Raising the Bar in 8th Grade Track



The eighth grade track and field team prepared all season to compete strong in yesterday’s Far West League District Championship.  The boy’s team held 11 of the 15 leading marks in the league, while the girl’s team led in 10 of 15 events going into the championships.
On the boys side, Tristin Lemmons led the league marks in the 400, 800 and 1500 meter runs, Jacob Carpenter had the top times in the 100 and 200 meter hurdles, Cory Stover led in the 200 meter run and long jump, Devin Benson had the fastest time in the 100, Micah Tardie had the best mark in the high jump and the 4 x100 and 4 x400 relays also led the league.

The girls league-leading marks were held by Ravyn Miranda in the 100 and 200 meter runs and long jump, Tess Garrett’s times in the 400 and 800, Khaley Aguilar in the 100 meter hurdles and pole vault, Mallory Heyer in the high jump, Meg Holt in the discus and the team also led in the girls 4 x 400 relay.

Eighth grader Sirus Robie said the team was ready to compete at district.

“I think our team is doing really well,” Robie said. “We’re always improving every day.”

The team is led by Coach Steve Delgado, who said that although he was not outstanding, he competed in track and field while growing up in Medford.

“I was a distance runner. I ran but not super competitively. I participated in a sport that wasn’t a school sport. I was a competitive road cyclist and all my time was dedicated to that,” Delgado said.

Although Delgado may not have focused on track and field in high school, he began to love the sport. Delgado first started coaching track and field at the local Boys and Girls Club, beginning with the current eighth grade group while they were in fifth grade.

“I asked Coach Mac [Marshfield track and field coach Mac MacIntosh] if it would be possible for the Boys and Girls Club team to practice at Marshfield once the high schoolers finished practice. He said, ‘Yes,’ and then a couple years ago I had the opportunity to coach the middle school team so I took it and here we are,” Delgado said.

Delgado, who is assisted by Dave Delgado and John Lemmons, said what he enjoys most about coaching is simply helping athletes improve.

“When you can take an athlete with their raw passion and desire to have fun, and also get better, and help them become better, it is very gratifying and a lot of fun,” Delgado said.

Track and field is both an individual and a team sport. Aside from relays, athletes compete individually and add to the team scoring.

Tristin Lemmons said whether one thinks track and field is a team sport or individual sport is based on their own perspective.

“Track and field is a big team sport, but it’s also individual. It’s all about how you see it, but in my opinion it’s a team sport. You train as a team and lose as a team,” Lemmons said.

Lemmons is currently ranked sixth in the state in the 200 meter hurdles and is also on the 4×400 meter relay which is ranked second in state. He said his favorite event is the 1500 and he also thinks it is his best event. Lemmons’ current season best time is 4:35 and the state leading mark is 4:26 in the 1500. He is looking forward to the middle school state meet in May.

“I just want to beat the kid that has a better time than me in the 1500,” Lemmons said.

Lemmons also said he has high hopes for his team by the end of the season.

“As a team I would like to win state,” Lemmons said. “We did really well last year and have only gotten faster, stronger and better than before.”