STHS sprinters hold keys to regional bids
The road to the Nevada state track & field championships begins this weekend at Reed High as the regional qualifiers kick off.
South Tahoe High’s best hopes for state entrants lie among the male sprinters, but with two boys still battling injury there isn’t a single sure thing for the Vikings.
Grant Swinney and Corey Vermillion are key members of the Vikings’ 4×100 relay team and possible members of the 4×200 relay team as well, but both have been out of competition for weeks. Swinney (hip flexor) hasn’t run since the final league meet on April 21 and he pulled up lame in his first event at that meet. Vermillion (calf contusion) hasn’t been 100 percent all season and hasn’t competed in more than a month.
The relay teams should cruise through this weekend’s qualifiers, with Hug the only real challenger for one of the eight regional finals spots in each event. Dan McCullough may substitute for Swinney in the 4×200 race to take some of the burden off of the injured senior.
At the regional finals on May 14-15, the top three finishers in each event will qualify for the state meet on the following weekend.
“We’ve had a couple weeks off to practice, so we should be fine,” Mikey Van Gorden said on Wednesday. “For the qualifiers, we’ll definitely be sure to make our handoffs and be a lot more careful. If we make it to state, then we can let it all hang out.”
Kevin Capellino, the other relay team member, will join Van Gorden and Swinney in the 100-meter dash as three of the top seven seeds. Vermillion, on the other hand, should dominate both hurdles races and challenge for a spot at state.
Matt Bobman owns the second-best shot put mark in the region and should easily make the regional final barring any mishaps. With a personal best throw of 50 feet, 6 inches, the junior has an excellent chance at a state berth as well.
“If Matt throws 50 feet, he’ll go to state,” South Tahoe coach Dan Wilvers said. “Once he gets there, who knows what can happen?”
Wilvers is hoping a couple of his female distance runners will make a push for the state meet, although the Reno schools are very strong this season and his runners are mostly freshmen and sophomores. The 4×800 relay team has already qualified for the regional finals.
“That’s going to be the best race for the girls at regionals,” Wilvers said. “Reno is ranked third in the nation in that event, so there’s obviously a high level of competition there.”