Lorna Byrne track team shows well at St. Mary’s

John Michaels
IVN Contributing Writer

The Lorna Byrne Middle School track team had its first meet recently, competing in a Southern Oregon Middle School Athletic Association meet hosted by St. Mary’s in Medford. The Vikings had an exceptionally good afternoon with both the boys’ and girls’ squads finishing second out of seven teams participating in the meet.
The Lorna Byrne boys’ team totaled 101 points, just behind first place Rogue River’s 129. The Lady Vikings finished with 83 points, edging Rogue River’s 81 for second place. Host school St. Mary’s won the girls’ side with a total of 156.
Lorna Byrne had several impressive performances with five school records falling during the meet and a number of athletes setting personal records.
Carson Bracht had a tremendous day for the Vikings. Bracht took first place in the long jump, with a leap of 17’ 9. His mark was not only a personal record (PR), but shattered the previous Lorna Byrne long jump record of 17’ 2. Bracht engaged in another school record earlier in the meet when he teamed with Rye Anderson, Logan Ponchart and Demien Green to win the 4×100 meter relay. Their time of 51.24 was also a new Viking record in the event. Bracht also finished second in the 100, his time of 13.01 was also a personal record. The Vikings won the 100 as well, with Green taking home the top spot with his own PR of 12.82.
“Carson did a great job,” said Lorna Byrne coach Todd Smith. “With his mark in the long jump he has a really, really good chance of going to state.”
“But I’m really proud of all our kids. They really competed well,” Smith added. “We got there and I could tell our kids were a little intimidated by the facilities and the wealth on display at St. Mary’s. I heard a couple of St. Mary’s parents talking, and let’s just say that they made about the Lorna Byrne kids weren’t really the most Christian of comments. Then our kids went out and did such a great job. Money can buy nice stuff, but it can’t take the place of hard work and grit. That’s what our kids had.”
The girls’ squad also got in on setting new school records at the meet. Arielle Carr took home the gold in the shot put. Her heave of 27’ 2.5 was a new school record. Skylin Deckert also set a new Lady Vikings record with her first place throw of 67’ 2 in the javelin. Finally, even though she finished third in the 800, Emily Fisk set a Lorna Byrne record in the event completing the two laps in 3:24.
Three other individuals and a relay team scored points for the Lady Vikings at the meet. In the girls’ events, Vivienne Klein took home first place in the high jump clearing 4’ 2. It was a personal record for Klein. Jacey Workman set a PR and finished second in the 400 with a time of 1:21. Saray Mendoza finished third behind Deckert in the javelin with her toss of 59’ 6 setting a personal record. Finally, the team of Fisk, Klein, Workman and Elizabeth Riolo took silver in the girls’ 4×100 relay with a time of 1:03.15
Not to be outdone, the Viking boys’ squad also had additional standout performance on the way to their second place team finish. Anderson doubled up his relay win by taking first in the high jump with a PR leap of 4’ 8. Nazario Gutierrez claimed first in the discus with a mark of 93’ 5, which was also a personal record. In addition, to claiming first in the 100, Green finished third in the 1500 with a PR of 5:53.
“Running both the 100 and 1500 is not easy,” said Smith. “If middle school track and field had a decathlon, Green would tough to beat.”
In addition to his place on the relay team, Ponchart scored points when he set a personal record while finishing second in the long jump with a scoring mark of 16’ 3. Finally, Trevor Langdon nailed down the Vikings second place finish with a bronze in the high jump clearing 4’ 2, which again was a PR.
The Vikings have their next competition this week. Lorna Byrne will host a six-way meet at Illinois Valley High School this Thursday starting at 4 p.m. The schools scheduled to participate in this competition are Lorna Byrne, Butte Falls, Prospect, St. Mary’s Sacred Heart and New Hope.