Friday, April 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Spencer can hire: Track and field staff gets Devils ready for success

DHS runners — from left, Paul Mohr, Blake Croft and Jack Scranton — put in work recently as the Blue Devil boys and girls track and field teams get ready for the season. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

By
From page B1 | March 01, 2013 | Leave Comment

*Editor’s note: This is the ninth in a 12-part series previewing Davis High’s spring sports.

With a roster of nearly 200 athletes it’s a wonder Davis High track and field coach Spencer Elliott can even remember all the names.

The fact that he and his staff have not only kept everything running (and jumping and throwing) smoothly, but also have guided the Blue Devils to uncharted section and state success over the past decade, is mind-blowing.

One year removed from a Sac-Joaquin Section boys title, DHS came back strong in 2012, taking third place in both the boys and girls divisions. After qualifying more than 20 athletes to the SJS Masters meet, the locals capped the spectacular season by sending a 4×400 girls relay quartet to the CIF state meet, where they set a school record and finished 13th in California.

With another 180 Devils set to begin the 2013 campaign on Saturday at the Sacramento State High School Classic, Elliott spilled the beans on his secrets for track and field glory:

“Success comes from a philosophy shared across our staff,” the popular DHS English teacher said in an email to The Enterprise this week.

“1. We have high expectations from our athletes and we let them know that;

“2. We create a culture where athletes support one another;

“3. As coaches, we are never too proud to learn something new;

“4. (This is my own philosophy) I surround myself with great event coaches and give them complete control over their respective events.”

Award-winning Devil harrier coach Bill Gregg, who has led the boys and girls cross country teams to 20 section titles, is back to guide a group of distance runners who should score big points come postseason time. International track and field consultant Hideshi Okamoto leads DHS high jumpers, while Holmes physical education teacher Leo Sacramento — himself an accomplished collegiate leaper — coaches horizontal jumpers.

Local hurdlers get instruction from former UC Davis hurdler Jonathan Defty, a kindergarten teacher at Fairfield Elementary. Former Aggie thrower Erin Randolf coaches Devil hurlers and Rick Harper, who still competes himself, shows DHS pole vaulters the tricks of the trade.

Throw in former Blue Devil standouts Tim Groth and Drew Petersen — who ran for UCD — and this coaching staff probably could make noise as competitors in a college meet.

“I’ve said this before but it’s true: I believe that we have the best coaching staff in California,” said Elliott, who was an accomplished Aggie trackster himself.

But even the best group of coaches needs talent to mold — and this Blue Devil squad has it in spades. Buckle up, because the list of athletes expected to do well this year is staggering …

Senior pole vaulter Courtney Meyer tops the list of returning stars as she broke a 16-year-old school record by going 10-9 at last week’s intersquad meet. According to Elliott, Meyer could compete for a state championship — a feat former Devil Ian Rock accomplished in 2011.

The potent group of runners is paced by girls competitors Laney Teaford and Sophie Meads and boys standouts Jack Scranton and Paul Mohr. Freshman Fiona O’Keeffe — fresh off of a state cross country meet appearance — should be a welcome addition.

Teaford joined Ellie Eaton and Han-Ah Sumner — and the graduated Hannah Krovetz — in running 3:56.39 to establish that 4×400 relay record at the 2012 state meet. Just a junior, Meads already has a 2011 Masters 3,200 title and a 2012 section crown in the 1,600 under her belt and has run in four state championship meets (three in cross country).

Scranton missed postseason track competition last season with an injury, but is the two-time defending SJS cross country champion.

“Our distance runners will be a force on both teams,” Elliott said of his DHS boys and girls. “We also have a fantastic group of long sprinters.”

Senior Nick Denton is back with eyes on the state meet as both a shot put and discus thrower. Elliott said Rose Stephens, who burst on the hurdles scene last year as a junior, “had a terrific offseason … and should have a big season.”

Other Davis names to watch are jumpers Kyle Clancy, Liz Lee and Caitlin Mazzoleni — who just finished a stint as a solid contributor to the Blue Devil girls playoff basketball squad — and pole vaulter Spencer LaHaye.

The entire Devil team can take a page from senior jumpers Jeremy Chen and Kunwoo Hong; Elliott says “nobody works harder than” they do.

The Division I section meet is set for May 15 and 17, with the SJS Masters scheduled for May 23 and 25. CIF presents the state meet on May 31 and June 1.

“We’re training for May,” Elliott said. “I expect we’ll have some great performances (before that), but really, we prepare for May. Everything else, Saturday included, is preparation.”

— Reach Chris Saur at csaur@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8049. Follow him on Twitter at @CSaurDEsports

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Going green at church, school, everywhere

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Former caretaker convicted of murder, elder abuse

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

    Old friend helps Brad and others find kidneys

    By Dave Jones | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Chuck Rairdan joins school board race

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1, 3 Comments

     
    Ukraine insurgents reject call to quit buildings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 6 Comments

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    UCD to host Global Health Day event

    By Cory Golden | From Page: A2

     
    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    ‘Hitchhiking’ dog looking for new home

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Online K-12 school holds info night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Schwenger lawn signs available

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

    Volunteers needed for Grad Night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Davis grad makes rain collection a business

    By Jason McAlister | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    A few spots left on history tour

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Chipotle fundraiser boosts Emerson tech upgrade

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Event to provide nature scholarship

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Students have new options on leasing front

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Groups join for a day of service

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    NAMI backers walk in Sacramento

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Food for the hungry

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

    .

    Forum

    Dad makes mom look bad

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    Early help is a great investment

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    More tax money? Answer the question

    By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6, 4 Comments

     
    UCD IS responsible for students

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 4 Comments

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    In search of great ideas

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

     
    Please keep the nursery open

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

    .

    Sports

    Sharks double up Kings in Game 1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Aggies lose a slugfest in opener at Riverside

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Fox coming to UCD; Riffle heads to Florida

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    DHS’ Golston goes full-bore on the diamond

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devils show more life in loss to Mitty

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    DYSA roundup: Intensity has big week; 10U games dominate schedule

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: Aggies set the academic bar high

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    Pro baseball roundup: Susac sends Sacramento to a rare loss

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘Transcendence’: A whole new level of tedium

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    ‘The Bloom’ paves way for Whole Earth Festival

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    DHS tribute to Tony Fields slated for April 25-26

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    UCD, city team up for Music on the Green

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    .

    Business

    Ford turns its Focus to domestic market

    By Ali Arsham | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, April 18, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Real Estate Review

    Featured Listing

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER1

    Professional Services Directory

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER2

    Lyon Real Estate

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER3

    Yolo FCU

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Acacia at Huntington Square

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Jamie Madison

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Travis Credit Union

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER5

    Kim Eichorn

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

    Suzanne Kimmel

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

    Lynne Wegner

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

    Kim Merrel Lamb

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

    Patricia Echevarria

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

    Chris Snow

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

    Andrew Dowling

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Sheryl Patterson

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Don Guthrie

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER10

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

    Julie Partain & Dick Partain

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

    Heather Barnes

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

    Malek Baroody

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER13

    Willowbank Park

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

    Karen Waggoner

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

    Team Traverso

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Julie Leonard

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Tim Harrison

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Tracy Harris

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

    Lori Prizmich

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

    Raul Zamora

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

    Joe Kaplan

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER18

    Open House Map

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER19

    F1rst Street Real Estate

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER20