BURBANK | With the end of the regular season quickly approaching for area track teams, it’s time for coaches to start to make their final adjustments before the state series begins.
For the girls teams of Thornridge and T.F. North that meant spending a cold wet evening at the Reavis Relays, trying to get in as much time on the track in a meet setting as possible.
“Our main goals from the start of the season were to win conference and get some girls down state,” T.F. North coach Omari Garrett said. “The most important thing now is to keep the girls healthy and really fine tune things a little heading into the conference meet.”
Although Garret wasn’t happy with a seventh place finish, he has to be pleased with the performance of his sprint relays. They placed in the top six in four events, highlighted by a victory in the 1,600-meter relay.
“The 800 and 1,600 teams have been building on their times all year,” Garrett said. “They both put up one of their personal best times of the season, so I feel really good going into conference next week.”
Although it’s nice to pick up a medal, the Meteors echoed their coaches feelings that the real season starts next week at conference. Hopefully, it will end with a trip to the state finals in Charleston.
“We were close to the state qualifying time tonight in the rain and the cold,” 1,600 relay team member Da’sia Blackmon said. “It probably would have been a better time if there was a faster field here to run against, but we’re close to that time and getting to state is the most important thing.”
It was much the same for Thornridge coach Tashanna Catron, who knows what her team is capable of at this point in the season.
“The majority of my top runners that can contend for state are seniors,” Catron said. “This is one of their last chances to show what they can do to make sure they’re running at sectionals.”
If this was one of their last chances to shine, the Falcons sprinters didn’t disappoint by winning the 300 hurdles, the sprint medley, and the 800 relay. The team finished in fourth overall despite not bringing any throwers to the meet.
“I’m happy with that we were able to win or be near the top of every event we ran today,” Catron said. “But their times were better earlier in the season. Some of that is due to the weather, but I need them to push themselves a little more if their goal is to get to state.”
On the boys side, Mount Carmel won three of the five sprint relays they competed in, coming from 15 meters behind in the final turn of both the 400 and 800 events.
With his team trailing heading into the second exchange in both races, Mark Mudd took the baton and put his team on his shoulders. He not only closed the distance, but he gave the Caravan a 5-meter cushion by the time he handed the baton to anchor runner Tyron Thurmon.
“We ran great as a team in both relays,” Mudd said. “I feel really good; I feel I was really able to contribute to the team tonight.”