By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Nerves were there for McKay freshman Alex Gilcrist as she started to warm-up with the third heat at the Viking Relays at North Salem High School.
Around her, were some heavy hitters that were upperclassmen as you could tell that the freshman was getting nervous as her coach tries to calm her down ahead of her throws.
“Usually its not nerve-racking but, but since it’s all Varsity I guess I get nervous with the big meets I guess,” said Gilcrist. “I think I did like crap but I learned how to get out of my own head and get out of my feelings and when I’m in my feelings, I do bad.
“It’s good, I’m proud of myself but there’s stuff I need to work on.”
Gilcrist finished 13th in the shot put and was the highest-ranked freshman in the event at 29-feet-four-inches as only two underclassmen finished ahead of her with Hood River Valley’s JJ Durham (35-feet-3-inches) and Redmond’s Ellie Corwin (30-feet-nine-inches) at sixth and seventh.
In the running events, the 4×100 relay team had to replace two major components to their relay team in Avori Miranda and Israel Garza as both are on the mend from hamstring injuries suffered earlier in the season. Garza would only race in the 4×200 meter relay in Friday’s Viking Relays as Jeter Escobar and Justin Her replaced their mending teammates in the race.
But battling through the injury bug, the team finished fifth with a time of 45.57 as the two seniors on the relay team like Taran Trumbly and Damian Rios, giving the younger sprinters some experience will help them for the rest of this season and into next year.
“I mean, it’s not too nice. I know we could have won the race if we had our top guys, our top runners,” said Rios. “But it also gives the younger guys some experience and that’s good because we’re all going to be gone next year because it’s four seniors on the original 4×1 team.
“It’s perfect. If a guy ever goes down, then they already have some experience and we wouldn’t have any doubt of them stepping up and having to fill in a spot.”
Speaking of Garza and that original 4×100 team, Garza stepped in for the 4×200 team as he works his way back from a hamstring injury he sustained against West Salem to start the season a few weeks ago in his fame anchor leg of the Scots relay team.
And as he sees his second leg of the relay cut the gap between McKay and Hood River Valley in front of him, a smile flashes across his face. A smile knowing that if his team can sustain that gap, if not close it even further, he can get the win for his team with his speed once he got the baton.
That’s what happened as Garza took the baton and exploded out from the hand-off into the first 100 meters of his leg of the race. By the second 100 meters, Garza already took the lead as he sailed to the finish line as the Scots took the 4×200 race in 1:33.41, a full 1.04 seconds ahead of second place Hood River Valley.
“It was fun man, I was smiling I know I was going to have a fun race, it’s been a while since I’ve ran the 200,” said Garza as the 200 meters he ran was his first 200 meter dash he ran this season. “But my teammates, they’ve done a really good job throughout the whole race and I knew I had to finish strong and I could get him.”
As for the hammy though, it just needs some ice.
“I can definitely feel it, I’m done for the day,” said Garza. “I’m going to ice it up and I’ll get back out there running.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald