Boys track short of title, girls 4th |

Boys track short of title, girls 4th

Thomas Ranson
Fallon's Jake Ernst lands in the pit during the long jump at the Northern Division I-A regional track meet last week.
Tony Erquiaga / Humboldt Sun | LVN

It was a battle to take home the regional crown as the regional track meet didn’t disappoint.

The Greenwave fell short of defending their title and placed third in the boys division, while the Lady Wave took fourth at the Division I-A Northern Regional in Winnemucca last weekend.

The boys qualified eight individuals and all four relay teams, while the girls produced three individual qualifiers and one relay team to this week’s state championships at Carson High School. The state meet begins at 3 p.m. Friday and at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Less than five points separated the top three teams in the boys field with Elko winning the regional meet with 146.5 points, followed by Dayton with 144 and Fallon at 143. Spring Creek (73.5) and Fernley (52.5) rounded out the top five. The girls division had more separation at top with Truckee winning the crown with 154.5 points followed by Spring Creek (134), Elko (106.5) and Fallon (74).

Closing the gap with Elko and Dayton, along with qualifying as many as possible to state, was the biggest obstacle to overcome for the Greenwave boys track team. Fallon boys coach Steve Heck figured Elko had a 17-point advantage over his team going into the regional and for Fallon to narrow that down to 4.5 felt rewarding. But Elko’s depth and Dayton’s dominance in the throwing events were just enough to get by the Greenwave.

“We actually really made up a lot of ground on Elko, but they just had too much depth in the end for us to overcome,” Heck said. “Dayton was almost perfect on the day. My hat is off to them, they never faltered anywhere in their lineup.”

Trent Tarner won two events, Jake Ernst and Nathan Heck each qualified in three, Tristan Thomson placed in both long-distance running divisions and Beau Marshall qualified in the long and triple jumps to pace the Greenwave. Cameron Kissick also qualified in the 200.

Tarner won the 100-meter dash in 11.30 seconds after qualifying with a 11.49 in the preliminary heats. Tarner also improved in the 200 after taking second in the preliminary with a 23.63 to win the event with a 23.18.

Ernst wasn’t too far behind in both events, taking third in the 100 in 11.67 and third in the 200 in 24.14. Ernst also took third in the triple jump with a mark of 40 feet, 10 inches.

“I was very impressed with both boys in the sprints,” Steve Heck said. “It is tough to get first in both the 100 and 200. Trent was our only double event winner of the day and is really peaking at the right time.”

Heck tied the school record in pole vault to win the division by 6 inches. The junior vaulted to 15 feet and set a personal best after placing in the top three in both hurdle events. Heck took second in the 300 hurdles in 40.70 and third in the 110 hurdles in 16.69.

“He has been looking great at practice and we knew he had at least a 15 foot vault in him,” coach Heck said. “He definitely has the capability to go even higher this week. I know he would like to have his name on the record board by himself.”

Marshall won the triple jump by almost 11 inches as he leaped 43 feet, 10.75 inches and took third in the long jump at 20-2. Aaron Bitter added the eighth state bid as he took fourth in the triple jump at 40-5, giving Fallon three of the four state qualifiers in the event.

“We were hoping for three but it is a tough thing to do so I am really stoked,” Heck said about getting three qualifiers. “Beau is really strong right now and I think he will give the South a real run for their money.”

Thomson surprised his coaches when he finished with two top-four finishes.

Thomson took third in the 800 with a 2:00.09 effort but the bonus came in the 1,600 when he snuck into the top of the field by taking third with a run of 4:44.79.

“Tristen was an animal on Saturday. He ran a great race in the 800 taking more than 4 seconds off his best time to qualify,” coach Heck said. “In the 1,600, he was a total long shot. Coach (Trevin) Goodrick was confident in his chances and he was definitely right. He is not only running well right now but also running very smart. Getting him in the 1,600 was a bonus on the day and points we really had not counted on.”

T.J. Mauga rounded out the individual efforts with a fourth-place finish in the discus with a throw of 140-10.

“He was not in the top four going into his very last throw of the finals,” Heck said of Mauga. “He launched a big one and bumped himself into a trip to state by just barely over a foot. It really shows the competitive nature of the young man, and is quite a feat for a freshman.”

Justin Hatfield barely missed the cut in shot put as Dayton placed three. Hatfield finished with a 45-4.25, nearly a foot behind fourth place.

“Dayton is really tough in the throws. We knew they had a good shot to get three kids qualified in the shot put,” Heck said.

Although the relay teams didn’t produce a champion, Fallon was within a second of winning the 4×100 and two seconds of the 4×200.

“We had a solid day in the relays, the kids ran very well,” Heck said. “Relay events are so unpredictable, just the smallest mistake by a team can change everything. Our goal was to get all four teams to state, which is what we did.”

The 4×100 team took second with a mark of 44.42 as Fernley won the event in 44 seconds. The 4×200 team was third in 1:32.84 as Dayton took first in 1:31.47. Fallon’s 4×400 team took third as well, finishing in 3:32.04 after Dayton won in 3:26.09. The 4×800 team took fourth in 8:41.03 as Spring Creek won in 8:25.90.

Cameron Kissick, Charles Fulks and Tarner competed on the 4×100 team, while Cole Service and Nathan Heck ran on the 4×100 and 4×200, respectively. Nathan Schank, Jordan Schultz, Fulks and Kissick helped the 4×400 team qualify, while Sean Cordes, Josh Moulton, Thomson and Nathan Schank ran on the 4×800 team.

With only the top four qualifying for state, the Lady Wave will send three individuals and one relay team.

“That’s about what we expected. We were hoping for another surprise or two,” Fallon girls coach Paul Orong said. “That’s what we thought for state. I was hoping for another relay or a thrower, though.”

Senior Elena Murray and sophomore Patricia Leggett were a dynamic 1-2 punch on the track and in the pits.

Murray won the 110 hurdles and triple jump and placed fourth in the long jump, while Leggett won the long jump and took fourth in the 200-meter dash.

Murray won the 100 hurdles after taking second during the preliminary heats. She improved her time by almost a full second to win the event with a time of 15.74. Murray’s the defending state champ in both the 100 hurdles and triple jump.

Leggett took fourth in the 200 at 26.99, only .88 behind the champ, Truckee’s Quinn Parker, while senior Emily Coleman finished fourth in the shot put with a throw of 33-3.5. Spring Creek’s Dejalynn Saili won the event with a 34-4.5 mark.

“(Coleman) has always had the talent to do it,” Orong said. “She qualified on her last throw and got in by half an inch. I think she knew (she qualified) when she threw it.”

The 4×200 relay team of senior Allison Shirley, junior LeAnn Mounce, Murray and Leggett finished fourth at 1:50.56 as Spring Creek won the event in 1:46.09.