Summit coaches, parents and athletes spent roughly 60 hours shoveling snow off the school’s track.
Wednesday afternoon they finally got to enjoy it as the Storm hosted Bend High in the first track and field meet of the spring for both programs.
“It was a team effort, a lot of shovels,” said Summit coach Dave Turnbull, who finished clearing all nine lanes Sunday. “Our motto this year is no excuses. We want to teach these kids the character of track and field. If it’s snow, it’s just going to take some muscles to remove it. We just put a lot of time and effort into it. I don’t like to see a track meet fail.”
Summit’s girls and boys both outscored the Lava Bears, the girls winning 71-56 and the boys coming out on top 86-41.
The meet was originally scheduled to take place at Bend, but the Lava Bears still had only two lanes cleared of snow.
“We are really grateful that Summit was so gracious to host this today,” first-year Bend coach Lisa Nye said. “We have two lanes and Lake Lava Bear. We have a lot of water. We don’t have the drainage that they have here. It’s great that we were able to compete today.”
Nye said the Bend High track program’s 123 kids have mostly practiced indoors.
“We have developed our sense of adventure,” she said. “We’ve been trying to make the most of it.”
On the contrary, Turnbull said Summit has spent every day outside since the first practice on March 1.
“Our philosophy is we will always go outside because track meets don’t cancel unless there’s thunder so you better be ready to compete in it, and it makes them tougher,” said Turnbull, who has been involved in track and field as an athlete and a coach in Central Oregon since 1976 and has never seen anything like this winter.
“I’ve never seen this much snow on the ground in March,” he said. “But the fact that we overcame it, I hope that these kids have a memory to look back and see we had all that snow, we set records and still competed in a track meet and got it done. That’s a big victory.”
Despite the late start to both practice and competition, Summit and Bend athletes put down fast times.
Bend senior Maya Hopwood won the girls 100-meter dash in 12.28 seconds and the 200 in 25.35.
“I think I’m getting way faster this year,” said Hopwood, who placed third in the 100 in 12.29 at last year’s 5A state meet. “I’ve already ran a pretty good time that I would normally run later into my season so I’m super excited about it.”
Summit sophomore Sam Hatfield finished the boys 800 in 1:59.94.
Summit junior Fiona Max edged freshman teammate Teaghan Knox, 2:18.31 to 2:18.61, to win the girls 800.
Isabel Max won the 400 in 1:00.28. Bend’s Grace Toney finished a close second in 1:00.80.
“We’re seeing good times all over the place,” Turnbull said.
Another Storm freshman, Ashley Boone, won the girls 1,500 in 5:00.45. Jayden Maydew, also a freshman at Summit, won the boys 100 in 11:82 and the 200 in 23.75.
“We’re really young,” Turnbull said, noting the Storm have just 12 seniors across both squads. “This is the youngest team I’ve had since 2002. We are in a development phase. We’re going to develop the young people in this program so our future is back where it’s been.”
Summit and Bend were able to compete in five of the seven field events. Turnbull noted that the discus arena is still covered by a foot of snow, and after completion of the long jump competition, the landing pit for the triple jump was determined to be too hard.
“It became too dangerous, as kids were landing on it,” Turnbull said. “We just made a safety call. It was not worth it.”
Summit senior Jack Normand won the boys long jump with a leap of 21 feet, 7 inches.
“It’s been a tough season, this year,” Normand said. “The pits are really hard. Landing on them sucks.”
Summit sophomore Kohana Nakato won both the girls long jump at 16-5 1/2 and the javelin with a throw of 106-6.
The Storm and Lava Bears are not scheduled to compete again until next month. Summit travels to Redmond on April 3, while Bend hosts La Pine on the same date.
— Reporter: 541-383-0307, email@example.com