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Dalmacio’s record news a long time coming

Darin Olde, Tahoe Daily Tribune

Almost a full week after the fact, Karen Dalmacio learned that she broke two South Tahoe High School track records that stretch back more than 20 years.

It took a week to find out, and had one eerily informal conversation not taken place, Dalmacio and the rest of South Tahoe High School might still not know.

On April 24 at North Valleys High School, Dalmacio ran the 100-meter sprint in 12.28 seconds, beating sprinters from Carson, McQueen, North Valleys and Reed high schools.

She also ran the 200 in 25.73 seconds, taking another victory in the league meet.

With no record board at South Tahoe High, the team went about its business, training for the junior varsity championships and preparing for divisionals this weekend at Carson.

On Sunday, Rick Brown, South Tahoe’s former track and field coach of the past seven years, coincidentally bumped into a Tribune staffer at the Little League fields and said that if Dalmacio’s times were accurate, she may have broken a school record.

It wasn’t as simple as one time beating another, Brown explained.

Official times are either “automated,” which means they were recorded using digital technology, or they are “hand-held.” Hand-held recording is the old fashioned way, using hand-held timers, which is commonly how coaches and athletes keep times.

To equate hand-held times with state-of-the-art recording technology, hand-held times are put through an algorithm to determine the official time. They are rounded up to the nearest tenth-of-a second, then added with .24 seconds.

The previous school record for the 100 was 12.6 seconds, set in 1979 by Colleen Brown, Rick Brown’s sister. Tenths-of-a-second were as accurate as the timers were then, but the time would still be 12.84 to account for the hand-held error.

At 25.73 in the 200, Dalmacio also set a new record for the 200. The old hand-held record of 26.2 was co-held by Brown and Dana Hilgert.

“There was no automatic timing back in the late 70s,” said Rick Brown on Tuesday. “So everything my sister had back then was hand-held time.”

As long as Dalmacio’s times were official, she’d have the records either way.

But with North Valleys in its first year of operation, and with Dan Hodgkinson and Melissa Berry in their first year of coaching, Brown didn’t know how the times were recorded, or whether Berry or Hodgkinson had made an official determination on the record.

“According to (Dan) Wilvers they were hand-held (times),” Brown said.

But were the times official?

According to the results provided to South Tahoe coaches from North Valleys, those times are the official times, said Berry Tuesday.

Let the records stand.

“Last year, I told them to set short-term and long-range goals and to pick out meets for when those goals should be met,” Brown said.

Dalmacio’s goals: to break Colleen Brown’s records.

It took a little longer than expected.

“I warned my sister, I told her there was somebody coming down the pike that was going to break them,” Brown said.

Brown also told Dalmacio to train and compete in the 400 because it would boost her times in the 100 and 200, and because she could probably make state.

“I promised my old coaches I’d do it,” said Dalmacio on Tuesday, referring to Brown and Julie Pope. “They said I could (make state).”


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