Eleven athletes on the 1A Long Creek Mountaineer track and field team are aiming high as they kick off the season.
The team is led by head coach Linda Studtmann and volunteer assistant coaches Peter Case and Sally Burnette. Burnette holds Long Creek School’s record for javelin.
Several Mountaineers set personal records at Friday’s Prairie City Invitational, competing with 1A-4A teams.
Mountaineer Lucchese Douglas reached new heights when she placed sixth in the 400-meter run out of 16 competitors. She was third among the 1A athletes.
Douglas also performed well at the March 15 Diana Thurmond Invitational in Harper, the team’s first meet.
“It’s given me a lot more drive,” Douglas said. “I’m definitely working a lot harder than last year.”
There are two seniors on the team, Mathéo Buchart and Gladys Johnson.
Buchart is competing in track and field for the first time, with sprints, long jump and high jump on his list of events.
“It’s interesting,” he said. “It’s hard, but it’s a new experience.”
He’s especially happy to compete with several teammates who were on the basketball team and said it’s fun to be with them.
Johnson is making a comeback after taking a year off from the sport. She competed her freshman and sophomore years.
“I enjoy hanging out with the team,” she said.
Her goal is to beat her previous records, and she’ll be cheering on her sister, sophomore Dorotha Johnson, she said.
Dorotha set a personal record Friday in the long jump, placing 11th out of 22 competitors, fifth among the 1A athletes.
Studtmann said those new to the sport are learning the ropes, and the seasoned athletes are making adjustments.
“Some are athletic, and some are not, but as usual, I want them to do their best and work on improving,” she said. “We’re looking forward to a good year and hoping for lots of success.”
Long Creek 2019 track and field schedule
April 12: @ River’s Edge Invitational in Umatilla, 12 p.m.
April 18: @ Husky Twilight Meet in Moro, 4 p.m.
April 19: @ C/W Invitational in Condon, 11 a.m.
April 26: @ Don Walker Invitational in Nyssa, 1 p.m.
April 30: @ Ranchers Invitational in Crane, 3:30 p.m.
May 3: @ Grant Union Invitational in John Day, 10 a.m.
May 1: 1A-3 Special District 3 Championships in Moro, 10:30 a.m.
May 17-18: OSAA 1A State Championships, TBD