Cards predictable in NEA track
By PAUL DELANEY
If Gene Blankenship is as good at predicting outcomes in postseason as he was in the preseason Medical Lake track could have a memorable couple of weeks ahead.
“(We finished) 3-3 just like I predicted,” the Cardinals’ head co-coach said. “It was pretty predictable,” he added following Medical Lake’s final Northeast A League meet last Wednesday at Riverside where the boys lost 84-52 to the hosts, but beat Kettle Falls 83-52.
The girls, meanwhile, also split with Riverside winning 98-39 and the Cards taking an 81-40 victory over Kettle Falls.
Despite the loss from a team standpoint, Blankenship said there were some notable positives. He was pleased with the overall boys’ effort against Riverside. “We got a little bit better help out of our field events people,” he said.
“The three teams we lost to we were losing by what 20 or 25 points,” Blankenship said. “There was entirely the possibility of us just getting ripped. They held up.”
Tellas Johnson continued to impress both individually and as part of the 4x100 relay team for the Cardinals. The relay team has really been consistent all year and Blankenship thinks they can get to state in Tacoma.
“Tellas (Johnson) makes a difference, there’s no doubt about it,” Blankenship said. “He’s made us a much better track team,’ he said of the sprinter and anchor in Medical Lake’s 4 x 100 team.
“We’ll probably run him in the 100, 4 x 100 and the 200,” Blankenship said of the upcoming districts Friday at Newport.
Speed, and stamina, will both play a part in the days ahead. Blankenship pointed out that every number turned in the 3,200-meter run was a personal record. Led by sophomores Noah Kroeze and Micah Dingfield, who were just an eyelash apart with respective times of 10 minutes, 45.10 and 10:45.30, Medical Lake took four of the top five spots with senior Luke Alvarado (10:49.50) and sophomore Tim Chernishoff (10:51) rounding out the finish.
As expected, Amarah Nicholson was tops in both the 100 and 200-meters, and runner-up in the 400.
“I was a little concerned about the girls because one of my distance runners, Mariah Kroeze, couldn’t run because she’s got a foot problem,” Blankenship said.
Kaylin Sattler picked up the slack, running in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200, placing third in each. “For a young lady, she works her head off, she’s really fun to coach,” Blankenship said of the sophomore.
Sabrina Earle high jumped 4 foot, 8 inches and finished second by four inches.
District competition gets underway at 11 a.m. Saturday in Newport.
In the 1,600, 3,200 and field events the league qualifies six that move onto Bi-Districts the following week at Riverside. The other events send four qualifiers, including relay teams.
The Cardinals strengths will be in the distance events with Zeb Klemke, Domenic Rehm and Dingfield. “I’m hoping to get one or two other kids in the 32,” Blankenship said.
Paul Delaney can be reached at email@example.com.