GRANDVIEW- Going up against top runners from throughout the Lower Valley only slowed Mabton High School's long distance runner a little.
Webster Lopez, a senior runner, got off to a slow start Thursday afternoon at the Grandview High School Invitational, finishing in a disappointing sixth place in his first race of the day.
But the loss only fueled his desire to do better his next time out. "He was pretty bummed by his 4:47 finish in the 1,500-meter," said Mabton High School Coach Rob Roettger.
The young runner took that disappointment and turned it into a first place finish in the 3,000-meter race. Lopez completed that course with a time of 10:14.
The Mabton track team was somewhat intimidated by the larger schools they competed against in Thursday's meet, said Roettger.
Even so, several of his young athletes were able to do well enough to make their way to the final rounds of the large school meet.
Mabton sophomore Moises Gutierrez was one of those athletes who forged ahead, placing fourth in the 300 hurdles with a time of 46:2. Roettger said Gutierrez's finish was a personal best for the hurdle runner. He also placed fifth in the long jump with a distance of 17-10.
Mabton senior Ryan Harris placed in the finals to finish in fourth place in the high jump at 5-6. He also earned a sixth place finish in the triple jump at 36-4.
Mabton Lady Vikings making a showing at the Grandview meet included junior Lupita Gomez, who made it into the final round of the triple jump event. She ended the day in seventh place with a leap of 27-9.
Also making a good showing at the Grandview event were Mabton's Regina Palomarez, who threw the shotput for a personal best 26 feet, and Daniela Aguilar, who improved her personal best in the long jump, stretching out 14-4.
The Mabton High School track team will travel to Goldendale Saturday to compete in the annual Simcoe Invitational, before taking a week off for spring break.