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Track team wins big on senior night, builds momentum as region meet looms
Senior Garrett Fillingame clears the bar during the high jump competition. He was one of many seniors that had standout performances on senior night. - photo by Rio White

At their final meet of the regular season, the DCHS track and field team shined on senior night to establish momentum heading into the region meet next week.

Tuesday night’s meet against Johnson gave one last opportunity for the team to fine tune their skills and improve times before the hotly-contested postseason begins. 

For head coach Arron Haynes, there were plenty of positives taken from the meet.

“We are really excited about both the girls and boys teams going into the region meet,” Haynes said. “Both teams continue to get personal records at every meet and I feel like they are peaking at the right time of the season.”

Right out of the gate, DCHS found success in the field events, with senior Olivia Martinez and freshman Eva Bishop finishing first and second at the girls shot put. Just an inch separated the two athletes.

Martinez would dominate the discus event with a distance of 77 feet 6 inches, around 20 feet further than the second-place finisher.

At the long jump, senior Jocelyn Thompson won with a length of 15 feet even while her sister Jasmine finished in second place.

On the boys side, junior Riley Westbrooks won the long jump with a length of 19 feet 1 and one-half inches, while teammate Jaden Horner finished in second.

Jasmine Thompson would win the high jump with a height of 4 feet 8 inches and a clean sheet up until she attempted the next height. Teammate Carah Matheson cleared the same height but finished in second after a couple of misses in between attempts.

The boys team took the top three spots at the high jump, including a first-place finish by Garrett Fillingame with a height of 5 feet 6 inches.

Bailey Dameron won the triple jump for the boys team, finishing over 7 feet ahead of the second place finisher.

Emily Kurtz continued her success on the pole vault, finishing first and coming up just short of improving on her school record height of 8 feet 7 inches.

The boys team also fared well at the pole vault, with a top finish by Luke Lowe of 10 feet 6 inches.

Following the field events and a couple of the track events, the seniors were recognized for their services to the team. Those seniors would help continue the team’s success at the meet.

Senior Jocelyn Thompson awaits for the start of her relay race. She had a big night as well, finishing first in the long jump and helping the relay team find success. - photo by Rio White

Some of the strongest performances of the night came from the relay teams, which included the senior Thompson sisters, Vita Govorkova, Ethan Smith, Devin Knight and Shelton Pugh.

“I feel like our relay teams will have a great showing at region and move on to the state competition,” Haynes said. “I also feel like one-third to half of our individuals have a legitimate shot to pick up one of the coveted state spots.”

Govorkova would finish first in the 100-meter sprint with Jocelyn Thompson in second place. For the boys event, Horner would finish first.

Lauren Kurtz won the 200-meter event while sibling Will Kurtz won the boys event.

Emily Kurtz would finish first at the 400-meter race for the girls team and Ethan Smith would win the event at the boys event.

Smith would win again at the 800-meter event with an 11-second gap, while Anna LeCave won the girls event with a 12-second gap.

At the distance events, Emory Lail found success at both the 1600 and 3200-meter events, finishing in first both times. Addison Smith had the best overall time at the girls 1600-meter event. 

With the regular season now over, the next event for the DCHS track and field team will be the region meet hosted by Cherokee Bluff next week, taking place on Thursday, April 21 and will go into Friday.