Despite getting three relay teams through to the sectional meet last week at the Mexico District, the Warrenton boys track team wasn’t without its share of disappointment.
A pair of would-be qualifiers were left out due to a judgment call and an official’s error, and long-jumper Dylan Smith and the 1,600-meter relay team missed the cut.
After jumping in the 18- to 19-foot range most of the day, Smith posted a 19-foot, 10 inch jump for his final mark.
The judge called out the mark, which would have put Smith through as a top four finisher.
But the official number for Smith was written down as 18-10 instead of 19-10.
When asked about the mistake, officials believed 18-10 must have been the correct mark because Smith had been jumping in that range most of the day, despite his personal-best being higher than 21 feet this season.
“The judge said he had hit 19-10, and that’s what we heard them call out as well,” Warrenton boys Head Coach Steve McDowell said. “But it was written down as an 18-10 for some reason. We did a formal written protest, and it was denied.”
The 1,600 relay team had the same fate after a judge ruled the Warriors committed a lane violation on the final leg of the race.
“It was, I guess, suggested, that we had a lane violation,” McDowell said. “But we questioned whether the judge actually saw what was there. We looked at the race on video and we appealed that, too. The kids finished third and PR’d by more than five seconds, but after the race was over it was determined that we were disqualified. Nothing was determined during the actual race, but they decided to raise the flag against us after the race. It was a judgment call by the head official based on what was told to him, so that’s what you have to live with whether you like it or not.”
The bright side for the Warriors was that all five competitors qualified for the sectional in one of the three relays.
The 400, 800 and 3,200 relay teams finished in the top four.
Smith helped out in the 400 and 800 relays.
“He was able to get through in the 4X1 and 4X2, and the kids in the 4X4 got through in at least one other relay, so at least they’ll be able to compete this Saturday,” McDowell said. “But powers beyond their control, and their coaches’ control, decided the 4X4 just wasn’t meant to be.”
Smith joined Nolan Chmiel, Brenden Smith and Sam Smith on the 400 team, which finished third in 45.26 seconds.
Dylan Smith, Dylan Chandler, Chmiel and Sam Smith snuck by in the 800 relay, finishing fourth in 1:33.21, and the 3,200 relay team of Nathan Nordwald, Ben Sommer, Andrew Hodgson and Paul Sanders qualified with a fourth-place finish as well (8:32.08).
McDowell said the overlap of competitors in multiple relays shouldn’t be a factor Saturday due to the schedule, which should give runners plenty of rest between races.
“There is a little bit of a break between the 4X2 and 4X1, and the 4X8 guys get the first race of the day and they’ll be done, so that’s good for them,” he said. “They (4X8 team) shaved 11 seconds off their PR Saturday and did a great job. That happens this time of year in the warm weather and as kids make that final push toward state.”
The 3,200 team gets things started Saturday at 11:15 a.m. at MICDS.
The 800 relay is set for 12:40 p.m., and the 400 relay will be held at approximately 1:45 p.m.
“They just need to be competitive,” McDowell said. “They’re going to see some fast times this weekend, and that’s what you get in this stage when you’re in the final eight. I told them anything can happen in a track meet, so we’ll have to cut a little time off and smooth the handoffs off a little more this week, and we’ll see what happens.”