By Lukas Eggen Ely Times Staff Writer
Prior to the State meet last weekend, coach Justin Locke projected what the White Pine girls’ track and field team would score based on seeds. His findings? The Ladycats would win by a score of 101 to 100 over the Meadows.
Last weekend, for the first time in school history, the White Pine High girls’ track team took home the state title last weekend, scoring 125 points. Taking 13 girls to State, the Ladycats performed strongly in numerous events to bring home the state title.
“We were pretty ecstatic,” Locke said. “We’ve been so close, it was nice to finally be able to break through.”
Autumn Lawrence played a big role for White Pine, taking first in the long jump, 100, 200 and 400-meter runs.
“We haven’t found anyone that’s taken first in all four of her events at the State meet,” Locke said. “It was special to watch.”
Shania Marques finished first in the high jump. Other girls results included a pair of fourth place finishes by Caitlin Stanton in the 800 and 1600-meter runs, a third, fourth and seventh place finishes by Savannah Drew, Brittany Bennett and Madeline Pickens in the triple jump and a sixth pace finish by Taylor Pickens in the 3200-meter run.
“Every year we’re projected to score a certain amount of points and we always exceed those expectations,” Locke said. “It’s nice to see that year in and year out. Our team knows what we expect from them and by the time divisions and State comes, we want to be a title contending team.”
The boys’ track team may not have brought home a state title, but the Bobcats performed strongly, finishing third in the team standings.
“If we had one or two more boys at divisions, we would have been able to hold our streak at Divisions,” Locke said. “But I was real happy with how the boys did given the numbers we were able to take.”
Jarrett Gubler capped his high school career with an individual state title in the high jump, a second place finish in the long jump and a third place finish in the triple jump.
“He’s going to be missed,” Locke said. “He was a real strong athlete for us this year.”
Junior Carl Henze took fifth in the triple jump, sixth in the 110-meter hurdles and second in the high jump in his final meet with White Pine because of an impending move. But the Bobcats also saw several other strong performances.
“Tommy Bischoff in the triple jump set a personal record by another foot and a half and so he’s knocking on the door of the record,” Locke said.
Locke said he expects the boys team to be strong next season, with a mix of young athletes and the return of athletes like Dee Fullmer, who was injured, and Nate Lee, who missed divisions because of personal commitments and seeing who will replace Gubler’s, Henze’s and other seniors production.
“It will be fun to see who steps up with Jarett graduating and Carl moving away,” Locke said.
As White Pine took home the State title on the girls side and saw another strong performance on the boys side, White Pine’s track and field team capped off a strong 2013 season, something that Locke said the athletes did more than their fair share to earn.
“It’s a testament to the hard work they were able to put in and never wanting to give up,” Locke said. “...We always told them to keep working hard and give me your all and I promise the results will be there at the end. And for a lot of these kids, they were.”
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