Ramos, Lucero shine for Vikings at Northern 4A Regionals
RENO – Even though Jake Hurwitz fell just short in his bid for a sprint threepeat, all was not lost for South Tahoe High School during the Northern 4A Regional Track and Field Championships on Saturday.
Senior Wayne Lucero found success in the boys triple jump, where he logged a personal record jump to place second, while freshman Amber Ramos ran to third-place in the girls 3,200 meters in only her fourth meet of the season – performances that will send both to the NIAA/U.S. Bank 4A State Championships this coming week.
They will be joined at state by senior teammate Hurwitz, who settled for second-place in the boys 100 meters and fourth in the 200 on what turned out to be a disappointing day at Reno High School’s Stadium 2000. Karen Dalmacio also earned a ticket to state when she placed fifth in the girls 200.
Hurwitz was bidding for his third straight Northern 4A 100 meters gold medal, but was just nipped at the wire by an old nemesis, Chris Carr of McQueen.
The race started off on the wrong foot for Hurwitz, according to South Tahoe boys coach Rick Brown.
“We talked last week that the start would probably be the difference between victory and defeat, and Jake got a horrible start,” Brown said. “He still recovered nicely, he got into his running form and had the lead. I was thinking threepeat, but there in the last 10 meters, Carr went by him.”
Carr won the race in 11.06 and Hurwitz was clocked at 11.13 in a duel between two athletes who know each other from football. Carr was a blue chip running back for McQueen’s football team that won the 4A state football title back in December – capping the Lancers’ playoff march that included a second-round victory over Hurwitz and the Vikings.
Hurwitz experienced another disappointment in the 4×200 relay when South Tahoe’s team failed to get off a baton exchange, but he did come back to place fourth in a highly competitive 200. Hurwitz ran 23.15 in a race that saw .82 seconds separate first from eighth.
Meanwhile second-place came as no disappointment to Lucero, who improved his triple jump personal record by two inches with a leap of 42-feet, 1-inch on his final attempt. He moved up from fourth-place on that jump and finished behind only Fallon’s Aarik Wilson, who flew a meet record distance of 50-4-1/2 that ranks among the best in the nation.
“That was a real bright spot,” Brown said. “At the beginning of the year, I never would have expected to see Wayne end up second at zone. This is only his second year of track and he only learned the event last year.”
Meanwhile, Ramos ran 12:14.18 to place third in a strong 3,200 race that was won by Galena senior Abigail Parker (11:58.72), followed by Shanna Sparks of Carson (12:04.86).
The performance is noteworthy since she has only raced that distance three times this season after coming off an extended season as a nationally recognized freestyle skier. She placed second in moguls at the junior nationals in March 8-11 in Whitefish, Mont., then competed in Vermont and New Hampshire after that. Remember, Ramos competes nationally on a mountain bicycle during the summer, runs cross country in the fall, skis in the winter and runs track in the spring
“Doing all those sports gives me a break, but going from skiing to running is hard,” said Ramos, who placed second at the Northern 4A cross country meet last October. “I’m still not in track shape, but I felt smooth and relaxed today. I’m pretty happy considering the amount of time I’ve been running.”
South Tahoe’s girls 4×200 relay team of Danielle Kelleher, Lindsay Hitt, Karen Dalmacio and Jackie Marshall set a school record time of 1:48.13, but was unable to qualify for state. Sparks edged Reed at the wire to win the race in 1:43.94 – shattering the meet record by 1.16 seconds. In other years, South Tahoe’s time would have been good enough to contend for gold.
“They ran very fast, it just wasn’t good enough to finish in the money,” Brown said.
The state meet starts on Thursday and continues through Saturday at Foothill High School in Henderson. This will mark the end of the line for Brown, who submitted his resignation as head boys coach last week.
A long-time coach in the community – he started out as an assistant with the Tahoe Steppers girls age group program in the spring of 1973 – Brown said he decided the time had come to step away.
“It’s very much been a fun ride. I always coached for the love of the sport and for the kids – to see the smiles on their faces when they improved,” Brown said. “I still love the sport and the kids, but the winds of change have blown my way and I just think it’s time for a change.”
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