Shocker track at Ephrata meets

Christina Suarez bursts out of the starting blocks in the 100 meter dash at the Ray Cross Invitational meet. (Joel Harding photo)


By Joel Harding

The Waterville girls and boys track teams visited Ephrata for the annual Ice Breaker meet March 17 and the super-sized Ray Cross Invitational meet March 21. Both meets had schools from a variety of classifications. The Ice Breaker included teams from Wenatchee, Ephrata, Quincy, Connell, Wilson Creek and Waterville. The Ray Cross Invitational had 23 schools competing, of which there were eight 2B schools like Waterville.

The weather was nice for the Ice Breaker meet. For the boys, several Waterville tracksters stood out. In the 400 meter run, Chris Dronen came in fourth. Additionally, he and Brandon Dorn came in seventh and fourth, respectively, in the long jump.

Elaina Thomsen finished second in the 200 meters and Lexi Deishl won the 400 meters. Kelsey Browning won the 800 and Deishl finished second. Browning also won the 1600 and the 3200 meter events. Browning, Deishl, Thomsen and Cristina Suarez took third in the 4×100 relay. Thomsen finished second in the high jump.

At the Ray Cross Invitational, there were more teams and the competition was keen. To get one of the places in any event was an accomplishment. There were three 4A schools, six 2A schools, three 1A teams, eight 2B schools and three 1B schools.

Browning finished second in the 800 meters, fourth in the 1600 and fifth in the 3200 meters. Thomsen was eighth in the 300 meter hurdles and sixth in the high jump. The Waterville girls finished eleventh in the meet overall and third among the 2B schools, with only St. George’s School of Spokane and Okanogan ahead of them.

Compared to the other 2B schools, the girls matched up well. Browning defeated all other 2B runners in the 1600 and 3200 and was second in the 800. Brooke Simmons notched a third in the 100 meters, a fourth in the 400 meters and a fourth in the 300 meter hurdles, among the 2B contestants. Like Deishl, Simmons is only a freshman. Thomsen was second among 2Bs in the 200 meters, the first 2B runner in the 300 meter hurdles and second among 2Bs in the high jump. Deishl was fourth among 2Bs in the 800 meters and third in the 400 meters. In the 4×100 relay, Deishl, Thomsen, Simmons and Browning were third among 2B teams.

For the boys, Dronen was fourth among 2Bs in the 400 meters and Ben Garnica was seventh in the 1600. Logan Cooper of Mansfield was a finalist in the triple jump, finished tenth overall and second among the 1B competitors.

The track teams faced other 2B teams, plus a couple of 1Bs in a meet at Bridgeport on March 24. That is a good early season test of their progress toward the postseason. For both the boys and girls, some Shockers have won at the state meet and know what it requires to compete at that level. Their experience will help the talented younger team members to achieve their best as well.