega became the first Carson sprinter in recent memory to win the boys 100 at the high-powered Reed meet. The senior started strong and hit the finish in 11.08 to hold off Nevada Union's talented tandem of Chris Sheridan (11.14) and Thor Juell (11.22).
"I usually have a pretty good start, but I tend to tighten up at the end. I did that in the trials and my coach told me that if I relax, I'll run faster. I tried to focus on that in the final," Vega said.
The senior also exceeded the goal to run 11.1 he set before the race.
"I ran 10.98 hand-timed earlier in the season, but this was a real confidence boost because this was electronically timed," Vega said. "The only disappointment, I was hoping to run against the Reed guy (Thai Welty), but he cut his head in the pole vault so he couldn't run."
Pincock started his weekend on a promising note in Friday's 200-meter prelims when he ran 21.74, which ranks as one of the fastest times in school history. Saturday afternoon, Pincock ran 49.57 to win his heat of the 400, but had to settle for a silver medal overall when Hug's Alan Thomas ran 49.33 in another heat.
"It was too bad they didn't get to run against each other because George was all by himself with nobody to push him. They will see each other next week and that should be a good meet," Ackerman said, referring to the Carson Invitational this coming Saturday.
By the time Pincock got to the 200 finals, he was hobbled with a blister on his foot, but it didn't show in the end because he came off the turn in the lead and held off Elko senior and University of Nevada football signee Kyle Eklund in a race to the finish.
Roth turned the tables on Reno's Collier Lawrence to win the girls 3,200 in a time of 11:36. Lawrence won the 1,600 earlier and surged to the lead early in the 3,200, however, Roth seized the lead at the midway point and never looked back on her way to a 14-second margin of victory. Taryn Joyce-Mendive finished third in the race with a time of 12:13.
Mackenzie Taylor also placed in the discus (104-9) and Kathryn Rogers placed in the 100-meter hurdles (17.74, personal record) for Carson's girls.
Galena won the boys team championship with 113 points, behind Barrett Young's victories in the 110-meter high hurdles (15.33) and 300 intermediates (39.54) and a 1-2-3 sweep of the high jump by Justin Houk, Nate Meckley and Thomas Myers (all at 6-3). The Grizzlies also finished 1-2 in the 1,600 with Stephen Pottey (4:31) and Dan Carew (4:36), while Geoffrey Casazza's won in the 3,200 (9:45).
Dayton's Shaun Merrill soared to a gold medal in the boys pole vault as he cleared 13-0 to win a duel against Reed's Welty.
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