Tracksters ready for finale
It is the final tune-up before the rubber meets the road.
The Fallon track teams make the short trip across the Lahontan Valley for Saturday’s Fernley Invitational at 9 a.m. and one last chance for numerous athletes to make the cut for the Northern Division I-A regional meet next weekend in Winnemucca.
The Greenwave boys team has been near or at the top of just about every meet this season. The Lady Wave, meanwhile, has been building but do lean heavily on four athletes.
“We want to come through healthy,” Fallon girls coach Paul Orong said. “We also want to come out with a little momentum going into regionals. It is also some of the girls last chance to get a good mark.”
One of those athletes, Patricia Leggett, though, suffered a sprained ankle last week at Douglas and will not compete in Fernley. Leggett has emerged as one of the Lady Wave’s best and most versatile athletes and is a legitimate threat in numerous events to win state.
Although Leggett is out, girls coach Paul Orong said there are plenty of spots still up for grabs. The Fernley meet will be the first all season Fallon will face every Northern DI-A school at the same meet.
“She just sprained her ankle,” Orong said. “She will be ready for regionals. It will help her because she will be well rested.”
In addition, the meet is a pseudo regional meet, which allows for those fringe athletes to make the regional squad.
Each team is only allowed four entries to the regional, so those Fallon athletes battling for the No. 4 spot in their event must take advantage of Saturday’s opportunity.
A pair of discus throwers — Misaki Clare and Emily Mulac — are within 6 inches of each other, which will make for a competitive event between teammates.
Some events, Orong said, will consist of the Lady Wave’s top athletes.
For example, the 4×800 relay, which has come on recently and is currently ranked No. 5 in the North, will feature its full lineup of Diana Martinez, Angelita Fermaint, Jordyn Rogers and Amanda Pursley.
One athlete not in danger of missing the cut is Elena Murray. Another versatile athlete, Murray is one of the state’s best jumpers and hurdlers, and also runs in the sprints when called upon.
Fallon’s deepest events, though, are in the throws as Emily Coleman, Leann Stands and Savannah Lamb give the Lady Wave a trio of solid throwers in the shot put and discus.
The trio are ranked in the top 7 in the DI-A in the discus, while Stands and Coleman are in the top 7 of the shot put.
“I’m shooting for all three of them to make it to state,” Orong said. “It’s the first time in awhile we are going in strong in the throws.”
Orong said Saturday’s meet will give the threesome a good look at the competition and what will be needed to advance to the state meet.
The boys, meanwhile, have a deep squad led by Nathan Heck in the hurdles and pole vault. Sprinters Trent Tarner and Jake Ernst have steadily improved in the 100- and 200-meters.
Beau Marshall gives the Wave a solid threat in the triple and long jumps, while Tristen Thomson and Nathan Schank provide depth and talent in the 800 and 1,600.
Yet another added bonus is Jordan Schultz, who gives Fallon a solid No. 2 option in the pole vault and may slip into the state field in one of the hurdle events.
Like the girls, the boys are also deep in the throws with Justin Hatifled in the shot put and discus, while T.J. Mauga has been the best thrower in the discus and provides a solid No. 2 in the shot put.