A pair of Del Norte track and field athletes wrapped up their 2018 track and field seasons at the North Coast Section Meet of Champions in Berkeley on Friday, and two more Warriors are expected to be competing when the event resumes today.
Sophomore Bryce Howard turned in a new personal best height in boys pole vault while senior Carolyn Cochran competed in her last high school discus competition at UC-Berkeley.
“It went pretty well. I PRed with 12-7 and I almost cleared 13-1,” Howard said. “I just had a little mess up (at 13-1). I forgot to fling my arms at the end, which is one of the problems I have been having at meets. I forget to fling my arms back, and one little flaw can mess up everything.”
Although Howard just clipped the bar with his arms at 13-1 feet, he still improved on his best height by an inch.
“It feels pretty good. I feel like I could have done better, but I will definitely take this PR over no-heighting,” Howard said. “There are a lot of great guys out here. Some of them only went 11 or 12 feet, but some of them are vaulting 14 feet and they are close to 15 feet right now. It’s a really good experience to see how everyone is doing — seeing how they vault and what their techniques are.”
Although Howard wasn’t able to finish in the top three to move on to Berkeley, the future looks bright for the only underclassmen competing in the pole vault at the MOC this year. There were also only five juniors in the senior-laden field of 24 boys.
Howard said his goal for next season is to clear 14 feet, get back to Berkeley and hopefully make a run at qualifying for the California Interscholastic Federation State Track Meet next year.
“This year has been pretty good for me,” Howard said. “I got up to the height I wanted to go to in practice. I obviously didn’t make it in the meet, but I got there in practice. Hopefully over the summer I can get even better when I go to camp. This season has been a good experience though. I have gotten better, and I have gotten higher.”
Cochran wasn’t able to have the day that she was hoping for in the discus, but the senior didn’t let a disappointing performance ruin her last experience as a high school athlete.
“I ended up scratching two of my throws and ended up having one inside the sector, so that was kind of a bummer,” Cochran said. “I always consider Berkeley a meet to have fun at though, so I’m not to worried about it. It is just nice being back here. I enjoy it every year, so I’m just happy I got to come back as a senior and participate once more.”
Cochran said she plans to attend the University of California-Merced next year, which doesn’t have a track and field team. That doesn’t necessarily mean that her track and field career is over, however. Cochran said she has heard rumors that Merced students are allowed to compete on the local junior college track team, which is something that she may look into next year.
No matter if she continues with her athletic career, Cochran said the sport has already been a big part of her life.
“Track means so much to me. It is one of those things that I look forward to every year,” she said. “It is something that is a part of me and has been a part of all four years of high school for me. Unfortunately I was injured for two years, so that took a decent chunk out of it. Overall I love it though. It’s part of my everyday.”
Although Cochran is now finished suiting up for the Warriors, she encourage next year’s students to give it a try.
“It’s an amazing experience. Everyone should do it,” Cochran said. “The coaching staff that we have at Del Norte is amazing for our area.”
Juniors Katherine Martinez and Ethan Price are scheduled to compete in the girls pole vault and the boys high jump when the meet resumes today.
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