Incline Village freshman Jenkins wins state Class 2A title in high jump
For the Incline Village track and field team, there was the thrill of victory at the state championships, but also the agony of defeat.
And it was highly focused in one event: high jump.
While having four of Nevada’s best jumpers has been a luxury all season, when it comes down to battling for a state championship, somebody has to win and somebody has to settle for less than victory.
Highlander freshman Millie Jenkins beat sophomore teammate Sami Giangreco in a jump-off to win the title at the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Class 2A Track and Field Championships Friday and Saturday, May 18-19, at Carson High School in Carson City.
Jenkins, while wanting to celebrate her championship, was mindful of the disappointment Giangreco was feeling. Giangreco finished second for the second straight season. As a freshman, she lost by 1 inch to a senior from North Tahoe.
Jenkins and Giangreco both reached 5 feet to force the jump off. The bar was placed at 5-03 but was lowered as the girls got tired. Finally, Jenkins made a successful jump that Giangreco couldn’t replicate.
The two will likely have close competition over the next couple of years, and it will be even closer when freshman Jada Moore gets back into the mix after recovering from a leg injury suffered a few weeks ago.
Incline senior Haley Carlson finished in fifth (4-08) with the same height she took third with last season.
The girls took fifth place overall with 63 points. They finished behind White Pine (176), North Tahoe (84), Yerington (84) and Pershing County (64).
Jenkins also found success in her other events. She took second in the 100-meter hurdles with a personal best time (16.74) and finished fourth in the long jump (15-04.25).
“Millie ended up being our team MVP this year,” said Highlanders head coach and athletic director Thomas Reymer. “She finished with the most points on the team.”
Jenkins also teamed with Belle Johnson, Emma Perrell and Giangreco to finish a disappointing third in the 4×100 relay, which had some controversy.
Reymer said Perrell felt she was hit during a baton hand-off to Johnson which caused the exchange to take a few seconds longer than normal. But race officials did not see anything egregious and did not make any changes.
Johnson took second in the pole vault for the second straight year. She reached a height of 8-00, just like last year, but fell 3 inches short of the winner.
“Belle was disappointed, but she should be excited in both the long jump and especially pole vault where she medaled,” Reymer said of the team’s senior co-captain. “She really had that competitive drive everyday that helped push the rest of the kids in practice. She is going to be very hard to replace and will be missed, her and Haley both.”
Giangreco threw a personal best 98-04 in discus to place third and reach the podium in a second event.
Jenkins (15-04.25), Johnson (14-04.25) and Perrell (14-03.50) placed fourth, sixth and seventh, respectively, in the long jump with Johnson recording a personal best.
DJ Littleton recorded the highest finish for the Highlander boys. He took third in the long jump (19-05.25) and was also eighth in high jump.
Freshman Dylan Cleary, Incline’s starting quarterback in the fall, recorded personal bests in the 100-meter dash and also the 400. He placed third in the 400 and eighth in the 100 and 200.
Senior Noah Cleary, Dylan’s older brother, reached a personal best in pole vault, reaching a height of 10-06, to place fourth.
Sebastian Hernandez, a freshman, ran against a bunch of juniors and seniors in the 800 and set a personal best (2:08.73) in earning eighth place.
With just a few seniors graduating, the future is bright for Incline track.
“There was some disappointment, but they’re a small, young team,” Reymer said. “The girls were probably a little more disappointed than the boys. But a couple of team members that didn’t make it to state came down and helped support the team. They got to see how it works at state with the team all supporting each other. I think this is gonna be a great group as they get older.”