SPRING CREEK – The recent snow has meant a couple things for the Spring Creek track and field team.
One, practices have been held indoors – limiting field athletes especially – and two, head coach Todd Mahlke has gotten his workouts behind a snow blower.
“It’s really hard to tell who our strongest track athletes are going to be until we get to see them compete or at least practice outside,” Mahlke said. “I was making four to six laps a night around our track with the snow blower. I went about three and a half miles behind the blower before I had to stop.”
Mahlke said it took him two passes with the blower to clear one lane, eventually opening two.
“We had about 70 kids running in two lanes, so it was hard to get much accomplished,” he said.
Last season, the Lady Spartans finished 13th in the Division 3A state meet – the boys ranking 18th.
The good news for Spring Creek is that nearly all of the state competitors from last season are back this year.
“I’m excited to see what Katelyn Anderson can do in the pole vault,” Mahlke said. “I think she is the highest-returning vaulter from the state meet. She has put in a lot of work during the offseason.”
State champion Marissa Richey of Elko and second-place Sara Stepherson of Boulder City each graduated, setting the bar at 11-foot-6 and 11-feet, respectively.
As a sophomore, Anderson placed third in the state with a vault of 10-feet-6-inches, tying her personal record.
The Lady Spartans will bring back nearly their entire 4x800 relay team that took third place at state with a time of 9:54.46, graduating only Lauryn Walz.
Spring Creek returns seniors Larissa and Alandra Mauer and junior Rylie Lusk.
The Lady Spartans also qualified for state in the 4x200 relay, placing sixth with a time of 1:51.14 – every member of the team competing as sophomores.
Now, the girls are juniors – bringing back Kayla Jones, Jessica Spillman, Brittany Wilkie and Jessica Dorohov.
Dorohov was the only Lady Spartan who competed in multiple events as an individual in the state meet last season, qualifying in both the 100 and 200 meters.
She placed sixth in the 200 meters with a time of 27-seconds flat, finishing seventh in the 100-meter dash with a time of 13.13 seconds.
The only boy who competed in an individual event at state last year was now-senior William Fallini-Haas.
Fallini-Haas placed third in the 3200 meters with a personal-record time of 9:55.03, and he was recently named the Nevada Gatorade Cross Country Runner of the Year after his state championship from the fall.
“William trained so hard and improved so much, and he wrestled during the winter to get stronger and stay in shape,” Mahlke said.
Fallini-Haas was also a member of Spring Creek’s 4x400 relay team that qualified for state and placed seventh with a time of 8:33.66.
The only member of the team that graduated was Cole Campbell, but Spring Creek brings back Fallini-Haas and fellow seniors Terrence Simpson and Cody McDonald.
“Our sprinters are older and should run faster this season, and our distance runners should be stronger,” Mahlke said. “We have some decent jumpers. Our goal is to score in all 36 events. This has been the hardest year to gauge just because of the weather. Once we get outside and get a competition in, we should have our first measure and we can go from there.”
The Spring Creek track team will get its first taste of competition and outdoor experience at the Elko League Meet, but the field events have been canceled due to ground conditions.
Action on the track will kick off at 10 a.m. Saturday at Warrior Field.