Woods gives Warriors a lift with Kacirek missing | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Woods gives Warriors a lift with Kacirek missing

Staff report

Nevada’s 4A and 3A schools are finding out how competitive the Whittell High girls’ track and field team is this spring.

The Warriors finished third out of 23 teams at the Smith Valley Invitational last Saturday in Yerington. Only 4A Churchill County with 133 points and 3A Spring Creek with 89 were better than the Warriors, who scored 69.

Several Warriors produced career and season-best performances at the meet to make up for the absence of the team’s top athlete, junior Katrina Kacirek.

Jessica Woods soared to a league-leading high jump of 5 feet, only an inch off the school record. She was second in both the high jump and long jump in which she set a personal best of 15-10.

“Jessica is still raw with her approaches on both jumps and will likely pop great ones later in the year, now that our facilities have thawed out and she can practice these events,” said Whittell coach Brian Rippet.

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Kelly Karmann set a personal best in the high jump, clearing 4-8 to finish fifth. She placed sixth in the shot put (32-05).

Meri Johnson ran a speedy 200 meters (28.05), finishing runner-up to last year’s state champion Amber Sellers of Hawthorne.

“She has really focused on improving her sprint technique this season, particularly her arm swing, and I believe it is paying dividends for her,” Rippet said.

In addition, Casey Brumbach showed she belongs in the 400 meters, placing fourth in 65.45 as she made her season debut in the event.

Freshman Natalie Daly kept Whittell’s 4×100 relay team among the elite despite Kacirek’s absence. The relay team, which also includes Woods, Johnson and Brumbach, finished third in 53.46. Daly closed the gap on Fallon and Spring Creek on the homestretch as Whittell finished .42 off the school record.

“Only some inexperience in the handoff with Natalie cost this ‘B’ team from crashing the record books,” Rippet said.

In the 3,200 meters, freshman Alana Lee led Whittell’s deep distance contingent with a third place in 14:34. She was followed by freshman Jordon Reeder in fifth (15:26) and junior Kristin Kline in seventh (15:55).

“Alana’s performance ranks her as No. 1 in the Northern 2A League,” Rippet said. “Followed by Krista Castro, Reeder and Kline, we’re one through four, so I expect some big points from this event at zone.”

Lacey Lee executed Whittell’s first clearance of the year in the pole vault at 5-6.

For the boys, the 4×100 of Jake O’Malley, Ian MacKelvie, David Sabistina and Chris Craig executed their handoffs to finish third in a time of 48.78. Jeremy Worley high jump PR of 5-8 gave him third place and then he fought tired legs to finish sixth in the 3,200 (11:30).

The boys finished 14th with 16 points, while Dayton took first with 100 1/2.

Whittell will participate in the West Valley Invite at noon Friday at Chico State University.