Track sees improvement with several first-place finishes

Michael Simmons, Staff Writer

Improvement is nothing short of what the Manhattan High athletes showed head coach Jesse Woodard as they competed against several other schools in Friday’s Varsity track meet and came home with several first-place finishes.  

“I was pleased,” Woodard said. “We showed some improvements from the week before, that’s always good, and considering the conditions we competed in, it was pretty cold and no sun, the times we had were pretty good. We just have to keep doing what we’re doing and trying to get better and hopefully by the end of the year we can be running our fastest, jumping and throwing our farthest.”

MHS came home with two first place finishes for throwing: junior Therriana Pittman in shot put with a throw of 35-02.5 feet, freshman Sam Hankins in boys javelin with a throw of 145-07 feet. They brought home one first place finish for jumping by junior Isis Kelly in long jump with a jump of 15-08 feet. They also brought home seven first place finishes for sprinting and relays: junior Ko Saito 110- and 300-meter hurdles with times of 15.33 and 40.71 seconds.

“It was really great to find out that I won, I had a lot of fun competing,” Saito said. “I still wasn’t to happy about my time, but I was glad that  was able to bring home a first place finish.” Saito is a foreign exchange student from Japan. He participated in track for four years with this being his fifth.

The Indians won the girls 4×800 consisting of senior Amber Gloria, junior Michelle Sanchez, junior Joy Gruenbacher and sophomore Madeline Purdom with a time of 10:34.77; 110-meter hurdles with Adanna Okere with a time of 17.08; the 1600-meter by senior Cara Melgares with a time of 5:10.46. Clara Mayfield brought home first place in the 3200-meter with a time of 11:49.70, as well as the girls 4×100 relay with Kelly, senior Temetris Johnson and sophomores Lydia Bower and Bella Musselman with a time of 51.83.

“I would say our jumping events are one of our best events right now,” Woodard said. “Our throws would probably be our best event once we get everyone there. Our sprints were probably our worst event, we didn’t score as well on the boys side as compared to some other events. We just have to work on some things like our technique and our starts and hopefully that will help us improve in our sprints.”