Robinson fifth at Great Southwest Classic |

Robinson fifth at Great Southwest Classic

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor

John Robinson’s spectacular track and field season at Whittell High School carried over into the offseason at the Great Southwest Track and Field Classic last weekend in Albuquerque, N.M.

Robinson, who just completed his junior year for the Warriors, finished fifth in a tightly contested boys’ 800-meter race with a time of 1 minute, 56.77 seconds at the University of New Mexico Track and Field Stadium.

The meet included the top athletes from Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah. In order to participate these athletes needed a recommendation for a state advisory chairman, then approval by their state’s interscholastic governing body.

The top-seven finishers in the 30-competitor 800 field were separated by only 1.05 seconds.

Kyle Thompson of Texas won the race in 1:55.83, which is a slower time than Robinson’s Whittell school record time of 1:55.09.

“(He) was going to win no matter what,” Robinson said. “He was a lot better than everybody else. He intentionally slowed down the pack, and he knew he’d win in the last 100 meters.

“If I could do it again, I’d really get on him on the second lap and make him go faster.”

As a top-six placer, Robinson received a medal.

“I’m pretty happy (with my result); it was a really competitive meet,” Robinson said.

As inspiring as the Great Southwest Classic was to Robinson, it was far greater on Thursday as he watched the nation’s best compete at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore.

“This is awesome,” Robinson said. “It’s making me feel a lot better about what I have to do this weekend. It makes me less nervous.”

Robinson, who won four first-place medals at the Nevada 2A state meet last month, wasn’t the only local track athlete to compete in Albuquerque. South Tahoe High sophomore Shelby McIntyre, a Nevada 4A state champion in the 1,600 meters, competed in the girls’ 1,500.

McIntyre finished seventh out of a field of 17 runners and said that the temperature climbed into triple digits during her race.

Her time was 5:02.05. Utah’s Jamie Stokes, also a sophomore, won the race in 4:46.20.

“I had a pretty good race,” said McIntyre, who has been battling shin splints. “That was really cool and exciting to have that experience and get the (opportunity) to go with a team and meet new people.”

McIntyre was part of a Northern Nevada contingent that competed at the meet. She was coached by Sierra Lutheran’s Dave Marzan.

Wade Meddles of Sierra Lutheran in Gardnerville was a double winner, finishing first in the boys’ 1,500-meter run in 4:02.80 and the 3,200 at 9:25.61. Incline’s Mike Sunseri was eighth in the 1,500 at 4:12.34.

McIntyre, Robinson, Shannon Marshall and Kyler Felton are all expected to compete on Saturday at the Golden West meet in Folsom.

“Hopefully I’ll PR. If not, it will be a good experience,” McIntyre said.

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