Warriors’ dozen eyes state track titles
Members of Whittell and South Tahoe high schools will compete in NIAA/U.S. Bank state championship events this weekend.
Highlighting the weekend will be 12 members of Whittell’s track and field team, competing in the 3A finals on Friday and Saturday at Cheyenne High in Las Vegas. Warriors’ coach Dan Makley hopes the event will bring out the best in his athletes.
“I told them during our last practice that it doesn’t really matter what other people do. If we get some personal bests and reach our goals, we may win some medals. Either way, I’ll be happy,” he said.
While personal bests have marked Whittell’s season, a state title would be just the way to end the year. Juniors Sarah Sufka, Bob Linkul and Jordan Trim lead a list of 3A zone champions who have their sights set on top outings.
Sufka is a double-zone champ in the 400 and 800 runs and owns school records in both categories. Bob Linkul blew away the discus field at zone and has the school record of more than 153 feet. Trim won the zone 400 while taking second in the 200.
“Linkul probably has the best chance. Sarah and Jordan have a good chance, too,” Makley said. “But I’m not going to guess. I don’t know anything about the South and haven’t seen any marks. We just have to go out and do what we can do.”
Makley quickly points out that other competitors have an opportunity to do some state damage. Erin Zaskoda finished second in the zone triple jump. She’ll join Sufka, Jessica Gibbs and Ali Tanner in the 400 relay, a team that was second at zone. Freshman Luke Forvilly could surprise some people in the 110 and 300 hurdles, events he was second in at zone. Karin Kaleta, last year’s zone champ who has jumped five feet, will leap in the high jump. Shayne Warnick, Adrian Norman, Jason Estes and Chauncey Lane hope to improve on their superb second-place zone outing in the 400 relay.
“It’s exciting, but I’m trying to stay relaxed,” Makley said.
Meanwhile, four members of South Tahoe’s swim team will try their state luck on Saturday. The 4A finals are scheduled at the Lombardi complex on the University of Nevada campus in Reno.
Junior Sarah Ross finished second in the 100 backstroke at zone and earned a second straight state meet berth. On the flip side, the girls 200 medley relay squad of Ross, Denise Bogard, Kristi Collins and Jessica Tinlin surprised many of the larger schools, earning their own state date with a fourth-place zone outing.
Ross said she expects herself and Douglas’ Charlene Rigdon, who won zone with a 58.88, to be near the top in standings this weekend. Ross, who was fourth at state last year and looks to improve this time around, swam a 1:00.76.
“I was so close to breaking one minute. That’s my goal, (and) I don’t think there will be anyone from Las Vegas faster than (Rigdon),” said Ross after last week’s zone meet. “I always swim fast in this pool. I was relaxed and happy. I’m glad that state is here this year.”
Note: South Tahoe’s girls swim team earned the Nevada Interscholastic Athletic Association’s spring academic champion award for the sport. The team combined to produce a 3.61 grade-point average – tops among 4A schools in the state – while winning a second straight Sierra League title.
“Not only did they give their all in the pool, they’re giving their all in the classroom. I’m very proud of them,” said South Tahoe athletic director Frank Kovac.
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