Spartans track teams keep churning out top marks
May 1, 2014
By Neil Pierson
In the midst of perhaps their toughest training of the season, the Skyline Spartans track and field teams appear to be responding with some of their best marks.
The Skyline girls shared the team title April 19 at Snohomish High School’s Larry Eason Invitational, and are putting themselves in contention for a KingCo Conference championship in May.
Several athletes set personal records April 24 in the Spartans’ final KingCo home meet of the season, a 110-31 victory over the Roosevelt Roughriders.
Geneva Ecola, a junior who’s in her sixth season as a hurdler, moved into sixth place in the conference standings for the 100 hurdles by finishing in 15.93 seconds at the Snohomish invitational. She was close to that time against Roosevelt, winning in 16.04.
Her first-place time of 48.14 seconds in the 300 hurdles might have been more impressive, considering it was the first time she’d run the event in 2014. Ecola’s time was the third-best in KingCo this season, and she indicated she has lots of room for improvement.
“I really like that race,” she said. “I think just attacking the hurdles and not stuttering up to them – I think that’s the biggest part of the 300 race, is not trying to fix yourself over the hurdle before you’ve even gotten there.”
Ecola is hoping to make her first appearance at the Class 4A state championships, a year after advancing to the district meet in the 100 hurdles. She credits Spartans coach Jeff Herrera for her progression.
“He’s just always pushing me to do better and telling me new things to fix,” Ecola said. “There’s always something new on the list to work on.”
The stars of the Skyline girls team, seniors Dorie Dalzell and Alex Daugherty, continued to shine during the meet against Roosevelt.
The University of Kansas-bound Dalzell is among the state’s top-10 fastest athletes in four events – the 100, 200, 400 and 800 meters. She won the 100 against Roosevelt in a personal-best time of 12.54, and also won the 200 in 26.24.
Daugherty, who is headed to Notre Dame, is establishing herself as a state-medal favorite in the 800 and 1,600 meters. She also set a personal record against Roosevelt by winning the 1,600 in 5 minutes, 9.80 seconds, more than 12 seconds ahead of her previous best.
Dalzell and Daugherty are helping the Spartans’ relay teams, too. With help from Mckenzie Deutsch and Maizy Brewer, Skyline holds the top 4A time in the state in the 1,600 relay (4:02.65). The Spartans are second statewide in the 800 relay as Amanda Johnston and Brandi Hughes have teamed with Dalzell and Daugherty for a time of 1:43.50.
Skyline’s boys held on for a 69-66 victory against Roosevelt, thanks in part to the contributions of senior captain Bryan Lee.
Lee hadn’t competed in the high jump this season, but cleared a personal-best height of 5 feet, 6 inches for first place. The Spartans wouldn’t have won the meet without those points.
Lee’s specialty event, though, is the discus, and he’s not only putting himself in position for his first state-meet berth, he could win a medal. His winning toss of 161 feet 7.5 inches against Roosevelt is the third-best this season among 4A athletes.
The Spartans have plenty of depth in the sprints and middle distances, and could have multiple athletes emerge as postseason threats.
Brendan Long, a senior, is one of those threats. Long won the 400 meters against Roosevelt, putting in a personal-best time of 53.24 seconds that has him close to cracking the KingCo top 10.
“I tried to get out harder,” he said of the race. “Last week, I felt like I didn’t get out quite hard enough in my 4×400 leg, so this week I was really focused on pushing up through the turn and maintaining speed through the last 100.”
Other Skyline winners included Rashaad Boddie in the 100 (11.54), Tyler Ma in the 200 (23.44) and Thomas Kim in the 300 hurdles (44.44). In the 3,200, senior Joey Nakao took first place in 9:37.80, a personal record by 11 seconds.