Track and field: Montgomery’s Mollard among big winners at Viking Classic

By PETER FOURNIER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Santa Rosa's Delano Bell winds up for a shot put during the Viking Classic track meet at Montgomery High School on Saturday. (Alvin Jornada / For The Press Democrat)

Santa Rosa’s Delano Bell winds up for a shot put during the Viking Classic track meet at Montgomery High School on Saturday. (Alvin Jornada / For The Press Democrat)

Tori Mollard’s short legs force her to take four steps instead of the three she says most of her competitors take when competing in hurdles events.

Fortunately for Montgomery’s Mollard, the results only show who got to the finish line first, as she won both girls hurdles races, the 100- and 300-meter events, despite dealing with a strong, gusty wind that bore down the Montgomery High track during the 25th annual Vikings Classic on Saturday.

Mollard said the wind had its advantages and disadvantages.

“It depends on the hurdles, she said. “With 300 hurdles, it’s rough because it really makes your start drop back. It makes it hard to get out strong, but it’s a lot better for the home stretch because that’s when you die, that’s when you’re tired.

“For the 100 hurdles, it definitely pushes you a little bit, a little bit more forward, so it’s harder to keep your steps even, but it’s a lot of help and I think that definitely helped with the times today.”

Mollard is working on getting to a three-step jump.

“I’m hoping that by the end of the season, I’ll be there,” said the Montgomery High junior.

Santa Rosa’s Delaney White hung close with her competitors for six laps of the eight-lap 3200-meter girls race, before pulling away for the final two circuits.

“The whole strategy is, especially after running a two-mile after running a one-mile only a couple of hours before, is to find someone who is either going my pace or a little slower, who’s taken the lead upon themselves, to draft off of them and wait until I feel confident enough to extend my lead and be able to pull away,” she said.

White hopes to improve her time in both events — she finished fifth in the mile — before the North Coast Section Meet of Champions, which is about a month away.

“I’m really looking forward to the big competition that this next month is going to bring because those are when my real hard meets are going to come up,” she said.

The Montgomery boys “A” relay team won the 4×400-meter race after a back-and-forth duel with Healdsburg.

John Dethlefsen, who raced on the Vikings’ A relay team, was looking for redemption after a disappointing performance in the 1600-meter boys run earlier in the day.

“I had some fuel from a disappointing mile earlier (he finished 42nd). When I first got the baton, Healdsburg passed me off to my right on the first turn, and when I saw him pass me, it just kind of gave me a relapse to the memories of the past mile that I ran, and I knew that I wasn’t going to let this guy beat me.”

Dethlefsen also didn’t want to let his teammates down.

“Added to the energy is it’s a team race, and I know the other guys were counting on me, and that’s a huge aspect when you’re running a relay,” he said.

“As well as it being a home meet that we were hosting, and you’re running for you teammates and you’re running for your teammates. The adrenaline was just unreal.”

For full results, visit vikingtrackclassic.com.

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