Ten Tigers advance to state meet
Douglas High’s Sophia Bottino, Kyla Hinnant, Megan Veil and Madison Smalley gave a peak performance on Saturday when they combined to break their own school record and win the girls 4×200 relay at the Northern 4A Region Track and Field Championships in Carson City.
Hannah Carr and Kindra Ruckman also captured gold medals in the high jump and discus respectively to help the Douglas girls finish third as a team on an overcast and windy day at Carson High’s Jim Frank Track and Field Complex.
Ten Tigers, including two relay teams, qualified for a return trip to Carson to compete at the NIAA State Championships on Friday and Saturday. The top three finishers in each event from three region meets advance to the 4A state finals. Athletes from each of Nevada’s 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A divisions will compete both days.
The Tigers’ 4×200 relay quartet prevailed in a blanket finish with a 1:44.50 clocking, three-hundredths of a second ahead of Damonte Ranch (1:44.53), while Galena took third (1:44.79) and McQueen fourth (1:44.83). Bottino, Hinnant, Veil and Smalley lowered the school record of 1:45.20 they set one week before at the Sierra League Championships.
Douglas finished third in the team standings with 78 points, behind only McQueen (162.5) and Reed (118).
Ruckman, a senior, secured her second state berth in as many years when she unleashed a throw of 113-0 to win the discus by less than 2 feet ahead of McQueen’s Samantha Valele (111-7). Ruckman placed third at last year’s region meet with a personal record throw of 119-2.
Carr took first-place in the high jump, as the junior cleared 5-2 to finish one bar higher than Reno’s Lauren Gunter (5-1).
Smalley, a sophomore, ran 1:02.09 to place second in a 400 race in which runners were challenged by a strong headwind on the backstretch.
Serena Tomassi, Maya Smith, Bottino and Smalley also advanced in the 4×400 as they ran 4:05.30 to place third. The time was five seconds faster than their previous season best set at the league meet one week before.
Sophomore Meleeah McKown placed third in the shot put with a throw of 37-6¼ that fell just one-half inch short of her lifetime best. Carson senior Alyssa Rowe unloaded a personal record 38-7¼ on her first throw to move out front to stay on her way to the gold medal. McKown also placed fourth in the discus (101-7), just 10 inches away from a state berth.
Kayla Provost, a junior, placed fourth in the long jump (16-5¼) and set a personal record to place eighth in the triple jump (32-6½).
Smith placed fourth in the 800 meters with a season best 2:23.93, six-tenths away from a state berth behind Reno’s Mikayla Shults, who has signed to run for the Nevada Wolf Pack. Carson’s Abigail Pradere ran 2:17.36 to edge Bishop Manogue’s Rosie Linkus (2:17.55) for first-place.
Veil placed sixth in the 300-meter low hurdles (48.88) and Addison Gregory ran a personal best 12:20.58 to place eighth in the 3,200. Smith placed ninth in the 1,600 (5:39.18).
The team of Bottino, Provost, Veil and Hinnant also placed fifth in the 4×100 relay (53.42).
Karla Sanchez and Ruckman both logged personal bests in the shot put as they placed seventh and eighth with respective marks of 32-5¼ and 31-11.
Luke Gansberg was the lone Douglas boy to qualify for state with his gritty third-place effort in the 400. The junior cut through a strong wind from the north on the backstretch to post a 53.15 clocking.
Nathan Van Wagenen, another junior, cleared a lifetime best 5-10 to place sixth in the high jump.
Douglas placed fifth in the 4×100 relay as Race Coman, Kody Gray, Andrew Hawn and Gansberg combined to run 45.02.
The 4×200 team of Coman, Brendyn Hoag, Hawn and Gansberg placed sixth (1:34.28).
Douglas was ninth in the 4×800 with Soma Baligad, Matthew Kruse, Cody Jackson and Celime Garcia (8:38 59).
The Tigers finished 11th in the boys team standings with 16 points. Reed ran away with the team title by a 159-101 margin over Reno.