Eagles split track with South Medford

By Coach Mike Johnston
for the Independent

The EPHS Track Team took advantage of a break in the weather to get the 2011 season off to a good start.  The Wednesday, March 16 meet was an earlier opener than normal.  The Eagles have a lot of new competitors within it’s approximately  one hundred member squad, so there were a lot of pre-meet jitters.

The Eagle girls defeated the 6A South Medford Panthers 82-49.  Sophomore Casie Johnson led the way with three individual wins (HJ,TJ, 300H) and strong anchor leg run on the victorious 4×400. Sophomores Jazmin Arnspiger (100,200) and Hannah Morris (LJ,Javelin) had two individual wins as well as running legs on the winning 4×100 Relay.  The Eagles received outstanding senior leadership from Cassie Boykin (4x100R,100,HJ) Corrie Culpepper (SP,Disc) and Kaylee Tuttle (100H,300H).  Freshmen Kim Simpson(  1st in 400 +both relays), Kali Beers (2nd100H, 3rd300H+ 4×400 relay), Brittany Miller (3rd800 +4×400 relay) and 10th grader Rebecca Dovel (Javelin) all scored key points in their first varsity competition.

The boys squad came out on the short end in the team score 93-51 but had some outstanding early season performances. Particularly noteworthy was senior hurdler Aaron Foster whose efforts in the100H and 300H currently have him ranked #1 in the state for 5A. He also ran the fastest leg on the 4x400Relay. Junior Tyrone Holmes displayed his athletic versatility by anchoring the winning 4×100, taking 2nd in the Shot Put, 1st in the discus, and 3rd in the 110H.  Returning state placing javelin thrower Garrett Snow won his specialty with a solid early season throw of 160’. Junior high jumper, Zach Reed,  won the event at 5’10”. Senior Andrew Blanchard and Sophomore Kyle Zerger put in some tough early season work for the long sprints by completing a grueling series of 400 and 200 meter sprints.

All in all it was an encouraging and productive opener for the Eagles. Our next competition will be at North Medford for the Rogue Relays on April 2.  Our home opener will be with Grants Pass the following Tuesday, April 6.

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