Kacirek repeats state triple jump title
Competition is something that Whittell High’s Katrina Kacirek rarely encounters in the triple and long jump pits.
She entered the Friday-Saturday 2A state meet at Reed High in Sparks undefeated against Nevada 1A, 2A and 3A competitors.
But the Whittell sophomore, who won Friday’s triple jump by nearly 2 feet, met her match in Faith Lutheran’s Genesis Lightbourne in Saturday’s long jump final.
Lightbourne and Kacirek exchanged leads five times before Lightbourne leaped 16 feet, 6 inches on her final jump to win it.
“I thought it was fun,” Kacirek said. “It made me strive to do better than the other girls. The wind was blowing really hard, but in the end, she jumped further.”
Lightbourne, who can reportedly dunk a tennis ball, hadn’t lost in long jump or triple jump going into the state meet. Kacirek’s lone defeat was to 4A competition at the Reed Invitational.
Kacirek seemingly had the long jump title in hand after topping Lightbourne by a mere quarter of an inch on her fifth jump. But after Lightbourne maxed out at 16-6, Kacirek could on retaliate with a 16-0 effort.
“It was really exciting and it kept building,” said WHS coach Brian Rippet. “For Katrina to keep improving was impressive.”
Kacirek defended her triple jump crown by bounding 34-11 3/4, just off her lifetime best of 35-3. Lightbourne was a distant third at 32-7.
Including her third-place finish (personal-best time of 13.48) in the 100-meter dash, Kacirek scored 24 points for the Warriors, who finished fifth with 70 points. Incline, which will move up to the 3A level next school year, won the team title.
As dominant as Kacirek was, the Warriors had other athletes stand out. Sophomore Meri Johnson was hung up on fourth place, placing fourth in high jump (4-8), fourth in 200 meters (28.45) and fourth in the 4×400 relay. The relay team also included Casey Brumbach, Christina Arana and Kit Deloison.
Brumbach’s solid meet included a third in the 200 (28.24) and a sizzling 62.62 for third place in the 400.
Kristin Karmann, a junior, threw a personal-best 32-3/4 to place fifth in the shot put, just ahead of sister, Kelly, who was sixth with 30-5 1/2. Kelly also took fourth place in discus at 97-5.
In the boys’ meet, senior Oscar Suarez ran to third place in the 3,200 meters (10:27.38) and fourth in the 1,600 (4:50.83) to lead Whittell to ninth in the team-title chace. Faith Lutheran was first.
“I wanted to get first place, but I just didn’t feel as good as I usually do,” Suarez said.
Even so, Suarez’s 3,200 time was his best at elevation and his mile time was only 3 seconds off his regional performance.
Jeremy Worley bested his PR in the 3,200 to claim fifth in 10:45 and was sixth in the 1,600 at 5:02.66.
In the state 4A meet, South Tahoe’s 4×100 relay team of Grant Swinney, Kevin Capellino, Corey Vermillion and Mikey Van Gorden missed out on a state title by. 24. The Vikings finished third at 43.45, .05 behind runner-up Western and .24 off Eldorado’s winning pace.
South Tahoe, which won regional title the previous week at 43.17, just missed the school record of 43.10.
The Vikings’ 4×200 relay team, consisting of the same runners, came in seventh at 1:32.47 and Matt Bobman was eighth in the shot put (48-7).