Dalmacio wins 400-meter zone title
SPARKS — South Tahoe High didn’t send many representatives to the Northern Nevada 4A Tack and Field Championships, but the Vikings made the most of their opportunities.
Junior sprinting phenom Karen Dalmacio qualified for three state events, winning her least favorite race – 400 meters – in a school-record 59.81 seconds Saturday at Reed High School.
“I never thought I’d beak a minute … that’s just amazing,” Dalmacio said.
Dalmacio’s success across the board was augmented by the feel-good story of asthmatic distance runner Hudson Wilvers. Plagued by an allergic reaction to grass, which, in turn, sporadically sets off his asthma, Wilvers pushed his body to the limit in qualifying for the state meet for the first time.
After cinching the final state berth in the 1,600 meters, Wilvers collapsed and was assisted off the track by two meet officials.
“I knew to qualify I had to give it everything I had,” said Wilvers, who ran the 1,600 in 4:34.36, leaving him a little more than 6 seconds behind winner Geoff Casazza of Galena. “I didn’t have any problems with my asthma today. I think I ran the best race I could have today.”
Wilvers narrowly missed qualifying for state the past two season, finishing fifth at zone as a freshman and fifth at divisionals last year. Only the top four advanced then, but the region was given a fifth qualifier this season.
“Because of my allergies, I always get weak at the end of the season,” Wilvers said. “I end up further back and always fighthing for that last spot all the time.
“I don’t think state was my goal. My goal was probably to finish top 5 in the state, but I didn’t know how I was going to feel at the end of the season. So I’m real happy to go.”
The only negative for the Vikings was the disqualification of the girls 4-by-100 relay team, one of the prerace favorites. A false start by Lois Hernandez gave Reed some breathing room in its half-second victory in 50.56.
“I’m just going to thank her for how well she’s done all season,” said relay member Jackie Marshall. “One false start in the entire season isn’t bad, but it’s just real bad timing for today.
“We definitely could have done it. Our team has such potential.”
While some states allow two false start before disqualifying a competitor or team, Nevada enforces the one-and-your gone policy.
“There is a huge amount of pressure … not only do they have to start cleanly but they have to start fast and give the team enough of a lead that early in the race so they can keep it all the way around,” Marshall said.
Marshall wasn’t far off the state standard in her two individual races — the 200 and 400 meters. She was seventh in the 200 in 27.96 and seventh in the 400 at 1:01.85. Her latter time was 1 second off a state invitation.
In winning her first 400-meter high school race, Dalmacio allowed the other runners to burn themselves out. With 200 meters remaining, Dalamacio lurked in fifth place, then she used a burst that the rest of the field didn’t have.
“It’s such a psychological race,” said Dalmacio, a .32 of a second winner over Michelle Glenn of Reno. “You have to keep your head because you know that all these girls are starting off way too fast, and more than likely they’re not going to have the energy at the very, very end. You have to make sure you’re keeping up with them, because then you’re going to hit that wall right with them.”
And to think that Dalamacio didn’t start racing in the 400 until this season.
“I promised my coaches I would do it,” Dalmacio said. “It really hurt to do it, though.”
In addition, Dalmacio was third in 100 in 13.04 and fourth in the 200 in 26.61. Daza’rae Long of Reno won the 100 in 12.67, while Sparks’ Serina Crawford edged Long to win the 200 in 26.24.
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