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Flying High: Raiders win local track bragging rights
by Aaron Retherford
Apr 17, 2012 | 2037 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Reed's Victor Gbenjo reaches back for a handoff in a relay race.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Reed's Victor Gbenjo reaches back for a handoff in a relay race.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Reed sophomore Gabby Williams falls to the matt during one of her attempts in the high jump.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Reed sophomore Gabby Williams falls to the matt during one of her attempts in the high jump.
It was a day of shattered records and impressive individual performances for the Reed Raiders at the 2nd annual Rail City Track and Field Championships presented by Scheels and the Sparks Tribune Tuesday at Sparks High.

Reed’s Gabby Williams and Adrianna Newell were unstoppable in the girls competition, winning three individual events apiece and running in the winning 4x400m relay. The duo helped lead the Raiders to tally 89 points for the girls championship. The Cougars were close behind in second with 71 points and the Railroaders had 13.

On the boys side, it wasn’t that close. But Reed senior Josh Gingras and Cody Forman ran their way to a handful of victories in their team’s 39-point win as the Raiders defended both their team titles from a year ago. Reed earned 105 points. Spanish Springs had 64 and Sparks brought up the rear with 15.

“We always tell them to trust in their training and what we’re doing with them and it will pay off,” Reed track and field coach Dale Moss said. “The thing we talk about most is for them to be consistent with how they’re running. I don’t want them peaking too soon. Being consistent with their running is my biggest concern right now. That puts us in position to be where we want for regionals.”

The Spanish Springs boys saw their best chance to lead the event go up in smoke on the third leg of the 4x800m relay, the meet’s opening event. Reed built a big enough cushion for anchorman Cody Forman to cruise to the victory.

However, for the Cougars girls, no other school entered the 4x800m relay, giving the Purple and White the victory and an early 5-0 lead in the girls standings.

But it only took one event for the Raiders to erase the early deficit as Williams blazed by her competition by an entire set of hurdles, winning the 100m girls hurdles with a time of 14.64 seconds, besting her meet record time of 14.95 seconds set a year ago. Teammate Sierra Hooft finished second in 16.46 seconds, earning eight points in the event for Reed to tie the competition with Spanish Springs at 8-8 through two events.

In the second event for the boys, Sparks’ Moises Collazo’s fourth-place finish cost Reed a point in the 110m hurdles, enabling the Spanish Springs boys to surge into a one-point lead after Anthony Paccella won the race in 17.45 seconds.

In the 100-meter dash, the Raider boys regained the meet lead for good as seniors Gingras and Spencer Stockton took first and third respectively, sandwiching Spanish Springs’ Shamir Geisinger in second place. Gingras surpassed his meet record with a time of 11.06 seconds.

In the girls 100 meters, Reed’s Newell and Cherish Navarroza took the top two spots. Newell beat her meet record, taking first in a time of 12.43 seconds.

But the Cougars lost even more ground by dropping the baton in the 4x200m relay and Reed won by crossing the finish line in 1:32.82.

The Raiders also won the 4x200m relay on the girls side, taking the race in 1:51.86, a new meet record.

The Blue and Gold claimed first in both the boys and girls 4x100m relays.

In the boys mile, Forman tied the meet record in his dominating win with a time of 4:51.10.

The Spanish Springs girls made up some ground in the standings as Karmyn Witt and Madison McHenry finished 1-2 in the girls mile. Witt earned a time of 5:57.70.

Victor Gbenjo (55.14) and William Lyons took the top two spots in the 400-meter dash for the Raiders.

Newell made it look easy in the girls 400m, winning by almost eight seconds (56.71). She also shaved off a second and a half from her meet record.

Reed swept the 300-meter hurdles. Mathew Cain won the boys competition in 45.92 seconds, while Sierra Hooft won the girls in 49.26 seconds.

Forman (2:07.25) took home another championship t-shirt by winning the 800 meters by 10 seconds. Williams capped her three-individual win day by running her second 800 meters of the year. Her time of 2:30.70 set a meet record.

Reed sprinters Gingras and Newell kept on scorching the track Tuesday as they placed first in the 200-meter dash with times of 22.93 seconds and 25.97 seconds respectively. Newell’s time broke her own meet record.

In the longest race of the day, Reed’s Brandon Robbins (11.07.53) won the boys 3200m, while Spanish Springs’ Emily Ruff (13:40.97) was first ahead of teammate Kara Buscay. The eight points pulled the Cougar girls to within five points of the Raiders.

But Reed sealed the girls victory as Williams and Newell combined with Hooft and Navarroza in the final race of the night, the 4x400m girls relay. The Raiders clearly had fun winning the race by a half lap.

“It’s just a nice, relaxed environment. You can go out and coach a lot more because you don‘t have the pressure of big crowds and making athletes run a lot of heats,” Moss said. “Obviously the kids are having fun doing it. They look forward to the t-shirts. You’d be surprised how much they fight for those t-shirts.”

The Reed boys 4x400m relay also dominated their race.

In the field events, Williams set a meet record in the high jump, clearing 5 feet 10 inches. Spanish Springs recorded eight points in the boys high jump as Levi McDonald took first with a jump of 5 feet 8 inches, followed by teammate Vance Lively’s five and a half feet. Lively was first in the long jump with a mark of 19-04.00.

“Today was a pretty tough day for us,” SSHS co-head coach Winston Mora said. “We’ve got three weeks to go, so we still have a little time to fix some things. I’d say Shamir Geisinger, Vance Lively and Shannise Mora were our three best athletes today.”

In the pole vault, McKenna Bush got the Cougars five points by making it over the bar at seven feet. The boys pole vault was won by Reed’s Jacob Striejewske with a clearance of 11 and a half feet.

Reed’s Sam Nichols dominated the boys discus, launching a throw of 139-07 to shatter the meet record by over 25 feet. Fellow Raider Stockton was second.

The east Sparks school was also 1-2 in the boys shot put. Brent Kelly (42-01.00) was first ahead of Brent Klitzke.

Reed freshman Emily Braun jumped 16-10.50 in the girls long jump, making a case for her to challenge at regionals. Triple jumpers Cassandra Jacobsen (32-02.50) and Tina Vernon helped extend Reed’s final margin by placing first and second.

Marc Garrett of Sparks helped the Railroaders stand on the top of the podium once for the boys after winning the triple jump by soaring 39 feet, improving on his jump from three days earlier by five feet.

The Sparks girls won their only two events in the throws. Karla Ramirez’s girls discus throw of 81 feet and Val Guerrero’s throw of 29 feet 10 inches in the girls shot put were good enough for first.

“I was pleased with the meet and how it ran,” Sparks coach Adam Barrett said. “We didn’t have any hiccups or anything. I was satisfied with how our kids competed. I thought they represented well with our small numbers. We had a representative in almost every race. We had three event winners and one (Garrett) was a big surprise. It was a nice surprise, and he’s real happy about it, so that’s nice to see.”
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