Like nearly every sport, track and field often is as much a mental challenge as it is a physical one.
For Lake City High’s Cassandra Gulam, three Ibuprofen abate recurring pain in her hip. As for running the 300-meter hurdles - a tortuous test of speed, endurance and will - Gulam said it could be worse.
“They run the 400 in college,” she said.
Gulam was one of numerous athletes to break through mental barriers on Thursday in a double dual at Coeur d’Alene High.
Though untested, Gulam won both hurdles events with respectable times and helped the Timberwolves down shorthanded Sandpoint 111-34. Coeur d’Alene’s girls whipped the Bulldogs 93-40.
Lake City’s boys topped Sandpoint 72-61 and CdA shaved the Bulldogs 74-71.
Gulam doesn’t view the hurdles as obstacles.
“They’re really not a deterrent because they’re not that high,” the junior said. “You’ve just gotta hold your form at the end.”
CdA’s Chris Cole, usually a distance runner, toned down to run the 800 in preparation for Saturday’s Pasco Invitational. He cruised home first in 2 minutes, 6.6 seconds.
Cole said he tries to imitate the feeling of fatigue prior to racing so it doesn’t come as a shock during the actual event. (Hey, whatever works.)
“When I feel fatigued, I just put a smile on my face,” said Cole, who has orally committed to run next year at the University of Montana. “If you know you’ve prepared right, you know you’re going to do a good job.”
At Pasco, Cole will be in a select field, so the mental games are in full swing.
“If I’m up near the top or out in front, I want to feel I belong there,” he said.
Like Cole, Lake City’s Bryce Knight was essentially training when he clocked a 23.6 in the 200, sans starting blocks. He’s usually an 800 runner, which is what he’ll run in Pasco.
Sandpoint didn’t encounter mental barriers as much as a shortage of bodies. Sizable portions of Sandpoint’s teams were elsewhere - band competitions, journalism conferences, etc.
It’s a good-news, bad-news situation, figures Sandpoint girls coach Al Alt.
“We have all the good students out for track and they’re involved in everything,” Alt said For example, Emily Baker, a quality distance runner, hasn’t competed yet and won’t until Sandpoint’s sixth meet.
Sandpoint’s Keiki Lovell turned in her first sub-13 in the 100 and also ran a 28.0 in the 200.
The Bulldogs boys picked up twin wins from thrower John Boeck - in the shot and discus - while Lake City’s Ivory Carr bettered her school records in the shot (31 feet, 6-3/4 inches) and discus (87-4-1/2). CdA’s Kim Pearson, however, had the top throws of the day - 31-8-3/4 in the shot and 100-7 in the discus.
LC sophomore Katie Hahn ran a respectable 2:36 in her first attempt at the 800.
CdA’s Luke Lee had a busy day, running 16.5 in the 100 hurdles, 45.6 in the intermediates, triple-jumping 38-6 and high jumping 5-8. He, too, is headed for Pasco.
Vikings coach Bryan Duncan is slowly adding numbers and, therefore, depth in his programs. “We have 66 total,” he said. “Whenever you can get more kids, you can win more duals.”
LC boasts a budding star in freshman Mike Duff, a natural sprinter and jumper. He’ll score some points this year and likely bunches in the future.
“He’s an athlete, No. 1. He’s got great hip explosion and jumping ability,” LC assistant coach Van Troxel said.
Troxel, who is LC’s head football coach, then smiled and said, “On top of that, he’s a heck of a football player.”
Inland Empire League boys favorite Post Falls was knocked off by host Lewiston 104-43 in a dual at Vollmer Bowl.
“Hey, Lewiston is dang good,” Post Falls coach Wade Quesnell said. “They’ve got some depths in their sprints. They competed real well. We didn’t have a good day, but we’ll get better.”
Lewiston won 14 of 18 events, including all the sprints and all but one relay. Bengals sprint ace Josh Raymond was a double winner in the 100 (11.2) and 200 (23.3) as he beat the Trojans’ Josh Mort.
“We lost all of our depth from last year and it’s starting to show,” Quesnell said. “But I figured the meet would be tighter than it was. We have no excuse.”
The Trojans girls handled Lewiston 78-59. Post Falls’ Shannon Siverson won three events (long and triple jumps and 100 hurdles), while Jennifer Swanstrom (100, 200) and Lindsey Owen (shot and discus) each won two.
In Intermountain League duals at Rathdrum, Kellogg’s boys were a double winner, beating Lakeland 72-68 and Priest River 102-40, while Lakeland’s girls tripped Kellogg 71-66 and Kellogg beat Priest River 87-49.
Some of the top marks included Lakeland’s Joe Brown in the discus (141-4), Priest River’s Matt Rabe in the shot (48-5), Kellogg’s Alisha Derbyshire in the shot (36-2) and Lakeland’s Sarah DeBoer in the 300 hurdles (49.1).
In a North Idaho League match at Hayden, Lake City manhandled Lewiston 8-1 as the Timberwolves dominated in shots on goal (25-4).
LC moved to 4-0 in league. Mike Thompson had two goals and an assist.
In an IML game at St. Maries, the host Lumberjacks tripped Moscow 6-5 in eight innings.
J.D. Ragan scored the winning run on a double by D.J. Eberlin. St. Maries improved to 7-2 overall, 2-0 in league.
Visiting Sandpoint swept a double-header in its IEL openers, topping Post Falls 8-2, 11-4.
Sandpoint moves to 2-2. Post Falls is 0-5, 0-4.
At St. Maries, the Lumberjacks held off visiting Moscow 9-6.
Brianne Badget paced St. Maries (4-4, 1-1) with a two-run triple in the third. Tami Goetz led Moscow with five RBIs.