Another win for Whittell: Girls’ track team takes second consecutive state championship title
RENO – The Whittell girls’ track team surpassed even its own lofty expectations on Friday and Saturday by winning 13 of 18 events en route to its second straight state title at the NIAA 2A State Track and Field Championships at Reno High School.
The Warriors finished with 216 points, well ahead of second-place White Pine (88.5 points) and third-place Battle Mountain (81.5). Whittell’s performance this week was even more dominating than the one in 2005, when it won its first state title in school history by totaling 214 points.
“It was quite a thrashing,” WHS track coach Brian Rippet said. “I was really nervous before the first event, just because there is always that doubt. But I think it’s that doubt that always motivates and keeps people focused.”
Rippet’s worries didn’t last long.
The 4×800 relay was the first event and the Warriors’ squad of Jane MacKelvie, Jordan Reeder, Sasha Rupp and Krista Castro won in 10 minutes, 50.98 seconds. Whittell was credited with 10 points and White Pine, which had the most athletes competing in the 2A state meet, finished fourth and earned four points.
After that, the gap between White Pine and Whittell continued to grow.
The 4×100 relay team of Jessica Woods, Meri Johnson, Casey Brumbach and Katrina Kacirek reset its own state-meet record from 2005 by finishing in 52.28 seconds. The Warriors won all four relay events.
Rupp, a freshman, won both the 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter runs, while Brumbach won the 100-meter dash and Johnson the 200-meter dash. Johnson’s time of 26.96 seconds would have set new 2A state record, but increased wind speeds during the race forced meet officials to take the record away.
“I am mad about the whole state record thing. … I ran faster than the state record, but the wind was swirling around and, since it was faster than a certain speed, they took the state record away from me,” Johnson said. “It sucks my name wasn’t written down, but my whole team thinks I got it.”
Junior Jessica Woods finished first in both 100-meter hurdles and triple jump. Senior Katrina Kacirek, who has battled injuries this spring, won the long jump with a mark of 16 feet, 11Ú2 inches. It was Kacirek’s seventh state track title in her career. Junior Kelly Karmann won the high jump and discus to round out the Warriors’ 14 victories.
“It was hard going to meets and watching everybody else and feeling useless,” said Kacirek, who is suffering from tendinitis. “But being able to work out as much as I could the last few weeks and do as well as I could Friday and Saturday was nice. Even as big as our team is, we’re a little more bonded than other teams I’ve been on.”
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