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Good track meet run in bad weather
By TIM ADAMS
The first day of the WesCo North track and field championships at Wildcat Memorial Stadium was typical of what Oak Harbor fans have come to expect when the purple and gold team steps on the track.
Wednesday afternoon treated athletes and their supporters to a stiff, easterly wind and rain squalls, which made the precipitation almost like sleet at times. At least it wasn’t snowing.
In a word, conditions were miserable.
Three of the Wildcat distance runners, Claire Trepanier, Abby Leete and Adrianna Royal were prepared, and had themselves bundled up while sitting in the stands awaiting the start of their events.
Leete said it all depended on how fast you would be able to run in the rain today to have any chance of reaching the finals.
“Our league is really fast and it just depends on the weather and all the other variables,” she said.
Trepanier was a bit more confident. “We’re solid, the best,” she said.
Wildcat coach Eric Peterson was somewhat philosophical about the poor conditions. “It’s cold and rainy, just the way we like it,” he said with a laugh. “We just need to keep the kids bundled up and make sure they’re ready to go when the time comes.”
The finish line at Wildcat Memorial Stadium, located near the east end of the field in front of the home grandstands, resulted in competitors having to buck the wind and rain down the home stretch, which made the races even more difficult and the times slower than normal.
Sprinter Steve Lewis had a relatively easy time winning the second heat of the 100-meter dash in a time of 11.43, the second-best time in the preliminary round.
“It was a pretty good race,” the Oak Harbor senior said. “I started out kind of slow, but I was able to pull it out at the end.”
Lewis, Greg Goebel, Donavan Hunt and Jason Curles combined for a time of 44.43 to place second in the 4x100 relay preliminaries.
One of Oak Harbor’s top competitors, Shantae Young, said she was totally out of her element in the weather conditions.
“I’m from Florida and I’ve pretty much never run in weather like this before,” she said. “But it was easier than I thought it was going to be.”
Young won her heat in the 100 and finished second overall in a time of 13.18, and finished second in the finals of the long jump with a leap of 16-04.75.
Weather prognosticators predicted better conditions for Friday’s finals, and competitors from all nine schools entered in the meet were definitely hoping for the best.