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Tigers make strides in Fallon

by Chuck Smock

The Douglas boys finished eighth out of 23 teams and the DHS girls were 14th among 20 teams at the Elks Invitational in Fallon on Saturday.

Nearly every Tiger who competed turned in a personal-best effort in at least one event, which is more important than team results at this point in the season, according to Douglas track and field coach Keith Cole.

“As far as my coaching philosophy, that’s the way it’s always been,” he said. “If we win a meet outright, that’s icing on the cake. Every single meet, the kids are going to try to go out and PR (set a personal record). That’s a goal the coaches and I have been working on. Every race, we’re trying to do better. Every throw, we’re trying to do better than the one we did last week.”

For the third time in as many meets, Douglas senior Gabe Hatchett won both the 110 high hurdles (15.1) and the 300 intermediate hurdles (42.27). He also finished fourth in the 100 meters (11.45) in a race that was disputed by both Cole and South Tahoe coach Rick Brown.

Both coaches thought South Tahoe’s Jake Hurwitz had won the race narrowly over Hatchett. Officials checked the video tape and noticed that the camera at the finish line had been set up on a slight angle, but they couldn’t do anything about the results of the race, which include several heats but no finals. Reed’s Chris True was awarded the win with a time of 11.43. Hurwitz was second at 11.44 and Lowry’s Dan Darlington finished third at 11.45, the same time Hatchett was given.

Taryn Joyce-Mendive finished third in the 3,200 meters (12:17.11) behind the Galena duo of Abby Parker and Julie Hinton.

Douglas senior Andrew Hines, who until two weeks ago was a distance runner, continued to show remarkable improvement in the long jump. He finished with a personal-best jump of 20 feet, 4 inches and took fifth place in a talented field that included Fallon’s Aarik Wilson and Chris Warner, McQueen’s Pat Harrigan and Whittell’s Luke Forvilly.

“I’d say it’s more fun (than distance running) because I’m doing a lot better and placing higher so the excitement level goes up,” Hines said. “It feels good. Hopefully, I’ll go to Zone and do good and go on to State in Las Vegas.”

Monica Buccambuso finished fourth in the 300 hurdles with a time of 51.65.

Colleen Coyne threw the discus 83 feet, which was 16 feet farther than previous best toss. Nicki Baily also had a PR in the discuss with a throw of 77 feet.

“I’m just real excited about the fact that we all seem to be coming together, especially in some of the distance relays,” Cole said.

The Douglas girls’ team of Taryn Joyce-Mendive, Monica Buccambuso, Amanda Mullen and Betsy Carlson finished seventh in the 4×800 relay.

The Douglas boys turned in a season-best time of 9 minutes, 9 seconds in the 4×800 relay. Mason Hermosillo, Mike Hackler, Mike Deck and Will Verschagin each also ran a personal-best time in the open 800 meters.