Last tournament for Gregg is one for the books

Jalen Spence and coach Whitney Gregg, with Spence carrying the medals he won at state.

The visitor asked her, “Is it Coach Gregg or is it Principal Gregg?”

Whitney Gregg, track coach at Quincy High School for 14 years, said it was still coach Gregg, for at least one more weekend. She’s set to become a principal of one of Quincy’s elementary schools starting this summer.

So for a last trip to the big dance, the state meet in Cheney, things could hardly have gone better for her, with a state champion, and several top-10 finishes, including two runners-up finishes.

“It’s so exciting. Him and all the seniors, missing those two years and being able to come back and be a state champion,” she said of Jalen Spence and his teammates. “He’s a fast guy. It’s really something to watch. He really sets his mind to what he’s gonna do and gets ready to race.”

The competition was sturdy, she said, so “it was great to see him pull of that win within the last two hurdles.”

Discus runner-up Reid Thomsen “was awesome,” Gregg said.

He added 10 feet to his personal-best in the discus, at state, no less. That’s not an easy place to do better than your best, Gregg noted.

“Something to be proud of, for sure,” Gregg said.

Aiden Heikes was in a five-way tie for third place at the pole vault, but the higher ranking goes to the athlete that clears the height the soonest, so Heikes ended up in seventh place.

“Aidan is so consistent, so dependable. He made it to state in triple by having to PR. We are proud of him because he jumped a foot farther than he did all season. And in pole vault, it was a great really year to do pole vault because there were five guys who went out at 12’6”. If he had cleared 12’6” he would have taken third, so we were a little bummed but really proud that he made it on to the podium.”

Joceline Schaapman finished fourth in the girls’ 300-meter hurdles.

“I’m so excited for her. I won’t be coaching next year, but she has a bright future in track and field. She’s an amazing athlete and a dedicated team member. She did awesome. Fourth place in the 300s as a junior, that’s awesome.”

All told, a weekend to remember.

“I always thought I’d coach a pole vault state champ, so I was like, ‘Oh, a hurdles state champion! Not bad. With all the number of events they qualified in, it was a really nice way to feel good about what I’d done over the years. It’s bittersweet because next year is going to be fun too, but I will not be a stranger,” she said.

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