Carson Invitational draws a crowd |

Carson Invitational draws a crowd

Dave Price

Expect to see quality and quantity today when the fifth annual Carson Kiwanis Invitational track and field meet is held at Carson High School.

Quantity because a total of 1,095 athletes representing 25 schools from around northern Nevada are entered. And quality because there figures to be some highly competitive matchups when the action gets under way at 9 a.m. at the Jim Frank Track and Field Complex.

“It’s big,” Carson coach Todd Ackerman said. “We have a lot of athletes coming and some pretty good ones, too, so I think it will be a pretty good meet, especially if the weather cooperates.”

To get an idea of the size, the meet has 88 boys and 63 girls entered to run the 800 meters. The 1,600 has 86 boys and 69 girls.

The meet will also mark the debut of Carson’s new discus and shot put facilities, located in the southeast corner of the stadium. There could be some excitement, starting with a boys shot put field that includes six entrants who have thrown beyond 50 feet. Reno’s Ryan McKinley and Elko’s Jeff Cavender lead the group at 54-plus.

On the girls side, Carson’s Shaylyn Tom ranks among the leaders in both the shot put and discus. Tom and Andi Villasenor of Douglas have both thrown 35-2, tops in northern Nevada so far this season, while Lowry’s Yuri Casteneda threw 34-10-1/2 at Yerington last week. Reed’s Jennifer Onyeagbako (127-1) and Tom (120-2) rank 1-2 in the discus.

The girls high jump shapes up as a strong event with a field led by Elko’s Kristin Hirst (5-7) and Dayton’s Bridgette Galles (5-5). The girls pole vault features another standout: Janna Moyer of Hug at 11-6.

Among the featured boys’ marks at the Yerington Relays last Saturday was Yerington’s Randy Shumate, who soared 21-10 to win the long jump. Another was Fernley’s Pete Borda, who cleared 13-0 to place second in the pole vault behind Smith Valley’s Jordan Savidge (14-0).

On the track, Carson senior George Pincock ranks among the North’s leaders in the 100, 200 and 400. Pincock clocked 11.14 at the Stanford Invitational two weeks, but he will be challenged by a 100 field that includes Reed’s Josh McGhee (11.14), Reno’s Josh Barrett (11.23) and Justin Morgan (11.24), McQueen’s Eddie Cortez (11.24) and Hug’s Isaac Porter (11.24). The best matchup may well a three-way battle in the 400 between Hug’s Alan Thomas (49.03), Pincock (50.14) and Daniel Craig (50.30). Thomas has also run 1:55.30 in the 800.

The girls 400 looks like another strong race with a field led by Galena’s Hannah Balkenbush (59.78) and Wooster’s Paige Olivetti (59.84). Carson’s Terah Laack and Sinead McSweeney are looking to challenge the leaders.

Many of the region’s top distance runners are in Southern California this weekend to run in the high-powered Arcadia Invitational. Carson’s Shanna Sparks (5:11.95 in the 1,600, 11:17 in the 3,200) opted to stay at home, but her status for today is questionable due to a bout with illness this week.