YAKIMA - Unusually wintry weather trimmed the field to about 15 schools, and spring break meant several athletes had other commitments, but the Sunnyside track team made its presence known last Saturday at the Holder Relays at Eisenhower High School.
The Grizzly boys recorded 29 team points for seventh place honors, four back of sixth-place Bellevue and well back of the top scoring team, host Eisenhower with 99.5 points.
The short-handed Sunnyside girls team captured 10 team points to place 14th. Snohomish topped the field of girls teams with 103 points.
Sunnyside's Roy Haringa captured third-place honors in the 300 meter hurdles. Haringa's personal best time of 43.56 was less than two seconds behind event winner John Gage of Highland.
Grizzly Brice Rinehold uncorked a personal best throw of 129-6 in the discus relay for the second longest mark behind Marlyn Anderson of Snohomish with a distance of 149-8. Rinehold had the third longest throw in the javelin relay, 149-4. The field was topped by Ellensburg's Wes Ferrell with a meet best 154-10. In addition, Rinehold recorded an eighth-best mark in the shot put relay with a throw of 40-10.75.
Sunnyside Coach Robin Bryson said the throwing relays awarded team places, instead of individual finishes, based on how the overall throwing team did.
Also finishing well for the Sunnyside boys was the varsity distance medley relay, which finished in fourth place with a time of 11:59.98. The Grizzly foursome featured Patrick Watts, Gracen Gonzalez, Haringa and Jacob Rogers. The event was won by Snohomish with a clocking of 11:09.87.
In other varsity competition, Francisco Navarro-Rodriguez of Sunnyside had the seventh best effort in the long jump relay by jumping 18-3.25.
The Holder Relays also featured a frosh/soph competition that was not added to the overall team score. Sunnyside sophomore Kennedy Sarmiento was first in the 110 hurdles with a personal best time of 16.83 and was third in the underclassman 400 meters in 54.67.
Grizzly sophomore Efrain Silva was fourth in the 400 meters with a time of 55.94, about a second better than his previous personal best. "Efrain ran a good race," said Bryson. "That was his first time under 56 seconds."
Sunnyside's frosh/soph team of James Sanchez, Caleb Gomez, Sarmiento and Silva recorded a third-place time of 47.86 in the 4x100 relay, less than half a second behind first-place Eisenhower.
In other frosh/soph competition, Sunnyside's James Sanchez was fifth in the 100 meters with a personal best of 12.23 and eighth in the 400 meters in 57.18.
Christian Rood was seventh for the Sunnyside underclassmen in the shot put with a throw of 30-9.25. Grizzly freshman Ruben Prado was seventh in the high jump with a mark of five feet even.
The Lady Grizzly varsity track team was sparked by Jordyne Jaquish, who had a third-place mark of 4-10 in the high jump. Emily White of Woodinville won the event (5-0).
"Jordyne had some good attempts at five feet," said Bryson, who noted the weather was bothersome, including a mix of snow during some events.
Jaquish had the seventh-best effort in the long jump relay with a mark of 14-5.
Sarah Kilian also helped the Lady Grizzly cause, with a fourth-best throw in the shot put relay of 32-2.25
In frosh/soph competition, Sunnyside's Rica Parramore was eighth in the long jump with a leap of 12-0.5.
Bryson said the number of freshman and sophomores recording personal bests in the underclassmen events is a good sign for Grizzly track's future.
"It says really good things about the future of the program," she noted, "Any time you have a balanced team with upper classman leadership and developing young athletes it's a good group."
Though not league competition, events like the Holder Relays are good, Bryson says, because they expose athletes, especially young ones, to wider competition.
"It's nice that they get that chance to compete at this type of meet," Bryson said. "It just helps with their development over the course of the season."
Due to a combination of spring breaks both here and in the Columbia Basin, as well as WASL exams, Sunnyside's varsity track program doesn't return to competition until Saturday, April 12, at the Davis Invite.
Bryson said the Grizzlies will use the time for training. "They're preparing to perform as well as they can as we get to the end of the season."