opens a few eyes
A Colville High track and field team that includes more than a few new faces this spring got the 2013 high school season underway last Saturday at the 16-team West Valley Invitational.
CHS head coach Ty Brown said that going into the mid-March shakedown cruise the goal was to get a feel for what the Indians have this spring as they embark on a new two-year adventure back in the Great Northern League.
“This is always a good way to jump right into the mix of great competition and get a handle on how to organize the athletes in juggling their individual events,” Brown said of the big West Valley meet. “With a good number of fresh faces on the team, we used this as a test to understand where to be and what to do at a large track meet. With a large number of competitors and heats in the races and flights in the field events, the athletes are learning how to stay warm and ready when it is their time to compete. This is always a challenge in the early part of the season when the weather is not so good and these large invites can run long.”
Some top performances by veterans—and newcomers
Brown conceded that the Indians have some work to do in terms of team competition. But he and the CHS coaching staff certainly saw some encouraging signs at West Valley.
“The goal for the meet was to get some early season races in and attempt to see what some of these kids can do in events they have had success in the past or ones they were trying for the first time.”
Colville’s relay teams, for instance, are made up of some new talent, “so this was a good way to test them out and learn for the future league meets. It was also good to see what our league competition will be like.”
On the boy’s side, University High of the Greater Spokane League led a “Big School” top five with 126 points. Ferris was second, Mt. Spokane finished third, Lewis & Clark was fourth and Shadle Park finished fifth. Host West Valley of the GNL finished sixth and Riverside was seventh. East Valley was eighth and Colville and Cheney tied for ninth.
On the girl’s side, Lewis & Clark won the meet with 111.5 points. East Valley of the GNL was a close second with 106.5 points. Cheney was a distant third with 68.5 points and Ferris finished fourth.
Colville was 10th with 38 points.
There were some very good early season marks for the Indians, and some notable surprises.
Senior Cainan Holte continued where he left off after the State 1A meet last spring with a win in the discus at WV. Holte battled it out with several bigger school competitors from the GSL and turned in a winning throw of 163-07. That was a new PR and only two-feet off the CHS school record of 165-07 established back in 1990 by J.P. Thurman.
“Cainan battled it out with several competitors from the GSL,” throws coach Bob Gumm said.
Freshman Tora Luu turned more than a few heads with a 5-4 high jump and a championship. The winning jump established a new freshman record and put her only two inches behind her sister, Tasha, who now competes at Spokane Falls Community College. Tasha set the school record in the HJ in 2010.
“That was an eye-opening experience for me as her coach,” coach Brown said of Tora Luu’s debut. “I knew she had talent from watching her compete at the junior high level. But I never expected her to clear 5-4 and take the overall victory (in a field of over 40 jumpers).
“She was so calm and determined.”
4 events in debut
Luu, competing in four events on a cold and windy day at WV, was a member of the Colville 4x200 relay team (with sister Malia, Alyona Gudima and Haley Jensen) that finished eighth (1:53.09).
Luu was also a member of the CHS 4x100 relay team (Malia Luu, Chelsea Phillips and Gudima) that finished fourth (53.55).
Luu finished off her impressive day with an eighth place finish in an event she just tried for the first time last week—the triple jump (31-04.5).
Other notable CHS performances included junior distance ace Kevin Carpenter’s fourth place finish in the 1600 (a PR of 4:33.59). He followed that up with a very impressive second place finish in the 3200 (10:06.44). That mark was Carpenter’s second best run ever in the event.
“Kevin is right there where he needs to be at this time of the season,” distance coach Randy Stebbins said. “Kevin is a smart runner who knows when his time will be to peak.”
Grady Nelson got CHS back on the pole vault map with a very strong showing in an event the Indians haven’t factored in or competed in for decades.
Nelson, who had never before competed in the pole vault or track and field for that matter, cleared 9-6 at WV. That was good for a 15th place tie and put him ahead of 25 other competitors in the event.
CHS pole vault coach Sandy Moore was very impressed with Nelson’s finish.
“After only three weeks learning an incredibly difficult event, Grady was able to clear 9-6…he has worked really hard and I was very impressed with his performance.”
Nelson has his sights set on Dave Porubek’s 13-06 school record. That mark was established back in 1975.
Malia Luu started her season on a great note with a third place finish in the 100 meters (13.56) and a second in the 200 (27.71). She also anchored Colville’s 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams.
Senior Chelsea Phillips added the long jump for the first time and turned in an impressive showing with a 10th place finish (15-01). She also finished fifth in the 100 hurdles (17.62) and was a member of the CHS 4x100 relay team.
Karli Brooks picked up where she left off last spring in the shot put, finishing eighth at WV with a heave of 30-08.
AT A GLANCE
Some other CHS finishes at a glance:
400 meters, Ryan Lytle, 12th, 55.81.
110 meter hurdles, Luke Walker, 18th, 19.96.
300 meter hurdles, Noah Robbins, 14th, 48.17.
Shot put, Gabriela Broden, 17th, 28 ft.
Shot put, Colton Thompson, 12th, 41-07.
Discus, Colton Thompson, 10th, 123-06.
Triple jump, William Burton, 16th, 36-08.
Colville will host its own Ezra Gordon Invitational on Saturday at CHS. The meet, which this year features at least 24 teams, starts at 11 a.m.
“Most of the teams are B level schools,” Brown said. “A few of the schools entered are from the GNL and NEA.”
The top small school team and the top big school team will receive trophies. Ditto for the top six individual performers in the events.
“This should be a great meet with a lot of good competition,” Brown added.