Tigers advance to region finals
Five individual first-place performances coupled with team championship honors in the girls division led a parade of highlights for the Douglas High track and field team Saturday at the Sierra League Championships in Sparks.
Kindra Ruckman and Meleeah Mckown emerged as winners in the discus and shot put respectively as the Tigers scored 43 points in the throws to build an early lead on their way to winning the girls team title at Reed High School. Hannah Carr won the high jump and Kayla Provost won the long jump, both with personal record performances, and on the boys side, Luke Gansberg dashed to first-place in the 400 meters during a meet that showcased Sierra and High Desert league athletes in separate competitions at the same facility.
The top two finishers from each league event automatically advanced, along with provisional qualifiers, to the Northern 4A Championships this Saturday in Carson City.
From a team standpoint, Douglas outdistanced Damonte Ranch, 135-109, to capture the Sierra girls title. The Tigers’ boys finished fifth with 51 points.
Yet another highlight for the Tigers was a 4×200 relay school record as the quartet of Sophia Bottino, Kyla Hinnant, Megan Veil and Madison Smalley blazed to a 1:45.22 clocking for second-place in the race, less than one-half second behind Damonte Ranch (1:44.80). The Tigers’ time now ranks as sixth best in the state, according to the Athletic.net website. The previous school record of 1:47.66 was set at the 2014 region championships.
The Tigers also took first-place in the 4×100 as Serena Tomassi, Provost, Bottino and Hinnant combined to run 51.85.
Carr, a 5-foot-11 junior competing in just her first track and field season, won the high jump with a lifetime best height of 5-4. Carr improved by four inches and currently shares the third-best mark statewide, according to the Athletic.net website.
Provost won the long jump with a lifetime best mark of 16-6¾, which put her six inches ahead of Galena’s Reilly Moss.
The Tigers scored a 1-2-3 sweep (24 points) in the discus with Ruckman (113-10), Karla Sanchez (103-5) and Mckown (103-0). Ruckman’s throw was the best of the day overall out of both leagues.
Mckown, a sophomore, came from behind to win the shot put at 37-6¾, a personal record by nearly three feet. Carson senior Alyssa Rowe took the lead late in the competition with a personal best throw of 35-8, however, Mckown answered on her next attempt to take the lead for good.
Ruckman also placed fourth (31-8¾) and Sanchez fifth 30-10¾ in the shot put as both advanced to the finals.
Smalley advanced in the 400 meters with her second-place dash of 1:00.54, a season-best. The sophomore also placed third in the 200 (27.37).
Megan Veil advanced in the 300-meter low hurdles with her 47.17 clocking for second-place, just a fraction behind Wooster’s Mackenna Miller (47.07). Veil’s time was the fourth fastest overall during the day (McQueen senior Destiny Tolliver led all qualifiers with her state-best 45.02).
Maya Smith advanced in the 1,600 with her personal record time of 5:25.35 that was good for fourth-place, plus the junior placed fifth in the 800 with a season-best time (2:26.39).
Tomassi, Smith, Bottino and Smalley placed third in a closely contested 4×400 relay in a time of 4:10.77, just .24 behind Carson in second-place and a full second behind Bishop Manogue in first-place.
Provost also advanced in the high jump with her second-place clearance of 4-10 and third-place in the triple jump (32-4, personal best). Madilynne Cox placed fifth (15-6½) in the long jump.
Addison Gregory placed sixth in the 3,200 (12:38.93) to advance to the finals. The sophomore missed the cut with her sixth-place finish in the 1,600 (5:49.28).
Macey Weston also placed fourth in the 400 with her 1:05.06 clocking, but missed the cut.
Gansberg dashed to first-place in the 400 meters with a personal record time of 52.84. The junior also placed third in the 200 (23.47) to qualify for the finals and helped Douglas move on in the 4×200 as he combined with Race Coman, Brendyn Hoag and Andrew Hawn to place second (1:34.33).
Douglas also advanced in the 4×100 relay with its fourth-place finish (45.55) from Coman, Andrew Hawn, Ryan McNalley and Kody Gray.
The Tigers placed fourth in the 4×800 relay as Ricardo Diaz, Soma Baligad, Cody Jackson and Kruse ran 8:35.18 to qualify for the finals.
Nathan Van Wagenen placed fourth in the high jump with a personal best 5-8.
Other Tigers turned in strong performances even though they didn’t make the region finals cut.
Coman placed fourth in the 200 (23.83) and sixth in the 100 (11.71). Alexander Hawn also clocked a personal best of 53.66 to place fourth in the 400 while Andrew Hawn placed fifth in the 100 (11.62).
Alexander Hawn, Celime Garcia, William Marriott and Gansberg placed fifth in the 4×400 (3:41.54).
Garcia shaved a full second off his personal best in the 800 with a 2:09.71 effort to place ninth, while sophomore teammate Matthew Kruse finished a step behind with a personal best 2:10.72.
Hoag missed the qualifying cut by one-quarter inch as he placed sixth in the long jump (19-6) and freshman Bijan Zahedi eighth (19-1, personal best). Garret Lenker placed seventh in the triple jump with his personal best 38-2.
Anthony Biasotti also placed seventh in the discus with a lifetime best 120-7.