Falcon junior Ridge Downard barrels over a hurdle and down the stretch at Chariton on April 15. Photo by Riley Darrah
With a balanced, deep and experienced boys squad, the Falcons are soaring high in the month of April, literally and figuratively. Wayne has improved steadily from the first meet at Davis County against tough competition, to its decisive victory at the Clarke Relays last Thursday. Only Lamoni has kept the Falcons from three straight wins—they have finished second to the Demons twice.
At Davis County on April 7, Wayne finished a close 3rd to Cardinal of Eldon, 103 points to 99 points. Powerhouse Pekin with a squad of around 40 athletes won the meet with 168 points. However, Wayne scored top 6 finishes in every event, the only team in the meet to accomplish that feat. Apr 21, 2014, 08:28
Wayne's Karna Hampton leaps over a hurdle. Photo by Bill Byrns
The Wayne girls track and field team started off the 2014 season with two impressive finishes. At the Dennis Anderson Relays at Bloomfield on April 7, the Lady Falcons finished second with 119 points. On April 10, Wayne finished third out of 13 teams at Centerville.
“We were led by seniors Breanna Fortune and Olivia Byrns, who both had a personal best,” Head Coach Bart Elliott said of the Davis County meet. “All their hard work in the weight room, speed and agility and at practice has paid off. They both have experience participating at the state track meet, which is once again their goal for their senior season. This was a great start to reaching their goal.” Apr 14, 2014, 09:50
Nekvinda started the year with decades of experience, but he was stepping into a new role as head coach. Wayne has struggled with attrition the past few seasons, and Nekvinda sought to minimize the disadvantages and accentuate what the Falcons could achieve, which was success at the individual level.
And some of his strategy involved hitting the halls in the morning for a good run. Mar 10, 2014, 08:14
No call. A Pekin defender grabs both of Tyler Jamieson's arms but is not called for a foul. The Panthers later hit a running desperation shot for a crucial 5-point swing. Photo by Jason Selby
Wayne had difficulty finding the gym in Centerville on Tuesday night, and it seemed to carry over onto the court in their second round playoff game with Pekin. In the first half, the Falcons fell behind 44-24.
But after the break, they fought out of that hole with a full-court press. In the third quarter, Wayne had clawed back to within 10 points when Tyler Jamieson drove to the basket. A Pekin defender grabbed both of Jamieson’s arms, but no foul was called. Then, at the end of the third quarter, the Panthers hit a running 40-foot 3-point shot. Despite dominating the third quarter, in part because of a crucial no-call and a desperation 3, Wayne still trailed by 18.
Head Coach Jason Allen made his frustration known at the end of the game, drawing a technical when a Panther was not called for a foul after going over-the-back for a rebound, followed by a touch foul on Wayne. Feb 27, 2014, 09:44
Tyler Jamieson rises over Moulton-Udell during the Falcons 71-37 victory. The senior led the team with 24 points and 8 rebounds. Also pictured are Trent Moore, 30, Dillon Lain and Lorenzo Baker-Martinez. Photo by Jenny Nickell
The Falcons left slow starts and sluggish play behind them during their first round playoff game at Moulton-Udell. The Saturday evening matchup was a makeup from last Thursday, but Wayne did not miss a beat, shooting 63 percent from the field while winning 71-37.
“We came out with fire and intensity and kept it up throughout the game,” Head Coach Jason Allen said. “We were able to let the starters rest during the fourth quarter, so they can be fresh for Tuesday night’s contest against Pekin. It’s win or go home.” Feb 24, 2014, 09:35