Whittell track delivers strong marks at Div. IV Northern League championships, girls’ 400 relay team wins regional title | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Whittell track delivers strong marks at Div. IV Northern League championships, girls’ 400 relay team wins regional title

Anthony Gentile
Whittell junior Samantha Forvilly (right) hands the baton to freshman Shaylie Rippett during a relay race at the Big George Invitational during the 2016 season. The duo was part of the Warriors’ 4x100 relay team that won the Div. IV Northern League championship Friday, May 13.
Courtesy / Boyd Dangtongdee |

YERINGTON, Nev. — At the Div. IV Northern League championships, the Whittell track and field team continued to deliver strong results with limited numbers. The Warriors produced state qualifiers in eight events from the two-day regional championship meet last weekend, May 13-14, at Yerington High, including a first-place finish in the girls’ 4×100 relay.

“All things considered we did very well,” Warriors coach Phil Bryant said. “I was really proud of the team for their effort and the results they were able to achieve.”

The Whittell girls’ 4×100 relay team of junior Samantha Forvilly, freshman Anna White, freshman Shaylie Rippett and junior Michelle Barnes continued a stellar campaign at Yerington by winning the regional championship on Friday. That foursome ran a meet-record 54.06 to beat out Eureka by a narrow margin.

In the girls’ 4×400 relay, Forvilly, White and Barnes teamed with sophomore Ojesa Kwong appeared to deliver apparent victory by a wide margin. But instead of a 30-meter win, the team was disqualified for a lane violation.

“Rules are rules and we knew we had made the mistake,” Bryant said. “It was my mistake in not making the lane instructions clear to our runners, so that error is on me — not our girls.”

On the boys side, the Warriors delivered a pair of relay results that qualified for state and shocked their northern counterparts. The quartet of senior Aubrey Felton, junior Pierce Manchester, sophomore Nick Petty and freshman Isaiah Womack took second place in both the 4×100 (49.02) and 4×200 (1:40.38) relay races.

The 4×200 relay required a photo finish, as Whittell took second to Excel Christian by eight-hundredths of a second. The top four teams were separated by less than three-tenths of a second in a tight race.

“It was literally a win by a nose for Excel Christian over us,” Bryant said. “We had one bad handoff and hopefully we can correct that for the state meet. Of course, we realize that the southern teams are outstanding and the task will be much more difficult.”

Forvilly qualified for the state meet in two individual events last weekend. She took fourth in the 400 (1:06.77) and third in the 300 hurdles (51.87), both season-best marks.

“Sammy has been fun to coach because she enjoys running and has a great outlook,” Bryant said.

Barnes “ran tough” in the eyes of her coach, and tough running earned her a pair of individual state berths in sprinting events. She took second in the 100 (13.54) and fourth in the 200 (28.96).

“Michelle is finally believing in herself more and is looking for even more improvement this week,” Bryant said.

White wasn’t feeling fell at Saturday’s meet, but still took third in the 200 by running a 28.32. The frosh sprinter missed out on qualifying in the 400 by a second, placing fifth with a time of 1:07.79.

“Anna runs with confidence and is mentally tough,” Bryant said. “If she stays with track, she will be a state champion in her running future.”

On the boys side, Womack was the Warriors’ lone individual state qualifier. In only his second time competing in the 110 hurdles this season, Womack took fourth by running a 19.70; he also placed fifth in the 400 (55.10).

“Isaiah is going to be a threat in four events for the next three years,” Bryant said.

Whittell’s non-qualifiers still turned in strong results at Yerington, led by Petty — the sophomore took sixth in the 800 with a time of 2:14.64. Manchester (100, 200) and junior Madison Duncan (long jump) each turned in personal bests while Felton produced strong relay legs to go along with a sixth-place finish in the triple jump.

The Warriors set up camp next to their cross-town counterparts South Tahoe at the regional meet. Both teams had extra support in their events, and each qualified numerous athletes to the state meet.

“We are all Tahoe and there is no reason not to be supportive of all student-athletes who represent the lake,” Bryant said. “We are not in the same league or division so anytime a South Tahoe athlete or team does well, it reflects on all of us.”

Sierra Lutheran captured the Div. IV Northern League team title on the boys and girls side, the third straight regional sweep for the Falcons. Whittell’s girls team took fifth while its boys team placed ninth.

The Warriors’ qualifiers will conclude their seasons at the Div. IV State championships this Friday and Saturday, May 20-21. The two-day meet will be held at Carson High (Carson City, Nev.), with Friday’s events beginning at 3 p.m. and Saturday’s action starting at 8 a.m.

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