SUNNYSIDE — Weather conditions were picture perfect and the excitement level in stride with fast rising valley temperatures as the Grizzlies hosted their only home track and field meet of the season against Wenatchee and West Valley (Yakima) high schools on Thursday, April 18.
“We were able to get a lot of kids entered into events today, and anytime you can compete at home is a good deal,” Sunnyside High School Track and Field Coach Dustin Crowe exclaimed.
He was looking forward to reviewing the team’s official marks following the competition.
“Visually, I’m really proud of them and really excited to see all the great efforts of kids trying events. And, a lot of kids saying, ‘Well I’ve never done this but let’s try it coach.’
“So, I just appreciate the attitude and effort level of all the kids and that’s what it’s all about, Crowe acknowledged.
Junior Mike Rivera led the Grizzlies’ out to a fast start as he dominated the boys 100 meters with a personal record time of 11.17.
The sprinter said he felt explosive as he left the blocks and was focused on his knee drive as he powered his way to the finish line.
“The swag is always on point,” Rivera laughingly confirmed as he hydrated with a cup of water following his win.
Keeping loose and catching his breath for the upcoming 4x100 team relay, the anchor runner was excited about their progress this season.
“We’re actually doing really good. Like I always say, there’s always more time for improvement and better handoffs, but we’re doing solid.”
The Grizzlies’ relay team, comprising of Gabriel Oswalt, Myles Newhouse, Jonathan Sanchez and Rivera proved to be a formidable group as they earned a second-place finish and 44.29 time.
Rivera followed up his anchor leg run by winning the 200 in 22.85, while his freshman relay teammate Newhouse finished fifth in 24.19.
In the boys 400 it was all about Newhouse’s competitive drive that impressed sprint Coach Jonathan Knight.
“His energy sparked the entire team to leave it all out there on the track and I am so excited for him and his second-place finish.”
The 51.72 time was a personal record for the up and coming runner, who ran tough in all his events and thrived in the heat of the moment.
“I was all in the moment. I just like to try and stay with the fastest guy in the heat and do my best,” Newhouse voiced as he huffed in breathes of air. “I definitely feel the most tired, and I can’t feel anything. It was definitely worth it.”
On the girls’ side, senior Janessa Frank and her fast lane sprinting in both the 100 and 400 races earned her two, second-place finishes with a time of 13.00 and 1:03.22.
The senior speedster was happy to be back on the track while she has worked hard to regain her health and athletic form.
“It felt good to be running at home and in good weather while having a great day,” Frank cheerfully stated.
The warm sunshine and friendly blue sky were greeted by a handful of chalk as senior pole vaulter Alexandra Partch was focused on attaining her midseason form and raising the bar to new heights.
“My biggest struggle right now is my arms and trying to keep them straight. Because if you’re just hanging on the pole, you’re not going to get up very high,” Partch noted, after she cleared the 9’ bar and finished fourth.
The girls 4x100 relay team, with Sylvia Alvarez, Paris Wilson, Essence Cazares and Hailey Alvarez, ran a strong and determined race with clean baton exchanges as they cruised to a 54.74 time and second-place finish.
“I just push myself as hard as I can and stay on my toes,” Sophomore 4x100 anchor Alvarez happily declared. “I see how good my first three teammates run and makes me run faster, and keep us together to get a good place.”
Sunnyside High School is 0-2, Big 9 and 0-2, overall. The Grizzlies have their second league meet on Thursday, April 25, at Davis HS. Track Senior Night will be at Halftime of the Boys Soccer Game this Friday.
Varsity track team scores:
Wenatchee 120 – Sunnyside 30
West Valley 93 – Sunnyside 56
Wenatchee 96.000 – Sunnyside 48
West Valley (Yakima) 95.000 – Sunnyside 50