STATE MEET: Pioneer boys use unique relay strategy to take first-day lead
May 21, 2010 - 6:59 pm
RENO — When Daevin Rimmey handed the baton to Donnell Pumphrey with a 10-meter lead to start the anchor leg of Canyon Springs’ 400-meter relay, things had already gone according to script for the Pioneers at the Class 4A state track meet Friday at Damonte Ranch.
Pumphrey played his part to perfection.
Using an unorthodox strategy, the Pioneers won the 400 relay in a time of 42.14 seconds, keying a first-day performance that saw them take a five-point lead over McQueen and the rest of the field.
With six entries competing in five events Friday, Canyon Springs tallied 36 points, including one first place finish, two seconds and a third.
McQueen finished the day in second with 31 points. Centennial, Spanish Springs and Elko enter today tied for third with 22 points apiece.
Canyon Springs coach Tony Stephens front loaded the 400 relay with his two fastest runners, Paul Woodward and Daevon Collins, and all Pumphrey had to do was hang on for the last 100 meters.
“The plan was to be at least 10-15 meters in front,” Stephens said. “I wanted to make sure they were out front because we have our youngest runner last. Between Paul and Daevon that was the key handoff to set the tone for the rest of the race.”
Pumphrey admitted to feeling nervous before his leg of the race.
“I was scared, because I’m the youngest and not as fast as these guys,” he added, “and I just thought I was going to get caught, but I just kept going.”
The strategy worked for the Pioneers, who battled windy conditions Friday as well as a competitive field.
“I’m extremely proud,” Stephens said. “They’re working through the weather, there’s no injuries, everybody’s healthy and we still have some of our stronger events ahead of us.”
The day was a difficult one for the South overall.
Valley senior Garic Wharton was the only Southern individual champion, winning the 100 meters in 10.61.
Stephens said the cold, windy weather hampered the Southern athletes, particularly those who had to sit around waiting to compete in later events.
“I attribute a lot to the weather because we’ve been sitting out in the cold,” he said. “There was some underlying discussion about the weather and how the South would do.”
Daevon Collins contributed a second-place finish for the Pioneers, coming in behind Wharton in the 100 in 10.81.
The Pioneers were also second in the 1600 meter relay and Jovani Hernandez finished third in the 800.
Del Sol’s Evan Weinstock, the only Southern 4A runner in four individual events, finished second in the 300 hurdles with a time of 38.96.
Del Sol’s Colin Smith was second in the 3200 to defending champion Richard Shroy of Carson. Smith’s qualifying time was 15 seconds faster than Shroy, but Shroy had run a 9:25 at Arcadia and was still considered the favorite.
“He knew before the race with the weather it was that it was going to be a tactical race,” Del Sol coach John Dixon said. “He came up short, but he ran very strong. It was a good day for Del Sol.”