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Wampus Cats continue to make strides at Priest River Invitational

by DYLAN GREENE
Sports Editor | April 27, 2021 1:00 AM

PRIEST RIVER — The Clark Fork track team wasn't intimidated at all by the size of the schools at Saturday's Priest River Invitational.

The eight Wampus Cats boys continued to shave seconds off their times and took ninth out of the 12 teams that scored points at the meet.

Given the size of some of the teams at the meet, head coach Matt Majors knew his athletes weren't going to be contending for top places in some of their events, but that didn't bother the Wampus Cats.

Majors said the boys focused on hitting certain marks and competing with themselves and those in their heats. They executed those goals to perfection, and each one of them tried their best to improve, he said.

"The main thing I talked about with them was they were competing," he said, "and their competitiveness was just something I was so proud of."

Across the board, Clark Fork recorded personal bests and Sam Barnett led the way. He secured third in the 1600 and fourth in the 800, running PRs in both.

Even more impressive, he wasn't at full strength.

"Sam sprained his ankle during PE last week so he didn't get to practice very much ... and so we were kind of unsure if he would be able to run," Majors said.

Joe Bopp also tore apart his previous best marks. He took ninth in the long jump, 11th in the 200 and 20th out of 49 runners in the 100, and notching PRs in all three. He also ran the 400 for the first time and placed seventh with a 58.62.

"Joe killed it," Majors said. "He had a time in mind [in the 400] he wanted to beat and he did it, and that was incredible."

Nathan Shelton grabbed 13th in the 800 and 15th in the discus, recording PRs in both.

"He's just improving every week," Majors said. "We don't know what's going to happen the rest of this year, but he's only a sophomore, so I'm really excited about what he can do the next couple years also."

Wyatt Mintken nabbed ninth in the 400, 11th in the long jump and 100 and 13th in his first 200.

Carson Yetter placed 18th in the 400 and ran PRs in the 100 and 200. Hank Barnett was 12th in the 400 and ran a PR in the 200, Ryan Matteson PR'd in the 400 and 1600 and Lukas Birdsell tossed a PR in the discus.

Several Wampus Cats tried new events on Saturday as Majors looks to find the right mix for each of his athletes.

We had a couple relays that we were doing and I thought it would be kind of better to just take off the relays for a couple weeks and get them into different events and see where they are at and see if they can shine somewhere else

"We had a couple relays that we were doing and I thought it would be kind of better to just take off the relays for a couple weeks, and get them into different events and see where they are at and see if they can shine somewhere else," he said. "I'm just so proud of Clark Fork because we're holding our own in these events and meets."

The Wampus Cats will compete in the Timberlake Invitational at 2:30 p.m. Friday.

BOYS

TEAM SCORES — 1, Bonners Ferry 168. 2, Sandpoint 89. 3, Coeur d’Alene Charter 83. 4, Post Falls 77. 5, Coeur d’Alene 58. 6, Priest River 52.5. 7, St. Maries 51.5. 8, Wallace 38. 9, Clark Fork 13. 10, Kootenai 11. 11, Timberlake 7. 12, Kellogg 6.

Clark Fork results

100 — 11, Wyatt Mintken, 12.54. 20, Joe Bopp, 12.73. 36, Carson Yetter, 13.49. 200 — 11, Joe Bopp, 25.98. 13, Wyatt Mintken, 26.58. 23, Nathan Shelton, 27.42. 28, Carson Yetter, 28.35. 29, Hank Barnett, 28.54. 400 — 7, Joe Bopp, 58.62. 9, Wyatt Mintken, 1:00.36. 12, Hank Barnett, 1:03.34. 18, Carson Yetter, 1:07.34. 19, Ryan Matteson, 1:08.20. 800 — 4, Sam Barnett, 2:12.17. 13, Nathan Shelton, 2:23.10. 1600 — 3, Sam Barnett, 5:01.36. 31, Ryan Matteson, 5:56.94. Shot put — 21, Nathan Shelton, 29-6.25. 46, Lukas Birdsell, 13-3. Discus — 15, Nathan Shelton, 91-8. 44, Lukas Birdsell, 35-4. Long jump — T9, Joe Bopp, 16-5. 11, Wyatt Mintken, 16-1.5. 24, Carson Yetter, 13-4. 31, Ryan Matteson, 11-5.

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(Photo by DYLAN GREENE)

Wyatt Mintken prepares to land in the pit in the long jump on Saturday.

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(Photo by DYLAN GREENE)

Nathan Shelton throws the shot put on Saturday.

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(Photo by DYLAN GREENE)

Joe Bopp runs the 200 on Saturday.

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(Photo by DYLAN GREENE)

Hank Barnett runs the 400 on Saturday.

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(Photo by DYLAN GREENE)

Carson Yetter takes off in the long jump on Saturday.

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(Photo by DYLAN GREENE)

Ryan Matteson crosses the finish line in the 1600 on Saturday.

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(Photo by DYLAN GREENE)

Carson Yetter crosses the finish line in the 100 on Saturday.

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(Photo by DYLAN GREENE)

Joe Bopp competes in the 100 on Saturday.

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(Photo by DYLAN GREENE)

Joe Bopp runs in the 400 on Saturday.

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(Photo by DYLAN GREENE)

Ryan Matteson runs in the 400 on Saturday.

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(Photo by DYLAN GREENE)

Sam Barnett rounds the corner in the 800 on Saturday.

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(Photo by DYLAN GREENE)

Wyatt Mintken runs the 200 on Saturday.

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(Photo by DYLAN GREENE)

Wyatt Mintken crosses the finish line in the 100 on Saturday.