STHS tracksters hope for poetry in motion in ’99 |

STHS tracksters hope for poetry in motion in ’99

At the team’s first practice, South Tahoe High track and field coach Rick Brown decided to skip the typical preseason coachspeak. He went straight for poetry.

Reading C.W. Longenecker’s “The Victor” and touting mental preparation, Brown hopes to inspire the 1999 Viking team to great heights with a blend of enthusiasm, hard work and positive thinking.

“A lot of this sport is mental,” Brown said. “I told the guys that I think we can raise some eyebrows, pick up some heads and have teams ask, ‘Where’d they come from?’ this year. I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do this season.”

The Vikings did not have any state tournament qualifiers last season, but Brown hopes to have six-to-eight athletes make it to the 1999 championships May 21-22 in Las Vegas.

“I told the team that was our goal for this season. Let’s work hard and see what we can do with this goal,” he said.

Brown thinks senior Corey Martin might be the one to lead the Vikings to the postseason promise land. Martin, a talented shot putter and discus thrower, has already set South Tahoe’s indoor shot put record with a throw during the team’s first practice this season. A two-time captain, Martin was also an all-state second-team selection at tight end for the Viking football team.

“His dedication to football is obvious and his dedication to track and field is equally impressive,” said Brown, now in his fifth season with the STHS program. “He’s a hard, eager worker and if he’s ever sick or hurt, he’s like an assistant coach out there.”

Sophomore sprinter Jake Hurwitz has a good shot at state, as do Manuel Lomeli (distance), Grant Carter (middle distance) and Jeff Cosmi (middle distance). Newcomers James Clemmer and Michael Crivello should be able to supply a Viking force in the long jump and sprint events.

South Tahoe will begin its season Saturday morning against Carson and, like many of the South Shore’s spring prep teams, the Vikes season opener will be their first taste of normal competitive conditions: snow-free terra firma.

“The thing I’ve tried to tell the kids … is that you de-emphasize the first couple of meets,” Brown said. “This will really be our first opportunity to get outdoors and on an actual track. I’m going to try to play down our first few outings.”

The 1999 season marks the return of Jerry Carter to the prep track and field coaching ranks as the team’s girls coach.

“The girls have changed, for the better,” Carter said. “Everything is still a little new. Right now, I’m trying to feel my way and see what kind of talent we have on this team.”

Leading the Viking girls will be tri-captains Jennifer Carrell (distance), Dana Hawk (high jump) and Launa Giordano (long distance). Returnees from last year’s team include Lisa Orr (distance), Beth Kirkland (distance), Katie Allegrini (long jump) and Chantal Knoll (long jump). A trio of freshman hurdlers (Danielle Kelleher, Amy Carter and Lindsay Hitt) have shown promise under the tutelage of assistant coach Julie Pope.

This early in the season, however, it’s anybody’s guess what the season may hold for the Vikes.

“My goal is to find out who can do what on this team,” Carter said. “Obviously, we’d like to improve as the season progresses and hopefully be able to take some athletes to state.”


Coach: Rick Brown, boys coach; Jerry Carter, girls coach

Top Returners: Jennifer Carrell, Dawn Hawk, Launa Giordano, Lisa Orr, Beth Kirkland, Katie Allegrini; Corey Martin, Jake Hurwitz, Manuel Lomeli, Grant Carter, Jeff Cosmi

Top Newcomers: Danielle Kelleher (hurdles), Amy Carter (hurdles), Lindsay Hitt (hurdles), James Clemmer (high/long jump), Michael Crivello (long jump/sprints)

Season Opener: 9 a.m., Saturday vs. Carson HS

He Said It: “Traditionally Reed is the team to beat in our league. They always have the talent and the numbers. We don’t look to try and stay up with them. We just want to be able to put some chinks in their armor.” – Rick Brown


The rest is optional, of course:


“The Victor”

By C.W. Longenecker

If you think you are beaten, you are.

If you think you dare not, you don’t.

If you like to win, but think you can’t

It’s almost a cinch you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost.

For out in the world we find

Success begins with a fellow’s will,

It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are.

You’ve got to think high to rise.

You’ve got to be sure of yourself before

You can ever win the prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go

To the stronger or faster man,

But sooner or later, the man who wins,

Is the man who thinks he can.


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