By Vern Hee
The Trojans boys track team did back-to-back meets last week against Mojave and Agassi Prep as well as at the Hietkotter Invitational on Friday.
The boys beat Mojave and Agassi with no trouble, scoring 105.5 points to Mojave’s 60 and Agassi’s 20.5 points.
The team then finished second in the IA division at Hietkotter to Mojave and ninth overall against the 22 teams gathered.
The question to ask is how did the team finish second to Mojave at the Hietkotter after beating them so badly the previous day? It is a multi-layered complex answer, said Coach Ed Kirkwood.
Kirkwood did not like running back-to-back meets. He said he normally tries to avoid them, but in this instance the dates were changed on this one from a Saturday to a Friday and he had no choice.
He said all of the division IA had meets on Thursday so the five IA teams at Hietkotter all had to go back-to-back.
For his team, this meant making some changes to the lineup, so he had rested individuals in all the events. This meant putting less qualified people in some events for Friday.
Some of the teams also changed up the lineups or like the Trojans rotated and moved people around. Clark, the team who comes here on Wednesday, did not even take its whole team to Hietkotter.
“Back-to-back meets are just tough, so we pulled Nick Nelson out of the 1600-meter at the Hietkotter. On Thursday Nelson did the open 800-meter, the 1600-meter, the 4×800-meter relay, and then on Friday I asked him which one he wanted to be pulled out of. This is why he did not run the 1600-meter on Friday. The same thing happened with the 4×400-meter relay at the end. Dustin Dillon usually anchors this, but he came out because he did a personal best in the 800-meter at 2:07 at the Hietkotter. He was just jumping up and down, but he was dead tired. So, I started looking at my list and Dywan Montgomery volunteered and he ran it,” he said.
In this respect, Kirkwood was able to do some experimentation and move people around to give people experience in areas he would normally not play with.
Pahrump finished eighth in the 4×100-metor relay, fifth in the 4×200-meter relay, eighth in the 4×400-meter relay and seventh in the 4×800-meter relay. Kirkwood said there might have been a few more points in these if he was not rotating to give runners a rest.
“The points were close at Hietkotter for the boys. We did a few substitutions and Dominic Musumeci had a bad day in field events. He scratched all three in the triple jump. He normally scores and Nelson in distance too. It could be just a seven to eight point swing, which gets the win. It does not take much in the big meets,” said Kirkwood.
This further explained the Trojans point deficit and showing at Hietkotter.
An additional high note, Billy Palmore, senior sprinter for the Trojans, did well in the 100-meter and took his time to 11.5 at Mojave. He ran four events in both meets and Kirkwood said he was exhausted. At Mojave he took first place in the 100-meter and 200-meter. He was a step slower at Hietkotter finishing 18 in the 100-meter, but he still had the second best time in the IA division.
Overall, the times were all lumped together and it was up to the coaches to separate the times by division. The Hietkotter had division I, IA, III and IV all mixed in.
For this invitational, they ran it like a huge track meet and ran all the teams as if it were one division.
“You put in your players on your sheets, and they seeded them so we were in all the heats with Centennial and Legacy, and all those schools. They did not separate the scores. They just lumped all the scores together, even little schools like Beatty,” said Kirkwood.
Kirkwood was asked what he learned about his two teams and he replied, “The younger ones are anxious to step up and anxious to contribute. If you are missing a person or two, the ‘youngers’ are willing to step in. It’s pretty intimidating if you are younger going up against the quality athletes. If you are a little freshman or sophomore, and you are going up against a Sydney Badger or Tiana Bonds, who have state or national quality times, very intimidating,” said Kirkwood.