Rangers, Patriots use meet as early outlookApril 3, 2019
By JONATHAN SAXON
FERDINAND — Blue and green blurs were all the rage as conference rivals Heritage Hills and Forest Park met in an early track season tilt last evening. Everyone took their marks and gave it all they had through the finish line as all the athletes used the occasion to test their mettle and see how they stack against the competition. While it would be the Patriots that came away with the victory over the Rangers, both teams also used the meeting to take inventory of their stocks, which can only grow richer as the season progresses.
Heritage Hills boys coach Pete Lashley was happy to come out ahead in points, 79.6 to 49.3 to be exact, but he was most pleased by the effort he saw from the athletes as that has been a major point of emphasis he and the coaches are trying to impart on the kids early on as they work towards their top season form.
“We talked about being on the effort scale for the first three our four weeks,” he said. “Performances were very good and the effort was fantastic. It’s a starting point, always happy to start with a win.”
The boys were led by senior sprinter and jumper Kyndell Carter who finished in the top spot in the 100 meter dash (11.46 sec.), 200 meter dash (24.26 sec.), long jump (18 feet, 9 inches), and was part of the winning 4x100 meter relay team. He said of some his teammates were a bit nervous about how they would perform with it being the team’s first meet, but he thinks everyone was fine once those jitters worked themselves out.
“All of us (have) been working in the offseason since January, so we all put in work,” said Carter, who just did his best to keep his mind clear as he got ready to run. “Don’t think about anything, just run your strides. Do whatever it takes, and I did that.”
Junior Alex Hasty has already hit a personal milestone as he cleared 12 feet en route to top honors in the pole vault event. While Hasty thought it was nice to win, he still felt a little disappointed with not being able to hit his target of 13 feet but with the season in its infancy he looks forward to getting back to it in practice so he can soar to higher heights in the next competition.
“Not what I was expecting, but definitely not bad,” said Hasty. “I hit a 12’6” indoors over the summer, but it’s the first meet. There’s a lot of practice to be done and more learning, but it’ll come.”
The Patriot girls also put forth a solid showing and head coach Dawn Mix was particularly encouraged by the team’s performance in the field events, a historical weak spot that Mix wanted to address, which contributed to the girls’ 74 points.
“Overall we did fairly well in our field events, specifically the throws and high jump.” she said. “In years past, field events have been where we struggled, so tonight gave us a better idea of where we stand in those areas.”
Sophomore mid distance runner Rebekah Gordon, who took up throwing for the first time this season, finished the meet throwing 36 feet and 1 ½ inches in shot put and 82 feet and 7 inches in discus. She also took first in the 800 meter run at 2 minutes and 54 seconds and third place in high jump, clearing 4 feet and 6 inches.
“I thought it was pretty exciting,” she said. “I’ve been working on it alot in the preseason. I was glad with the results and I truly believe that if I continue working I can keep getting better throughout the season.”
The Forest Park boys and girls team each had their bright spots during meet as well and both Rangers coaches left with key takeaways that they think will benefit their athletes as the season progresses.
“I saw some good performances and I saw some things we still need to work on,” said boys coach Philip Wolf. “We’re very young, we have 12 freshmen on the team. We can only grow from where we’re at.”
“I was really pleased and proud of these girls,” added girls coach Kacie Klem, about her team's 49 points. “Heritage Hills is a much larger school than us; for us to come out and compete well and run strong this early in the season gives us a good gauge for where we’re headed by the end of the season.”
Senior Alex Weyer claimed the top spot in the 110 meter hurdles (18.48 sec.), 300 meter hurdles (48.99 sec.), and high jump (5’2”). It was his first time ever winning all three events in one meet.
“People are kind of mad at me,” he said. “I care more about getting better than the end result. The end result is obviously really cool, but I saw all my times were not quite where I wanted them to be, so I was a little bummed about that.”
Junior Josie Berg finished top of the heap in the 400 meter run with a time of 1 minute, 8 seconds. She also ran on the 4x400 meter relay team that finished first overall, posting a 4 minute, 51 second final mark.
“I think we did pretty well. There were some that stepped in and ran some events that they weren’t comfortable with, but they went out and tried to get some points,” she said. “I’m excited about how the season is going so far. Where I’m at right now, I’m ready to keep going and pushing to see where I get in a couple weeks.”
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