Tahlequah scored 50 points and managed fifth place at the Reasors Track Classic on Friday. But more important than scoring points at home against mostly Class 6A competition, Bart Frank and Jason Proctor now know how to approach their athletes moving forward during the track season.
“We have a real good tool with our times today to coach off of,” Frank said. “Now we just have to get them to understand how we want to attack things.”
Leading the Tigers in the annual track event was Brandon Conrad in the high jump and Eric Garcia in the throwing competitions. Conrad tied with Broken Arrow’s Damian Howard and Union’s Luke McAllister at 6 feet in the high jump, but Conrad — a state silver medalist as a junior in 2013 — needed the fewest amount of jumps to eclipse the bar.
It ended up being Conrad’s second straight high jump title on his home turf.
“The Broken Arrow kids didn’t go very high and Brandon didn’t go very high, but he won and he was against the best competition around,” Frank said of Conrad, who pulled off a jump of 6 feet, 6 inches at the state meet last season. “He got kind of gimpy there at the end. He hurt his shin on the last jump at 6-2, but then he came back and ran three really good races.”
Garcia was in line for Tahlequah’s second gold medal of the day, but Jenks’ Derek Robinson surpassed him on his final throw. Garcia’s 150-feet, 1-inch throw was the mark to beat, and Robinson let loose of the discus and came up three inches better than Garcia at 150 feet, 4 inches.
“Eric is really doing well,” Frank said of Garcia, who was also fifth in the shotput at 46 feet, 5 inches. “He had a good day in the discus, and it wasn’t his best in the shot.”
Garcia’s teammate, Logan Cook, also placed in the discus at 141 feet, 2 inches, which was good enough for fourth place.
“When it comes to throwing, it all comes in spurts,” Frank said. “And I look for both Eric and Logan to increase over the next month.”
The rest of Tahlequah’s points came from relay races. The Tigers were third in the 3,200-meter relay, fourth in the 400-meter relay, fifth in the 1,600-meter relay and sixth in the 800-meter relay.
“Putting Zech (VanFleet) on there is going to help,” said Frank, who was without VanFleet at the Broken Arrow meet the week before due to a prior commitment with wrestling. “...It’s hard to say where we’re at right now; it all depends on how much we improve. In 2010, when we won (the two-mile relay), we weren’t sitting this good, so that’s a good thing.”