Klamath Falls track meet good for the team's morale

Madras track coach Melissa Bowerman wants her young group to get a taste of just how big and impressive the state meet is before any of the White Buffalos get there. She got just what she wanted Saturday.

Madras traveled to Klamath Falls to take part in the Sterling/Lithia Invitational, a meet that had 35 teams from three states participating.

“It was great for our athletes because they learned about having to have their implements checked and to report for their event at the officials' tent and get race numbers to put on their hips and other things that will prepare them for the procedures at districts and state,”?Bowerman said. “Meet experience can only be had at one place, at meets, and every meet, small or large, offers valuable lessons for our athletes that will help them become better.”

The Buffs produced 18 personal bests on the day, led by freshman sensation Drake Anderson, who lifted his PR in the high jump four full inches to 6-02. Anderson took second place and has now medaled in the high jump in three straight meets.

Anderson has been getting some guidance from Brent Sullivan, usually the Buffs’ top high jumper. Sullivan injured himself during basketball season, but has been around the track all season helping out.

“Despite being out for the entire season, he has been at every practice and dresses down for every meet,”?Bowerman said. “Brent has taken Drake under his wing and has been able to help us coach him very successfully. We are so impressed and grateful for Brent and awarded him our honorary Nike N7 award for this act of team dedication and unselfishness.”

Anderson is tied for fourth in Class 4A for the highest jump of the year at 6-02.

Among others that performed well in the meet were both the boys and girls 400-meter relay teams.

The group of Anderson, Victor Bonilla, Miklo Hernandez and Fredy Povis Ruiz posted a season-best time of 45.86 seconds in finishing seventh.

The girls team of Cheyenne Duncan, Kiana Rodriguez and Kalan Wolfe ran a 55.77 and placed 11th.

“Although everyone ran well, many were disappointed to not get a personal best time on the fast, collegiate level track surface,”?Bowerman said.

The Buffs head to Sisters Friday for the Sisters Twilight meet and will have one last chance to hit their times May 9 at Regis.

The Tri-Valley Conference District meet is May 16-17 at North Marion.

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