CARSON CITY — The break didn’t go with Nathan Heck.
A broken pole thwarted the Fallon junior’s chance at a state title in the pole vault on Friday at the Division I-A state track meet at Carson High School.
Heck, Elko’s Brendan Shelly and Caleb Witsken of Moapa Valley all tied for first at 14 feet, 6 inches, so the trio went to a jump off.
Heck and Shelley cleared 14-9, while Witsken skipped 14-9 and missed at 15, and was eliminated. On Heck’s first shot at 15, his pole snapped in three places leaving Shelley the chance to hit the mark. He did and won the state championship in dramatic fashion.
“He had a great take off and his pole broke into three pieces,” Fallon coach Steve Heck said. “He gets another jump at it and almost makes it. It was impressive he got back on his pole.”
As for the Fallon boys team, the Greenwave finished sixth overall with 57 points behind state champ Dayton (100), Faith Lutheran (84), Desert Pines (79), Sunrise Mountain (73) and Elko (64).
The Lady Wave, meanwhile, finished ninth (29) as Faith Lutheran took the title with 134 followed by Truckee (87), Spring Creek (66), Sunrise Mountain (59) and Pahrump Valley (42).
“We had some good things happen,” Steve Heck said. “The 4x200 team snuck into a medal spot and missed the school record by six one-hundreths of a second. Overall, we performed how we thought.”
Fallon boys sprinter Trent Tarner earned a medal in a competitive field in the 100-meter race. He clocked in at 11.35 seconds, behind Eric Wilkes of Desert Pines who set a I-A record with a time of 10.92. Tarner also placed fifth in 200 (22.83), while teammates Jake Ernst (23.55) and Cameron Kissick (23.94) placed seventh and eighth, respectively, in 200. Ernst added a seventh-place finish in the 100 (11.48).
Heck, meanwhile, returned to the track and placed sixth in the 110 hurdles (15.82), but was scratched from the 300 hurdles. He missed the 300 because the jump-off for the pole vault was taking place and would have zapped his strength for the pole vault, Steve Heck said.
“We were in the middle of this (pole vault) when this happens,” Steve Heck said. “What do you do? You’re in the middle of a jump-off for first place. If he runs the 300 there’s no way he can come back and jump.”
The quartet of relay teams all placed sixth or higher led by the 4x200 team of Tarner, Kissick, Heck and Charles Fulks, who placed fourth (1:31.93).
The 4x800 team of Tristen Thomson, Josh Moulton, Sean Crodes and Nathan Schank took fifth (3:34.51), while the 4x100 (Tarner, Kissick, Cole Service and Fulks) and the 4x400 (Kissick, Nathan Schank, Jordan Schultz and Fulks) each placed sixth (44.63 and 3:34.51, respectively).
As for Thomson, he added a sixth-place finish in the 800 (2:00.69) and was eighth in 1,600 (4:44.21).
“He ran great at state,” Steve Heck said. “He ran another 2-flat in 800. This is two weeks in a row and ran his PR (person record) again. It was a fast field and he was hanging in there.”
Beau Marshall, meanwhile, took third in triple jump (43-4) and eighth in long jump (19-2.75). Mark Rubalcaba of Faith Lutheran set I-A state records in the long (24-0.75) and triple jumps (49-4.75). Aaron Bitter placed seventh in the triple jump (38-9.25), while Ernst scratched on all six attempts.
Freshman T.J. Mauga was fifth in discus (139-6).
“Beau did well in the triple jump,” Heck said. “He and Tarner finished their careers with medals.”
As for the Lady Wave, Patricia Leggett, Elena Murray and Emily Coleman were the only individual qualifiers.
In a dramatic 100 hurdles, Murray (16.01) was nipped near the finish line and placed fourth (16.01). Spring Creek’s Kellie Kinsman (15.29) slipped past Brittany Neal (15.36) of Sunrise Mountain for the win, while South Tahoe’s Jennifer Burks took third (15.71).
“It was a tight race and Elena got a slow start,” Fallon girls coach Paul Orong said. “I know she was a little disappointed. Sometimes races fall that way. She ends her career as a two-time state champion, and that’s a good thing.”
Murray, though, rebounded and took third in the triple jump (34-6.25) and was sixth in the long jump (15-1.25).
Leggett, meanwhile, took second in the triple jump (34-11.5), fifth in long jump (15-10) and was eighth in 200 (27.41). Coleman placed eighth in shot put (30-8.25).
The 4x200 relay team of Allison Shirley, Leann Mounce, Murray and Leggett also placed eighth (1:49.35).
“We did OK,” Orong said. “We tried our best. Finishing ninth at state with only so many girls is really good.”