State meet story different for Mill Valley, De Soto
Young tracksters show promise at state
The 2002 state high school track meet could be the calm before the storm for De Soto's opponents next season.
Although the boys couldn't squeeze out a single point and the girls tied for 31st with six points, the Wildcats showed a lot of promise for the next couple of years with some young competitors at the two-day event. De Soto qualified one senior for the state meet.
The girls scored all six of their points on the legs of Julie Beck in the long jump and triple jump.
Beck, who has been battling arch problems because of the wear-and-tear of soccer, basketball and track, was able to make her preliminary jumps stand.
In the long jump, she went 16-feet-11-inches, on her third jump, and 34-8 in the triple jump. That about par for the course for her this season.
"She never takes a break from anything," said De Soto track coach Brad Qualls. "She was hurting at regionals, so we rested her a little bit.
"Then with the 50-degree temperatures and rain she had a lot going against her. She did very well considering who she was up against. They were all pretty strong competitors."
In other field events, Nicole Husted came close to scoring points for the Wildcats with her eighth-place toss of 115-6 in the javelin. Lisa Lambert also competed in the event.
Ryan Frame was a couple of spots from placing with her 109-10 mark in the discus.
"We were proud of the kids to make it there while they're so young," said Wildcat throwing coach Darin Schmitz. "We knew we were young going into regionals, but didn't know what to expect.
"We know how good they can be, but I don't know if they believe it."
Pete Crall led the way in the individual running events by competing in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles. Although he ran 15.8 in the 110s he was unable to place in either event.
The boys and girls 3,200 relays, consisting of mostly underclassmen, prepped themselves for next season by running at the state meet.
Freshman Casey Johnson helped the boys run a season-best mark of 8:30:5 by running a 2:02 leg of the relay and in the process proved himself a capable open 800 performer. The girls ran a 10:58:69 relay.
"The kids are awesome and hard-working," Qualls said. "They were put in a position where they had to compete at a young age."
If the Wildcat track team is to be successful at the state meet next season, they'll have to do it without Qualls, who is heading to Marceline, Mo., to take over the head football and track coaching positions.
Marceline, which is located about 70 miles east of St.. Joseph, is a school of about 270 students.
"Whoever steps in is going to have a good nucleus to work with next season," the former coach said. "The girls can be a real force at the state meet next year."