GRANDVIEW — It was a warm, overcast day last Thursday, and three track and field teams were enjoying Rich Leenhouts Stadium during the only home meet for the Grandview Greyhounds this season.
The Prosser boys won against Othello, 82-62, and Grandview, 81-59. The Greyhounds were defeated by Othello, 76-68.
In girls competition, the Lady Mustangs outperformed the Huskies, 125-24, and Grandview 118-31. The Lady ‘Hounds outscored Othello 95-44.
The team scores, however, don’t mean as much to Grandview Coach Rick Ramos, though.
He is proud of the young Greyhounds team, which is bigger this year than it has been in several.
“There’s a lot of young energy,” Ramos said.
There are still some upperclassmen who are turning out strong performances, including his son, Reese Ramos, who was fourth in the long jump with a distance of 17-6.00.
In the triple jump, he had a leap of 35-5.5, also for fourth.
Coach Ramos noted Reese only started competing in track and field last year and has plans to compete at the collegiate level.
Another promising senior, Annabelle Padgham, has been a happy surprise this year, the coach said.
She was a softball player for three years, but the assistant volleyball coach Orejeana Jeffery, who also coaches the “throwers,” convinced her to join track and field, Ramos said.
“She (Padgham) has an amazing arm,” he noted.
As a result, she threw the javelin 94-7 for third place at the meet, and Ramos said college coaches have been paying attention to her.
Padgham was also third in the discus with a distance of 85-00, and in the shot put, she claimed fifth with a throw of 26-5.5.
Ramos said, “We keep telling them they don’t know their full potential.”
He said having a large team has been fun, taking two buses to meets is encouraging and gives the coaches hope for the future of the program.
Adding to the positive outlook has been new bonds formed due to the early season time in the gym, Ramos said.
In seasons past, there were subgroups. However, the time conditioning and working together to clean sidewalks and facilities due to snow on the track helped the groups develop closer relationships with one another, he said.
“They have great attitudes… they are trying different events,” Ramos said.
One of those athletes trying an event he’d not competed in until a week prior to the most recent meet is Christian Prieto.
The junior thrower favors discus, but in the high jump, he set a personal record of 5-6 for second place with his unusual style.
Prieto doesn’t approach the bar to clear it with his body, but uses a scissor kick to place one leg, followed by the other over the bar.
“I’ve never practiced the normal way, so I thought I’d just do it the way I know,” he said.
“There isn’t just a single standout athlete on the team like years past,” Ramos said, noting there are several who are finishing meets in the Top 5, making the team more diverse.
One of his veteran competitors, junior Andrea Laurean, finished the 100m in third with a time of 14.22. Her personal record is 13.9.
If she’d finished the race in that time, she would have been second to Prosser’s Madisyn Cooper, who crossed the finish in 13.85.
Laurean wasn’t disappointed, though.
“It felt good,” she said, noting she was nervous before the race.
It is the first race of her day, “… and that’s always scary.”
Laurean also competes in the 300m hurdles in which she was second with a time of 54.05 and the 4x100 relay.
The 4x100 relay, she said, is her favorite because of her teammates — Mollee Weddle, Yasmin Ochoa and Joselene Prieto.
“There’s teamwork and the challenge of a clean pass-off,” Laurean said.
The person to whom she passes the baton, Weddle, was unable to compete at the home meet, but Laurean said they have developed good timing for the event.
With a substitute, the team was second in 57.07.
The Greyhounds had three first-place finishes overall. They were in the boys’ races.
Freshman Noe Medina clocked a personal record time of 53.66 in the 400m, junior Bryce DeLaRosa completed the 800m in 2:07.44, and the 4x400 relay beat the competition in 3:44.23.