Douglas seniors STATE-BOUND
Douglas High seniors Logan Kyle, Sean Wolfkiel, John Munyan and Cade Pankey were not concerned whether they won or lost this past weekend at the Northern 4A Track and Field Championships in Carson City.
Just for the record, Kyle captured first-place in the pole vault at 14-3 and Wolfkiel placed second with a personal record 44-2 in the triple jump on Friday. Then on Saturday, Munyan ran to second-place with a 4:21.26 in the 1,600 meters and Pankey took third in the long jump at 21-7¾ during the final day of the region meet at Carson High’s Jim Frank Track and Field Complex.
More important, though, the four Tigers now have an opportunity to extend their season and compete at the state meet this weekend at Foothill High School in Henderson. The top three finishers in each event qualified to advance.
Kyle won his gold medal in an event that saw five competitors still jumping at 14 feet. Kyle clinched first-place when he cleared his second attempt at 14-0 and then put icing on the cake with a successful jump on his first attempt at 14-3.
“It’s nice to have one more week,” said Kyle, who plans to attend Lewis & Clark University next year. “The placing was unimportant. I just wanted to qualify to jump next week. This has all been a build-up to state.”
That might be an understatement for Kyle. Last year he worked to achieve his goal of jumping 14 feet — he made 13-6 six times — but placed fourth in the region finals and missed qualifying for state by one position. Well, he reached 14 feet for the first time to open this season in March and has continued to move onward and upward, according to volunteer coach Jason Kyle.
“This is something he’s been striving for the last four years … it’s been a long road getting here,” Jason Kyle said of his son. “He’s put in the work in practice, now it’s a matter of getting his consistency down. I think he’s got a lot more left in him.”
Wolfkiel placed second in the boys triple jump at 44-2, a lifetime best mark by nearly three feet and only four inches off the school record set by Johnny Pollack in 2010. Wolfkiel has shown consistent progress since surpassing 40 feet for the first time on April 11 during a conference meet in Minden.
“Sean had a beautiful day,” Douglas head coach Kim Tretton said, adding that Wolfkiel was in the 43- and 44-foot range on each of his attempts. “He was ready for this. We knew once he got on the board everything would come together.”
Bishop Manogue sophomore Dontell Jackson won the gold medal at 44-8¼. Wolfkiel was simply happy to reach 44 feet and challenge for the school record, and of course, to qualify for the trip to state.
“I wasn’t expecting that,” Wolfkiel said. “I don’t know where it (44 feet) came from. I just hit the board well, my (triple jump) phases were all decent and I got good pop off the board.”
And Pankey, who had placed eighth in the region triple jump the last two years, came through in the clutch when he went 21-7¾ to move into second-place in the next-to-last round. Moments later, Damonte Ranch senior Robert Garlock moved into second with his 22-0¼. Jackson tied for third-place, however, he lost out to Pankey on the tie-breaker criteria of next best jump (Pankey’s was a 21-4).
“Cade was over 21 feet on every jump, so his consistency paid off,” Tretton said. “I’m so happy for Cade. He has worked four years for this,”
Spanish Springs senior Damani Craig won the gold medal with a personal best mark of 22-2¾.
Pankey surpassed 21 feet for the third straight week and was one-quarter inch shy of his personal record. He is also well within reach of the school record 22-1¾ set by Jon Parry in 1993.
Pankey and Wolfkiel have been versatile athletes for the Tigers this season, running in various relays in addition to the jumps. Tretton went on to add that work with assistant coaches Kate Berston and Nick Lonnegren has paid dividends.
“Kate and Nick have been working with the kids on their speed training and it’s made a big difference,” Tretton said. “They’re getting a lot better speed on the runway.”
It marked the third personal best in as many weeks for Wolfkiel, who went 40-8½ at the Big George Invitational, 41-4½ at the Sierra League meet and 44-2 on Friday.
“I’m proud of them both,” Tretton said. “They’re model kids, too.”
FAST FOUR LAPS
Munyan, the region 1,600 runner-up and state champion last year, was part of an exciting three-way race on Saturday that remained in doubt right to the finish. McQueen’s Henry Weisberg won in 4:21.14 and Zachary Stallings took third in 4:22.48.
“It was a good race,” Munyan said. “I almost ran my p.r. … now I want to work hard this next week and see what happens. The plan is to peak at state.”
Weisberg and Stallings set the early pace and passed 800 meters in 2:12. Munyan moved up to challenge as the leaders came by 1,200 meters in 3:19, then the smooth-striding Tiger put on a big move to start the bell lap and opened up a 10-meter lead over Weisberg on the backstretch. The two McQueen runners began their charge with 200 meters to go and Weisberg surged from the outside into the lead over the final 25 meters.
Interestingly enough, it was the fourth race within a span of 15 hours for both McQueen runners. Weisberg, who has signed to run for the University of Arizona, placed third in the 800 (1:56.60) and second in the 3,200 (9:46.56) on Friday night, then ran a 1:58 leg to help McQueen win the 4×800 relay just one hour before the 1,600 race. Stallings, who is headed to Washington State University, won the 800 (meet record 1:53.18), helped the Lancers place third in the 4×400 relay on Friday and also ran in the 4×800 relay.
“We’ve been training them all season to run four races, and the thing that made this so special, every one of those races was a battle,” McQueen head coach Ed Parise pointed out.
“That 4×800 and 1,600 is one of the hardest doubles and they were both amazing,” assistant coach Dee Villarreal added of Weisberg and Stallings. “Henry is very composed and he stayed with the race plan. He has the strength of a distance runner and this year he has developed his kick … and he’s always ready for a challenge.”
Munyan’s time is his fastest at altitude and came close to the 4:20.66 mile he ran in April at the Arcadia Invitational in Southern California.
OTHER DOUGLAS results
Dawson Coman sped to fourth-place in the 100-meter dash (11.32) then came back an hour later to run a solid leadoff leg in the 4×100 relay that put Douglas in contention for a top-three finish (the Tigers later missed a handoff that knocked them out of the race). Coman also placed sixth in the 200 (23.46) on Saturday.
Coman, Luke Gansberg, Pankey and Wolfkiel placed fifth in the 4×200 on Saturday with a season-best time of 1:32.12 in a race that saw less than one second separate the third- through seventh-place finishers.
Pankey placed fifth in the triple jump with a personal best 42-8½ and Samuel Brees placed sixth in the pole vault (13-0). Wolfkiel took seventh in the long jump (19-10¼) and Gansberg placed ninth in the 400 (54.90).
Reed won seven of the 18 events to defend its team championship by a 159-113 score over Damonte Ranch. Douglas finished sixth with 53 points.