Facing gusts of wind 20 to 30 mph, Whittell and South Tahoe runners dug deep in extreme conditions to turn in personal bests.
Despite the hostile weather, South Tahoe claimed eight podium positions, including four first-place finishes, and Whittell captured six podium spots with three first-place finishes at the Fernley Invitational on Saturday.
Whittell’s Sierra Forvilly and Mark Waite each won events and turned in season-best times.
Forvilly, a Whittell senior, finished first in both the 100-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles, second in the 200-meter and 100-meter dash with a personal best (13.59) in the 100-meter dash.
Waite, a junior at Whittell, ran a season-best 800 in 2:09 for first place. He also took third place in the 1600-meter, running the mile in under 5 minutes, and fourth in the 3,200-meter.
South Tahoe’s Brandon Cramer continued to impress coach Jake Hurwitz when he claimed podium spots in two events he normally doesn’t compete in.
“Brandon had a great meet. He ran the open 100 meters, which isn’t one of his normal events, and he ran an 11.34, which is pretty phenomenal. He’s ranked among the top guys in our division as well as in the North for the 100 meters,” Hurwitz said. “There are two or three kids who can break 11 seconds, but an 11.34 is pretty substantial.”
Cramer’s 100-meter time was good enough for first place. The senior also took first in the 110-meter hurdles and second in the long jump, another event Cramer doesn’t usually compete in.
“He’s just a very talented athlete and can probably do well in several events,” Hurwitz said.
South Tahoe’s Cara Filce tore up the track in both the 800 and the 2-mile. She legged out the 3,200 meters in 13:32 for first place and took second in the 800-meter with 2:43.
Teammate Emily Treat was equally impressive also claiming a first and second place. Treat finished first in the 1,600, with a sub 6-minute mile, and second in the 3,200, breezing in about one second behind Filce in first place.
“Running a mile or two miles is not always someone’s favorite thing, but these girls love to run these longer distances,” Hurwitz said. “They have great strategies in those types of races. They’re drafting and getting to the outside when there is wind, and it’s impressive.”
For Whittell, freshman Aubrey Felton had an inspired meet, turning in big personal bests in the triple jump and the long jump.
“His hard work in practice is starting to translate to his meet results,” Whittell coach Larry Sidney said.
Whittell senior Rodney Aguirre-Rodriguez flew into 15th place in the long jump, and helped Whittell take fourth in the 4 by 400 relay team race.
“He is coming back from an injury, and has been steadily improving each week,” Sidney said.
Whittell’s Josh Welch also took an impressive 10th in the 1-mile.
For South Tahoe, Harley Norton took fifth in both the 1-mile and 2-mile races, running a near 5-minute mile, and 10th in the 800-meter.
“Harley Norton was 5 seconds behind his personal best this year, but he ran a great race and looked really strong, especially pushing into that wind,” Hurwitz said.
Kerry Norton took eighth place in the discus with a throw of 78 feet, and seventh in the 300-meter hurdles.
“It’s just incredible for a small girl. She gets looks left and right, and then she throws and just really has the form down. She’s another one of those kids who could probably do 10 events,” Hurwitz said. “She joined the girls 4 by 1 this week because we were short on some kids and she ran a great leg. She’s just really is a runner at heart.”
South Tahoe’s Tylor Nicholson captured 10th and 12th-place in the 200 and 400 meters. Tyler Myers took sixth in the 1-mile and third in the 2-mile, and Ross Kovac captured 10th in the 2-mile. Kiegan Shackleton finished 10th in the 300 hurdles. Kyle Moreno finished eighth in the long jump, and Ethan Strain took 10th in the long jump.
Among the South Tahoe girls, Gabriela Vargas finished fifth in the 1,600 and seventh in the 3,200. Casey Anderson snagged ninth in the 300-meter hurdles, and Kimberly Marquez-Sanchez took seventh in the long jump.
UP NEXT: The track and field teams will travel to Douglas High School this weekend for the Big George Invitational.