Palacios breaks school record at meet
Finding dry ground for once, South Tahoe’s boys’ and girls’ track teams went down to Sparks last Friday and Saturday to compete against 43 schools in the 23rd running of the Reed Rotary Invitational.
“Our kids were looking at the track and the surrounding grass thinking, ‘Oh yeah, that’s what it looks like,'” said assistant coach Anthony Davis.
Despite no outside work on their home track since the season began in late February, the combined squads performed better than expected, with several personal best and a much-anticipated but unlikely school record in the girls’ 100 meter hurdles. Senior Ali Palacios, a regional qualifier last year in the 4A, had come close to the record her junior season. With no prior outdoor hurdle work this season, she brought down Jenny Miller’s 1978 record by the narrowest of margins, one-hundredth of a second, in 16.33. Palacios finished fifth in the race.
“Once she gets to practice on the track I fully expect her to break the record by an even greater margin,” said her coach Melissa Berry.
Another contributing standout performance was Senior, Blair Berry’s long jump of 20′ 9.5″. Berry, like all of his teammates, has had no outside practice this season.
“Such an early season mark for Blair was so encouraging,” said boys coach Dan Wilvers. “Blair’s potential hasn’t begun to be tapped yet. Hopefully he’ll stay healthy, and throw down some great jumps and times in the sprints.”
Aside from his leaping prowess, Berry also qualified in both the 100 and 200 meter finals, but felt a tightening in the leg he injured last season at regional qualifiers, so he and his coach opted to hold him out of the finals.
Junior Shelby McIntyre reigning 4A state champion in the 1600, trained through the meet, but still managed two respectable 1600’s, a 5 minute 28 second Distance Medley Leg on Friday and a 5 minute and 33 second open 1600 on Saturday for fourth place. Despite tired legs, McIntyre came back and raced to a second place finish in the 3200 at 12 minutes and 25 seconds.
“Her willingness to accept that her best races are yet to come allowed her to take the pressure off herself in the 3200 and she ran a beautiful race working her way from fifth to second over the last mile,” Cosmi said.
McIntyre who has been training in the valley since early January gushed with joy after her 3200.
“I’ve been pressing to get a fast time because of all the hard work I’ve been doing, and when it wasn’t coming I got down on myself a bit, but my coaches told me not to press, they said I’ll be fast when it counts and I think I can see that now, and I’m really excited for the rest of the year,” she said.
A top performer on JV was Brandon Cramer who last year suffered from a broken collar bone sustained early in the season negating much of his first year. Cramer wasted no time reestablishing himself as he scored in three events for the boys frosh/soph meet.
South Tahoe’s next meet will be the Bella Vista Distance Carnival for the distance athletes on April 8. Select athletes will be performing at the Woody Wilson Invite at UC Davis during spring break on April 15 and the whole team will return to competition at the Dayton Invitational April 23.