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Timberwolves show teeth in Tah-Neva League finals

Michael Traum

South Tahoe and Kingsbury middle schools proved track and field at the lake is alive and well in the Tah-Neva league championships on May 21 at Carson Valley Middle School.

South Tahoe’s boys and girls seventh-grade teams each took first place, while the eighth-grade teams were each third. Kingsbury’s eighth-grade boys team was second and the eighth-grade girls were third. Eleven teams competed in the championships.

“It’s a popular sport and the kids enjoy it. We try to make it fun but let them know the harder they work the more they can achieve,” said South Tahoe Timberwolves coach Dominique Westlake.

Five seventh-grade boys from STMS took home first places, with Hudson Wilvers and Phil Griffith each winning a pair of events. Wilvers showed diversity in winning the 75-meter hurdles (12.86) and 1,600-meter run (5:35.88). Griffith swept the short speed events, winning the 100 (13.49) and 200 (28.41).

“That’s nice range. He’s very talented, a hard worker and has a lot of potential,” said Westlake of Wilvers, who broke a school record in the hurdles. “And Phil, once he realizes what he can do and how fast he is, he can be really good.”

Joining Wilvers and Griffith atop the podium were Sean Pawling with a 3,200-meter run of 12:16.29; Dan Wexelblatt, shot put, 39-6; and Aston Wilcox, long jump, 13-1/4. Wilcox also was second in the 3,200.

Karen Dalmacio led the list of three STMS seventh-grade girls who captured first places. Dalmacio took the 200 hurdles (34.61) and 200 (29.52). Jackie Marshall won the 400 in 1:10.11, while Cindy Davis sailed the long jump in 12-5. Davis also was second in the triple jump while Amber Ramos was second in the 3,200.

“We’re one of the biggest schools and usually compete for at least two titles. There’s a lot of diversity, a lot of kids doing different events. There’s a lot of talent in the seventh grade. I think they’ll compete for the eighth-grade title next year,” Westlake said.

South Tahoe’s eighth-grade girls places included: Julie Garcia, second, 3,200 and 1,600; and Amy Carter, 200 hurdles, second. STMS’s eighth-grade boys results included: Cory Crist, 200 hurdles, second; and David Lake, 800, second.

Kingsbury Middle School’s eighth-grade boys showed promise, especially in the distance events, as three athletes won a total of five races. Ben Johnson won the 1,600-meter run (5:31) and 800 (2:32.84); Jonathan Nunnally, 100 (12.31) and 200 (26.41); and Chad Gerken, 3,200-meter run, 12:06.1. Interestingly, Gerken finished just one second behind Johnson in the 1,600.

“To have two top achievers in distance running at this level is really neat,” said KMS co-coach Nancy Roberts. “And as Jonathan is getting older, he’s really coming along and becoming a great athlete.”

Two KMS eighth-grade girls brought home firsts. Kendall Meeker won the shot put in 30-3, while Kendell Spingola took the long jump in 12-8.

“For a small school, it seems we’ve placed pretty well,” Roberts said.

Jessica Purdy was second in the long jump behind Spingola, while Liz Rico was third in the shot put and Abby Lane was third in the triple jump.

In the seventh-grade KMS events, Jackie Laurian was second in the girls high jump and James Foley was third in the boys triple jump.

St. Theresa’s, taking part in the championships for the first time, was led by the seventh-grade girls 1,600-meter relay team, which finished sixth, and long jumper J.T. Reece’s fourth-place performance.

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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