When the second-place trophy for the Ram Relays was placed in front of Kamiakin High School girls track coach Cheryl Schauble on Saturday, she expected it.
It was the first loss for the Braves since May 2011, but the cupboard isn’t quite as full as it has been. With club volleyball, soccer and basketball, it’s hard to field a full team for a meet.
“We aren’t going to be as good as we have been,” Schauble said. “We have had a target on our back for a long time. We just don’t have the people. We like winning, and our goal is to put our best out there. Our older kids weren’t happy. Heather (Donais) was like, “We lost?’ ”
The Hanford girls won the Ram Relays title, beating the Braves 78-65.
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“We didn’t have Allison (Stapleton), and we were missing some volleyball kids,” Schauble said of the Ram Relays in Yakima. “But Hanford is good this year. We are going to have to work now. We had so much depth coming out of the woodwork, but not anymore. It is a reloading year, and everyone is going to love competing against us. Now, we are teaching the freshmen how it works. ”
Britney Donais is one such freshman. She already has had success on relay teams, but for the time being, she is shying away from the hurdle events, where her older sister Heather is a state champion.
“She will be fine,” Schauble said. “That is the great thing about track — there are kids who will surprise you.”
On the mend
Stapleton has been sidelined early this season because of a hip flexor injury. She competed at the Richland Jamboree, but she missed the dual meet against Richland, as well as the Ram Relays.
The junior high jumper/long jumper/triple jumper is a big point getter for the Braves.
She was third at state last year in the long jump with a leap of 17 feet, 4 1/2 inches, and she was fourth in the triple jump at 37-10 1/2, just 3 inches behind older sister Andrea.
Kamiakin junior Wyatt Musser broke his own school record last week in the discus with a throw of 166-5 in the dual meet against Richland.
Last year, the 6-6, 260-pound Musser broke Kevin Whitson’s 1994 record (164-8) with a throw of 165-1 at the Class 3A state track and field meet, where he placed second by less than 2 feet. He has eclipsed that mark in two of three meets this season.
He’s also making a name for himself in the shot put. He had a throw of 50-9 at the Ram Relays, good enough for second place and just 3 inches behind the winner.
Whitson holds the Kamiakin school record in the shot put at 59-11 1/4, set in 1994 when he won the 4A state title.
Musser and Heather Donais will compete April 9 in the Arcadia Invitational in Arcadia, Calif.
From the hardwood to the hurdles
Garrett Paxton is known for his basketball skills, but he’s also a good all-around athlete, so Schauble was excited to see the sophomore come out for track this spring.
Paxton averaged 12.7 points per game for the Braves during basketball season, and his point totals on the track are just as good.
He won the 110- and 300-meter hurdles and the high jump in the dual with Richland. At the Ram Relays, he was first in the 300 hurdles and second in the high jump.
His best time this season in the 110 hurdles is 15.91 seconds. He has a season-best 41.26 in the 300 hurdles and has gone 6-0 in the high jump.
“He’s the top hurdler in the league right now,” Schauble said. “He could easily go to state.”
Paxton ran track in middle school, including the hurdles. He said he didn’t know what to expect from high school track but was willing to give it a try.
“The first meet at Richland, I stepped in the wrong lane and took someone else’s blocks,” he said. “I still beat him. I love to compete and hanging out with the team. This is a fun environment.”
The winning is good, too.
“I was good in middle school, but I’m happily surprised by how I’ve done,” Paxton said. “My goal is to be a state champion. It’s coming along every day.”