Zebras bring track six-pack

By: Cecil Conley, Sports Editor
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Matt Probst will no longer have to take a break from throwing the discus to run the 200- meter dash for Lincoln High School’s track team. The junior will go as far as he can throw this week. Probst won the discus last Thursday at the Pioneer Valley League championships. That sent him to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II-III meet, which began Wednesday at Bella Vista High. Finals in six field events were held Wednesday, including the boys discus. Probst needed to place in the top eight to qualify for the section Masters trials May 26 at Hughes Stadium in Sacramento. Lincoln’s Savannah Berkley and Kelsey Snook also competed Wednesday in the girls pole vault final. Steven Hays joined them as he tried his luck in the trials for 110- and 300-meter hurdles. Berkley placed second and Snook fourth in the pole vault at the PVL meet. Hays finished third in the 110 hurdles and fourth in the 300 hurdles. The top four finishers in each event advanced. “I’m just happy I’m going,” Hays aid. “I’m surprised with what I did. I didn’t think I was going to make it.” Also qualifying for the Division II-III meet were Heather Felt and Kyle Ebert in the 3,200. Felt used a late sprint to place second in the girls race at the PVL meet. Ebert was third in the boys race. There are no trials in the 3,200, so Felt and Ebert will have ample time to prepare for the finals Friday. Probst advanced to the discus final last Thursday despite just one of his three throws in the trials being legal. His first and third throws sailed out of bounds. His second went 139 feet, 10½ inches. That mark stood through the final, and Probst breathed a sigh of relief once he realized he had won. He overcame his uncooperative left foot, which slipped on his illegal throws, to prevail. “I throw a lot out of bounds,” Probst said. “When everything clicks, you know you’ve got a good throw.” Focusing on one event will be to Probst’s benefit. He displayed his versatility during the PVL dual-meet season by throwing the discus and shot put, running the 200 and competing in the long jump. It was not unusual for Probst to leave the shot put or discus competition to run the 200 and then return to finish his throws. At 5-foot-11 and 215 pounds, he is much bigger than most sprinters. His fellow throwers were impressed. “If they watch me run,” Probst said, “it’s like ‘Wow!’” Freshman Josh Myers is following in Probst’s footsteps by proving throwers can do more than throw. Myers won the high jump, was second in the discus, placed third in the shot put and ran a leg of the 1,600 relay for the Zebras’ varsity team in their PVL dual meet against Foothill on April 27. Heaving the shot put is nothing new for Myers, who also competed in the event last year at Glen Edwards Middle School. He decided to compete in the discus this season instead of trying the hurdles. “I found out I was good at the discus,” he said. So is his teammate.