Whittell freshman wins two state titles | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Whittell freshman wins two state titles

Chad Sellmer, Tribune staff writer

HENDERSON – An elite group of 12 Whittell High track athletes traveled south to the Nevada state meet at Foothill High School in Henderson Friday and Saturday and one established herself as possibly the most elite Warrior of them all.

Freshman Katrina Kacirek took not one, but two state titles away from the meet, winning the girls 2A triple jump, as well as the long jump.

Kacirek won the long jump with a mark of 15 feet, 9 1/2 inches to beat out Jessica Fortin of Incline, who had a jump of 15-7. Kacirek also won the triple jump at 35 feet, 3 inches, taking the top spot over Lincoln County’s Ester Escobedo, who had a jump of 34-11.

“It feels great!” Kacirek said Sunday, after the big wins had sunk in a little bit. “I thought it was going to be really hard because I wasn’t sure how good the girls from the south were going to be. I was afraid it was going to be very challenging and it was. There were some really good jumpers.”

Kacirek said staying focused was the most challenging part of the meet, which included track athletes from all four levels of Nevada prep play, as well as several hundred spectators.

“I was just trying to keep focused,” she said. “Another teammate, Brian Beebe, helped me a lot during practice last week, telling me to use my arms and legs and to focus and that really helped a lot. It was exciting (and) a thrill to compete.”

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With a large tent set up alongside others on the outer ring of the track, the Whittell athletes spent time lounging in the shade and sipping bottled water when not running their events. Temperatures reached nearly 100 degrees during the day on Friday.

“It is a little bit tough in the heat, but we’ve got our shade going and we’re keeping them hydrated,” said Whittell track coach Jeremy Smith. “Overall, we’re doing pretty well. We’re just not used to the warmth and we’re missing that cool Tahoe weather.”

Whittell’s Kristen Karmann also had a good finish with second place in the girls’ shot put with a throw of 30 feet, 3 1/2 inches, just behind Abbie Lynch of Faith Lutheran at 33-3 1/2.

For the boys, Oscar Suarez finished fifth in the 3,200 with a time of 10:40.70 and seventh in the 1,600 at 4:58.34.

Smith noted that in last week’s Northern Nevada 2A zone championship, a Whittell school track record was broken twice.

The record of 28.24 in the girls 200, previously held by M.J. Weideman (1988), was first broken by Meri Johnson with a time of 27.63 and then by the current record holder, Casey Brumbach, at 27.41 in the same meet.