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Spartan player collapses at Whittell track and field

The unexpected collapse of a Spring Creek athlete put a pale over the Whittell track and field team’s trip to Fernley on Saturday, bringing the meet to a grinding halt and eventually cancelling the competition with nearly half of its events remaining.

“Until the ambulance arrived, we didn’t know anything was going on,” said Whittell track and field coach Dan Makley. “Once you see the helicopter come in and all the medical personnel, you realize it’s pretty scary. I just hope the girl is OK.”

The Warrior boys finished sixth and the girls finished seventh in the abridged meet, one that ended before Whittell was able to compete in many of its best events, Makley said.



Officials stopped the meet prior to the running of the 300-meter hurdles.

“Last year, this was our first meet, but this year it’s our second meet so we have one more under our belt this year,” Makley said. “Our marks, especially from our veterans, are well ahead of where we were last season. That’s very promising.”




Sophomore hurdler Luke Forvilly continued to impress, finishing second in both the 110- (16.4) and 300-meter (46.4) hurdles.

“He was definitely our most successful performer at this meet,” Makley said. “He’s a quality athlete. He works hard in practice and I think he’ll be one of the top hurdlers in the state by the time May comes around.”

Bob Linkul, who patrolled the lane as center for the Warrior basketball team last season, established a personal best in the shot put with a throw of 39 feet, 2 inches. Linkul also placed second in the discus, sporting a 147-5 heave.

On the girls side, senior Sarah Sufka made a rare appearance in the 1600-meter run. Sufka, who has signed to run track and field for Azusa Pacific, picked her spots well, finishing first with a 6:12 time.

Warrior Karin Kaleta followed with a second place in high jump (4-8) and a third in the triple jump with a 31-5″ hop-skip-and-jump.

Whittell’s Erin Zaskoda added a fourth place in the triple jump with a 31-0 leap.

The Warriors’ top athletes will test their wares in the Fallon Invitational March 27.

Vikings fall to tough Reno team

The South Tahoe High softball team had episodes of sharp play during a doubleheader Saturday at Reno, but was not consistent enough to come out on top as it lost both games.

The Vikings (0-7) had their best chance in the second game, taking a 3-1 lead into the sixth inning. Matters turned for the worse, however, as South Tahoe yielded 11 runs in the final two frames of a 12-3 loss.

“It was kind of a tough loss, because we really felt those were winnable games,” South Tahoe softball coach Jan Johnson said. “We really felt we matched up well with Reno, but they hit the ball pretty well in both games.”

Vikes Melissa Johnson, Tami Cowen and Megan Humphreys (2 RBIs) scored the team’s three runs while Kathryn Baer drove in one.

In the first game, Reno topped the Vikings 11-0 with a 14-hit error-free performance. South Tahoe pitcher Heather Roderick took the collar in the loss; the Vikes were only able to generate two hits over seven innings.

“We’re looking for improvement at this point. I think for a good part of the day, the kids played well,” Johnson said. “Our pitchers, in spite of the score, had good outings. We’ll just continue to work and clean things up. I think we should be able to play better.”

South Tahoe will shoot for its first win again when they travel to Galena Friday.

Business as usual for Vikes

The South Tahoe High swim team started the 1999 league season right where it left off in ’98: with a win.

The veteran Vikings defeated rival Hug, the girls by a 132-31 margin and the boys in another blowout, 107-55.

The season opener took place in the cozy confines of the Northwest Pool on the University of Nevada, Reno campus and featured a combination of both the Zephyr and Sierra high school leagues.

“Having so many schools competing at the same meet helped us see where we stand for zone,” said Viking swim coach Dale Bogard, who is being assisted this season by Dianne Jackson (a former coach in Santa Cruz) and Dustin Ruth (a current student at Lake Tahoe Community College). “This was a great first meet, but we have a lot of work to do before zone.

South Tahoe’s winning efforts were rewarded as 14 Vikings posted qualifying times for the season-ending zoen tournament.

For the Viking girls, Kristi Collins, Denise Bogard and Adrian Hankoff placed first in multiple events, while Shaina Willen and Jessica Tinlin were tops in one event each.

A versatile-and-improved boys team put up some impressive numbers against Hug, as veteransd Russell Grant and Tom Luerken combined for four first-place marks. Freshmen Jeff Koeck and Ryan Theileman posted first place finishes.

The Vikings will head into the water again when they face-off against area schools at the UNR Invititational March 27.

Warriors make most of their nine

A gaggle of extracurricular activities left the Whittell softball with just nine players for Saturday’s Lovelock tournament as the Warriors lost a pair to Smith Valley and Carlin.

“The main thing is we knew going in we had a small team going in,” said Whittell coach Doyle Wilson, in his first season with the team. “People who didn’t have much experience got some playing time in. That’s a positive for this team and should help us later in the season.”

The highlight of the day for the Warriors (1-2) came in the second game against Carlin, a 12-2 loss.

Warrior Thomas Hunter, who pitched sparingly for the team in ’98, got the start and had a definite hand in the final result.

Two of them, to be exact.

Hunter began the game as a lefty pitcher, but soreness in his arm left him with a dilemma: stay in the game and continue pitching or move to another position.

Hunter made his decision and motioned to the dugout for a different glove. Subbing for himself, Hunter pitched the rest of his outing right-handed. The ambidextrous Warrior struck out the side twice righty, going four innings and improving as the game progressed.

“I went up to the umpire afterwards and he hadn’t seen anything like it in all of his 19 years in baseball,” Wilson said.

Warrior Tony Denunzio led the team against Carlin, driving in two on a double. The game also marked the return of Brandon Lee behind the plate after bouts with injuries.

“We’re out there to have fun. Even though the weather was quite bad yesterday, they had a good time out there,” Wilson said.

The Warriors lost the first game against Smith Valley by a 15-3 margin. Whittell’s Christopher Evans responded well in his first start of the season, going four-for-five with an RBI in the loss.

Warrior pitcher Brandon Lee took the loss, but struck out four hitters in a single inning after a passed ball sent a runner to first. Third baseman Mike Kiger negotiated lawn chairs, spectators and the visitors’ dugout to make a sterling grab of a foul ball late in the game.

Russell undaunted by South Tahoe’s tough start:

South Tahoe coach Doug Russell has had a cold greeting to the rigors of Northern Nevada baseball, facing some of the region’s best teams during the squad’s first seven games. The schedule didn’t get any easier over the weekend, as the Vikes lost a pair on the road to area powerhouse Reno.

“Reno is as strong as they say,” Russell said. “They’re a good hitting team, well-coached, disciplined and fundamentally sound. To beat them would take a great effort from any team.”

South Tahoe lost the first game 12-2, but trailed only 5-2 after three innings before giving up seven runs to the Huskies in the fourth and fifth. Tim Sprinkles led the South Tahoe offensive effort, going 2-for-3 with an RBI.

The Vikings fell in the second game, 10-0.

Despite the weekend defeats, Russell sees potential in the Vikings’ progressively improving performances.

“The kids are starting to believe in themselves. They started to have fun and feel that we can play some with some teams,” Russell said. “The game with Carson (a 9-5 defeat last Thursday) really turned the corner for us. We saw that we can play with the best.”

First baseman Jeff Jensen made a brave return to the lineup just two days after losing four teeth and needing 12 stitches from an errant ground ball that smacked him in the mouth.

Playing designated hitter in both games, Jensen went 2 for 5 and earned the respect and admiration of teammates and coaches alike.

“He responded as well as any young man that you could hope for,” Russell said. “He went above and beyond for what we hoped he would do. He’s every bit the team leader as a senior captain, … tough as nails.”

The Vikings concluded a stretch where they played seven games in nine days. Despite the winless start, Russell believes the winning pieces are beginning to coalesce for the Vikings.

“We didn’t have the success at the start that we had hoped, but we’re becoming the team that we want to be,” said Russell, whose team will begin this week against an arguably less difficult schedule. “We’re excited to get out there and see some people that maybe aren’t quite as dominating as the teams we faced in the early going.”

South Tahoe will return to the diamond, mining for a win against Lowry Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. Vikes’ Thrace Ramsey and Chris Hannum are the probable starting pitchers.

Terry injured in Whittell loss

The Whittell High softball team opened the season on a rocky note, losing a pair of games Saturday at the Lovelock tournament.

In the first game, the Warriors lost to Smith Valley, 15-3, and followed with a 14-2 defeat at the hands of Carlin.

Pitcher Aurora Terry injured a finger on her right hand during the second game and was taken to a nearby hospital for examination. Terry, a senior, suffered a bad sprain to her throwing hand and will miss the team’s game Tuesday against Virginia City, said Warriors coach Lindsay Wines.

Vikes like where they stand after conference opener

Cold, blustery conditions made warm-ups a predicament for the South Tahoe track and field team at Saturday’s conference opener at Reed, causing many runners to pull out of events because of pulled muscles. But those were able to race responded to the challenge.

“All in all, everybody that did compete did very well,” said South Tahoe boys coach Doug Brown. “And according to all of the other results we are looking very, very good as far as the rest of the teams in Northern Nevada are concerned.”

Jake Hurwitz paced the Vikings with a pair of first places, an 11-second effort in the 100-meter dash and a 19-3 leap in the long jump.

Manuel Lameli added a third in the 1,600, cutting nine seconds off his season-opening time with a 5:04 mark. James Clemmer rose the bar once again, this time two inches better than last week, flopping 5-10 for first place overall.

Grant Carter added a third place in the 400 (56.5), while Corey Martin finished second in the shot put with 38-4 throw.

The boys team finished fifth with 51.5 points, just two behind Lowry’s fourth-place effort.

On the girls side, it was Dawn Hock’s day: She posted a third place in the high jump (4-8) and won the triple jump (28-11).

Amy Carter rounded out South Tahoe’s top finishers with a third-place performance in the 300-meter hurdles (57.1).


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