Track boys take second, girls third |

Track boys take second, girls third

by Joey Crandall

Two meets down and the Douglas High track team is looking like it’s already hit the late-season push.

The Tiger boys took second place at a four-way meet at Reno High School over the weekend while the Tiger girls took third without two of their top point scorers.

But that wasn’t really what had the Tiger coaches so excited.

“As far as we were concerned it was a great showing,” Douglas boys’ coach Rick Brown said. “But what doesn’t get shown in the results is the amount that the kids who didn’t score points continued to see their times and distances improve.

“It’s really not about scoring points in these early meets. It’s about a season-long preparation that culminates with the regional and state championships.”

Douglas girls’ coach Jim Abbott agreed.

“We’re in mid- to late-season form already and we’re only coming off our second meet,” he said. “The kids are really focusing in on improving their individual results and getting better with every day.”

That’s not to say that the Tigers didn’t make a number of impressive statements as a team along the way against Reno, Elko and Wooster over the weekend.

“The kids that generally score points all had very good results,” Brown said. “But the most encouraging thing was that the team as a whole took a step forward this weekend. It encourages us as coaches to see that the kids are really buying into the program. That’s the real icing on the cake for us, to see kids who have been working at this over the course of a couple of seasons really start to come into their own.

“We took 70 kids to this meet and just about every one of them improved on their times and distances.”

Among the most impressive performances of the day for Douglas were 1-2-3 sweeps in both the girls’ triple jump and long jump.

Jessica Gorton won the long jump with a leap of 15 feet, 3.5 inches, followed by Natasha Brown in second with a 15-2.5 and Sara Isaacs in third with a 14-6.

Nicole Mehrer recorded a 34-7 to win the triple jump, followed by Gorton at 32-7 and Brown at 32-4.

“That jump by Nicole put her way out there in the region,” Abbott said. “Our jumpers did a good job across the board.”

Indeed. Douglas junior Kyle Heidt won the boys’ long jump (20-3) and high jump (6-0) and Will Sheerin won the triple jump with a 39-6. Camille Arend took second in the girls’ high jump at 4-6 and Derrick Jenkins jumped a 5-6 to take third in the boys’ high jump. Freshman Junior Pacheco also cleard 5-6 in the high jump to establish himself among Douglas’ top jumpers.

“We were very pleased with the boys’ high jump,” Abbott said.

The boys were also impressive in the relays, sweeping the three sprint relays – the 4×100, 4×200 and 4×400 – and taking third in the 4×800.

“It’s nice because we have so much depth to choose from,” Brown said. “We’ve got seven guys on the 4×400 relay. We haven’t had anything like that in the four years I’ve been at Douglas.

“There is some serious competition going on. It’s the same in the 4×800. We have seven or eight very strong distance runners. It’s really a nice thing to have, it give sus so much more flexibility.”

The Douglas boys’ also had a strong day in the individual sprints as Sheerin won the 400 in 53.5 seconds with James Leonard taking third in 55. Jake O’Farrell took third in the 200 at 23.7 seconds.

Michael Banks won the 300 hurdles in 43.2 seconds and Spencer Lewis and Jenkins swept the top two places in the 800.

Luke Wartgow also turned in a second-place finish inthe discus, throwing 118-0.5.

On the girls’ side, Mehrer won the 400 in 63.2 seconds and Ne’Jae Jackson took third in the 100 at 13.4 seconds.

Whitney Lindsey placed second in the 3,200 with a time of 12:26 and Gorton took third in the 100 hurdles with a time of 18.6 seconds.

The Douglas 4×200 relay team took third in 2:01.1

“We were missing a couple runners so we put a team of freshmen out there in both the 4×200 and the 4×400 and they did a really good job in their first time out.”

Christine Ward also got the Tigers on the board in the throwing events with a second-place finish in the shot put with a throw of 29-2 and a second place in the discus with a throw of 83-1.5.

— Joey Crandall can be reached at or at (775) 782-5121, ext. 212.