Shocker tracksters start well at Oroville Invitational

By Joel Harding
Empire Press Correspondent

Waterville/Mansfield boys and girls track teams ran, jumped and threw at the Oroville Invitational Track Meet March 19.

The girls finished in the top five and the boys finished in the 13th spot for the meet. It was the first meet of the year, yet times and distances were surprisingly good. The teams will compete at Ephrata’s Ray Cross Invitational Meet on March 26.

Lexi Deishl took a third place in the 100-meter dash for the girls in 13.96 seconds. Elaina Thomsen and McKaylin Gormley followed up with a 30.03 for fourth and a 30.91 for seventh, respectively, in the 200. Gormley took a third in the 800 with 2:48.2 and Maria Bustos finished in 15th. Johnny Mullen and David McDonald were 13th and 14th in the boys race. In the 1600-meter run, Andrea Hermida was seventh in the girls contest with 7:52.44 and Ben Garnica was 13th in the boys race. Waterville’s two best distance runners last year, cousins Kelsey Browning and Taylor Willms, did not run because of illness and injury.

One big win for the Lady Shockers was a second place finish in the 4×400 relay. Deishl, Andrea Luaces, Gormley and Thomsen ran the race in 4:54.11

Throwing and jumping were surprisingly strong categories for the Shockers. Hannah Hughes was the winner in the girls long jump with 13-10. Hughes also got sixth in the shot put with a distance of 29-03.50. Joe Dahlke took eighth for the boys shot put with 33-08.25. Alex Capi got 11th in the discus. Hughes took third in the girls javelin throw with a 100-06 toss. Dahlke got a fifth for the boys with 113-09 and Capi took 14th. Thomsen was third in the girls high jump with 4-08 and Gormley was seventh with 4-02. Garnica was seventh for the boys with 5-feet even. Deishl pole vaulted to a height of 6-06 for a third place. Mullen and Garnica missed the top 15 in the long jump by an inch and a half.

The Shocker teams faced mostly 2B competition at Oroville, but there will be bigger schools at Ephrata. That means even stronger runners, jumpers and throwers to compete against. This early in the season, times are not nearly as important as consistent improvement each week. Waterville/Mansfield had good performances for their first meet. With better times and distances as they round into shape, the Shockers look to be strong contenders during the season and in postseason meets.