Cross country: Vikings go fourth to earn trophy

November 6, 2011 by  

PASCO, Wash. — Early in the season, Selah’s boys seemed far removed from their best state cross country finish in three decades.

As the state meet loomed, coach Rick Becker grew concerned about the team’s approach and attitude. As he put it, “There were questions about dedication and loyalty.”

Becker wanted his boys to think about the coming season, where they wanted to go and how they would get there. “I locked them in a room and went home,” he said.

Ellensburg's Thatcher Montgomery and Selah's Brad Kahn compete near the finish of the 2A cross country state championship Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011 in Pasco, Wash. (Andy Sawyer/Yakima Herald-Republic)



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The next day, he heard what came out of it: “Their goal was to win league, district, regional and make the top four at state,” he said

Check, check, check and — Saturday at the Class 2A state meet — check.

Senior Brad Kahn, junior Matt Schwittay and freshman Matt Schrenk led the way as the Vikings grabbed a fourth-place trophy, Selah’s first cross-country hardware since the early 1980s, according to Becker. Selah’s team result highlighted a strong showing by Yakima Valley runners against stiff statewide competition at Sun Willows Golf Course.

Leading local individuals was Ellensburg’s Jeffrey Ott, whose seventh-place finish in 15 minutes, 46 seconds over the 5,000-meter course marked a personal best for both place and time at state. His teammates just missed a state trophy, finishing in fifth — one place and 12 points behind Selah.

“We ran well,” said Ellensburg coach Jeff Hashimoto. “This was our best race of the season.” He was especially pleased with Ott’s final cross-country race in an Ellensburg uniform. “You can’t ask for more than a PR at state,” he said.

Ott ran a controlled race, though with a 5:02 first mile, perhaps not as controlled as he would have liked. He was about 10th at that point and moved up from there. “I wanted to start out a little slow and move it up,” he said. “I felt good and kept going.”

Farther back, though not far apart, were the Selah runners. None made the top 16 that lands runners on the state-meet podium: Kahn was 23rd in 16:27 seconds, Schwittay 28th in 16:34 and Schrenk 44th in 16:48. Senior Cameron Ford and junior Ben Hoffman rounded out the scoring five in 17:03 (62nd) and 17:10 (70th). But their 43-second spread was the second lowest of the meet, only two seconds shy of state-champion Lindbergh. That, said Becker, was the key.

“They are so close,” he said. “They’re a tight-knit group. They feed off each other.”

That early-season get-together in the room led to Saturday’s gathering at the state podium, where they hoisted their fourth-place trophy. “This is what we were hoping for,” said a satisfied coach.

1A track: Zillah breaks its curse, takes fifth

May 29, 2011 by  

CHENEY, Wash. — Thanks in large part to Logan Olney, Zillah’s boys foiled the curse and almost left the state track meet with a fourth-place trophy.

Olney sped to victory in the 200 and to second in the 100, but it was his anchoring work in the winning 4×400 relay, along with the efforts of teammates Isaac Estrada, Angel Rodriguez and Scott Thomas, that left Ken Johnson one happy head coach after Saturday’s track and field competition at Eastern Washington University.

“We’ve had a curse,” Johnson said after the relay team raced to an improbable school-record time of 3:28.48 in the day’s final event. In the nine years Johnson has been at Zillah, the Leopards have brought a 4×400 team to state each year — but not one has ever advanced out of the preliminary rounds.


Friday, this foursome did, in an eye-opening 3:29:19 that won their heat and stood as a school record for one day.

Saturday, the Leopards sought to build on that. Estrada kept the team in striking distance, then Rodriguez moved up from fourth to first. Thomas wouldn’t led anyone past him, and Olney closed with a 50.9 split that put some distance between him and the field.

“We just can’t believe it,” marveled Johnson.

Olney already had had a good day. After a strong start in the 200, he held off the competition to win in 22.18, just ahead of Hoquiam’s Jerid Ronquillo in 22.36. “They pushed me pretty hard,” he said of the field. Olney started the day by running the 100 in 11.20, second to Ronquillo.

The team’s combined efforts gave Zillah 33 points, tied for fifth with league rival Connell and just one point out of a fourth-place trophy finish.

Two other Valley competitors may have joined Olney on the top podium had they competed in different state meets — or in different years.

Naches Valley’s Jake Calaghan threw the shot a personal-best 53 feet, 10 inches but had the misfortune of competing against Newport’s Aaron Castle. Castle, who leads all state shot-putters regardless of classification, won with a throw of 63-1.

Calaghan is a sophomore who still has to face Castle one more year. “He’s a great athlete. It’s great to compete against him,” said a gracious Calaghan.

Back on the track, La Salle senior Kerry Duffy settled for second in the 400 with a time of 50.65, behind Freeman’s Quinn Robinson in 49.59. “This is my last 400 — I’m so glad to be done with a second place,” he said.

Duffy, a senior whose track career has been limited by a football-related back injury, took fourth in the hundred in 11.27 and fifth in the 200 in 22.88. This was his first year competing in open events, though he has appeared at state on relay teams.

2B track: Byrne, Gartrell lead RC to 2nd

May 29, 2011 by  

CHENEY, Wash. — Kyle Gartrell was seeing double, Derek Byrne had close to the same vision, and that brought into focus a state runner-up trophy for Riverside Christian’s boys.

Gartrell won the pole vault and triple jump, and Byrne took first in the 300 hurdles and a strong second in the javelin Saturday to lead the Crusaders in the final day of the Class 2B state track and field championships at Eastern Washington University.

On the girls side, Bethany Imperial was crowned the triple jump champion after a school-record leap.


“Derek and Kyle, they were awesome,” said coach Scott Wells. “What a great meet for Bethany.”


Gartrell, a senior who was fourth in the pole vault a year ago at 12-0, stepped it up by two feet and four places this year. “I haven’t vaulted well at state; I always get nervous. But I was calm yet excited this year,” he said. His winning height of 14-0 tied his personal best.

From there, Gartrell ran directly to compete in the triple jump, where his third attempt carried him to a state-meet record of 46 feet, 1 3/4 inch. To say he backed it up with his five other jumps is an understatement: His shortest leap of 44-8 would have won state this year.


Byrne started the day with a third-place finish in the 110 hurdles. In the 300 hurdles, he led the field over the first barrier, and coming off the curve had a clear lead he wasn’t about to relinquish as he won in an excellent time of 39.67 seconds, almost a full second ahead of the runner-up.

Byrne concluded his day and state-meet career with a javelin fling of 192-6, achieved on his final throw. That landed him just two feet out of first. “I’m happy with my throw,” he said.


His 300 hurdles title give little hint that Byrne had never hurdled until this year. It was his idea, actually.

Riverside Christian’s Bethany Imperial competes in the long jump Friday at the Class 2B state meet in Cheney. Imperial won the triple jump on Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Sean Byrne)

“I asked coach Wells since I was doing only two events,” Byrne said. He started with the 110, then added the 300 as the season progressed. “Coach has a good idea of who can be a good hurdler,” Byrne said.

That also applies to Imperial, Byrne’s female counterpart, who like him had never done the hurdles until this season. Her 110 race started her day inauspiciously when, seemingly on her way to a second-place finish, she hit the penultimate hurdle and practically tumbled across the finish line in seventh.

From there she ran directly to her first effort in the triple jump. “It was kind of disappointing, but I had to just get over it,” she said.

She did. She opened respectably with a 33-11, then on her third jump tied her PR at 35-4. On her fourth attempt, she cut loose with a 36-1 3/4, which broke the previous school record held by Sharelle Wells, the coach’s daughter. Imperial later added a sixth in the 300 hurdles in a personal best of 48.01.

“She’s always real positive,” said Aaron Wells, an RC assistant who is a former state triple jump champ himself. “She is mentally tough and well put together.” On Friday, Imperial placed fourth in the long jump.


And, yes, Aaron is the head coach’s son the and previous school record holder’s brother.

Also recording a high finish among local schools was Kittitas’ 4×400 relay team of Cesar Espinoza, Robert Barnhart, Carl Tilton and Luis Padilla, which took third in 3:32.96, two seconds off a title.

Head coach Wells savored the RC boys’ team total of 63 points, 19 points shy of Northwest Christian of Lacey. This marked the fifth straight year that RC’s boys have finished either first or second at state.

“We’ve gone 1-2-1-1-2,” said Wells as he recounted the last five finishes. “That’s not too bad.”

1B track: TL-G girls take second

May 29, 2011 by  

Vogt sisters lead the way ||

CHENEY, Wash. — A point here, a place or two higher there, and Trout Lake-Glenwood’s girls could have had another Class 1B state track and field championship.

Let by sisters Valerie and Liz Vogt, who combined for three individual championships, Trout Lake-Glenwood piled up 82 points. That left them just one shy of state champion Mount Rainier Lutheran.


“We had two great athletes and a bunch of athletes who overachieved and almost won state again,” said coach Morgan Colburn, whose squad just missed its fourth girls championship in five years.

Individuals at other area 1B schools also came away with serious hardware.

Klickitat’s Samantha Brewer closed her stellar state career with victories in the 100-meter hurdles and the long jump, along with a runner-up finish in the high jump.

On the boys side, Bickleton’s Nic Venema won his second title in two days by speeding to victory in the 300 hurdles.


But taking the spotlight — and almost a championship — was Trout Lake-Glenwood’s team.

Sophomore Valerie Vogt took Saturday’s starring role by winning the 800 in 2 minutes, 25.73 seconds, and the 1,600 in 5:26.50. Both followed the same script: She started fast and never let up.

“Usually I want to go out hard,” she said after the 1,600. But it’s in the second half that she really put distance on the field. “I just went after it.”

Her respective finishes gave her victories by seven seconds in the 800 and eight seconds in the 1,600.

L. Vogt

Vogt, a senior, capped her career with an easy victory in the 300 hurdles in a time of 47.47. She also finished third in the 200 and long jump to go with her second-place finish in Friday’s triple jump.

Vogt has won four individual titles and been on two winning relays in her four-year state career. “I’m kinda bummed it’s over,” she said. “I really love track.” She plans to take up rowing next year while attending the University of Washington.

Also getting big points for Trout Lake-Glenwood was the 4×400 relay team of Anna Nakae, Anna Klahn, Lindsey Scott and Caitlin Scott. The

V. Vogt

foursome took second in 4:27.03, its season-best by 20 seconds, and beat everybody except Mount Rainier Lutheran, the team champs.

“I was proud of them for what they were able to do,” said Colburn.

Klickitat’s Brewer also put an exclamation point on her career. She started the day with a no-doubt victory in the 100 hurdles in 16.85, then finished the day with a personal-best 16-51 /4 in the long jump. Between those gold medals came her silver in the high jump, in which she cleared 5-0.


Added to Friday’s triple-jump championship, Brewer totaled three firsts and a second this year, and seven firsts and four seconds in her four years at state. Saturday’s 28 points brought her state four-year total to 128.

And her final long jump was her best. “It kind of makes me sad, to think that it’s all over,” said Brewer, who plans to play volleyball at Columbia Basin College next year.

On the boys’ side, Venema pulled down a big-time PR as he cruised to victory in the 300 hurdles. His time of 41.48 gave him a clear victory over second-place Kennedy Seyler of Wellpinit (42.26) and was a two-second improvement over his district qualifying time. He was sixth at state last year in 45.90.

Venema also took fourth in the 110 hurdles on Saturday to go with Friday’s pole vault championship. His performances helped Bickleton to 43 team points, good for sixth in the team standings.

Track: Record win for Naches’ Taylor

May 28, 2011 by  

CHENEY, Wash. — Friday’s blustery conditions made throwing the javelin anything but a breeze for Naches Valley’s Kelsie Taylor.

A quartering gust sliced her first throw to the right — her toss nonetheless covered a very respectable 135 feet — but then her second throw blew out of bounds for a foul. “You get one of those throws every once in a while,” shrugged Taylor


But then Taylor got one of those throws the good way, one that rifled through a temporarily calm atmosphere for a Class 1A meet record of 142 feet, 10 inches and a state championship for the Ranger junior, who was runner-up at this meet last year. “It felt like a good throw from the beginning,” she said.

That good throw landed Taylor one of two individual girls championships from Yakima Valley schools on the first day of the Class 1A, 2B and 1B meets at Eastern Washington University.

Klickitat senior Samantha Brewer gathered her fifth state title in three years as she edged league rival Liz Vogt of Trout Lake-Glenwood in the triple jump.

Brewer opened with 34 feet, 6 inches and closed on her sixth jump with a 34-6 3/4 to win the title. Vogt, who won state last year with 34-0 3/4, this year settled for second in 34-2.


Brewer spent much of the spring battling a quad injury that limited her competition until recently to the high jump and hurdles. “It caused a lot of pain to run,” said Brewer. But now pain-free, she achieved a triple jump career personal best despite the shortened season.

In winning her javelin title, Taylor switched places with last year’s champion, Kristen Schoenherr of Rainier, who bested Taylor by three feet in 2010 with a 132-00 on her final fling.

Both stepped it up this year, Taylor by 13 feet and Schoenherr taking the runner-up spot with a 137-05. Third was Sarah Waszkewitz of Chelan in 136-11. “It was a really good competition,” said Taylor. “I’m proud of Kristen and Sarah.”

The strong marks came in spite of the fickle breezes. “The wind plays a huge factor,” said Taylor. “A lot of your throws stall in the air.”

Naches coach Lonnie Blanchard views Taylor’s success as an outgrowth of hard work, both in-season and off-season. “She’s excellent to coach,” said Blanchard. “She puts a lot of time in the weight room.”

Taylor added a seventh in the shot put with a throw of 35-11 1/2.

In Class 2B, Riverside Christian’s Bethany Imperial placed fourth in the long jump with 16-7 1/2. She also advanced to today’s finals in the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles, and she is the top-seeded competitor in the triple jump.

Liz Vogt wasn’t the only big scorer for Trout Lake-Glenwood. The 3200 tandem of younger sister Valerie Vogt and junior Lindsey Scott placed second and third in respective times of 12:01:05 and 12:46.06, both personal bests.

Track: Venema wins pole vault, RC eyeing title defense

May 28, 2011 by  

CHENEY, Wash. — Bickleton’s Nic Venema had to wait out the wind and the rain before winning the Class B pole vault title. And as thunder sounded on the horizon, Riverside Christian made some Class 2B team rumblings of its own.

The elements themselves added to the element of competition at Friday’s first day of the Class 1A/2B/1B state track and field championships Friday at Eastern Washington University. The meets will conclude today.


Venema, a junior, had to endure two stoppages of competition due to wind and rain, then found himself in a jumpoff with Pomeroy’s Jon Atchley before clinching his championship with a jump of 11 feet, 6 inches. That’s well below his personal best of 12-2.


Venema said the relentless breeze wasn’t a problem, but the rain and temperatures in the low 50s were. “The wind didn’t bother me. It’s just the weather. I’m so cold, it’s just hard to think.” He added, “The cold weather makes the pole really, really stiff.”

Despite all that, Venema, a junior cleared six inches higher than he did in winning the 2010 competition. Sophomore teammate Peter Clinton, in his first pole vault at state, took third in 11-0, just two inches shy of his personal best.

On the Class 2B side, Riverside Christian got a strong 2-3 long jump finish from Kyle Gartrell and Derek Byrne to set up a state-championship run in today’s finals.

Gartrell cleared 22-10 1/2, just shy of the winning jump of 23-0 3/4 by defending state champion Terrell Boyes of South Bend. Byrne was right behind at 22-3 3/4; Gartrell’s jump was a career best by nine inches, and Byrne’s was a season best.

Riverside Christian's Derek Bryne runs in a preliminary hurdles race during the Class 2B state track and field meet in Cheney on Friday. (Photo courtesy of Sean Byrne)

In an accident of timing, Byrne had to take all his jumps right after running an aggressive and top-qualifying race in a heat of the strength-taxing 300 hurdles. He finished in a solid time of 40.48 seconds and was visibly fatigued as he took his final jumps.


“It (the hurdles) took a little more out of him than he had hoped,” said coach Scott Wells. “That strong headwind zapped it out of him on the homestretch.”

RC will come back today with Gartrell in the triple jump and pole vault, where he has the state’s top marks coming out of the regional meet. Byrne has the third highest seed in the javelin, and he qualified in the 100 hurdles as well as the 300 hurdles.

It’s shaping up as a tight battle as the Crusaders seek to defend their team crown. “I still think it’s a tossup between us, Northwest Christian and South Bend,” Wells said. “I feel our kids are on top of their game.”

Kittitas’ 4×400 relay qualified second in 2B with a time of 3:32.62.

In Class 1A, Zillah showed its strength in the speed events. The Leopards’ Logan Olney qualified fourth for today’s finals in the 100 and 200. Olney anchored a 4×400 relay team that qualified second in a 3:29.19, three seconds faster than its qualifying time last week at regionals. Olney also anchored a 4×100 relay that qualified fifth in 44.07.

Kerry Duffy of La Salle ran the third-fastest qualifier in the 100 (11.28) and the fifth fastest in the 400 (50.96).

Cross country: Ellensburg’s Ott earns 11th place

November 7, 2010 by  

PASCO, Wash. — Ellensburg’s Jeffrey Ott steamed through mile one in less than five minutes, in fourth place right behind the leaders, as he sought to improve on last year’s 10th place finish at Saturday’s Class 2A state cross-country meet.

“It started the way I wanted. It didn’t end the way I wanted,” said Ott, who settled for 11th in a time of 16 minutes, 11 seconds — 14 seconds faster than last year — over the 5,000-meter course at Sun Willows Golf Course. His effort put him on the podium for the second straight year, and it led the Bulldogs to a ninth-place team finish and to laudations from coach Jeff Hashimoto.

Ellensburg's Jeffrey Ott runs with the 2A pack during the State Cross Country Championship meet at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco, Wash., on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010. (Sara Gettys/Yakima Herald-Republic)

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“I’m pleased,” said Hashimoto of his boys and 15th-place girls. “These guys ran well.”

Hashimoto was especially pleased with Ott’s effort, even if his junior star runner wanted a higher place to show for it. “He runs darn tough. He’s got the ability to go out at a fast pace and hold it,” Hashimoto said.

Ott said as he raced into the second mile, “I just lost focus. I just let a few too many runners pass me, and I couldn’t catch them.” Liston Idler placed 31st in 16:38 and Thatcher Montgomery took 51st in 16:53 to lead the Ellensburg team, which recorded 231 points in the 16-team meet.

Selah’s Brad Kahn and Matt Schwittay recorded the same time, 16:52, as they finished 48th and 49th to lead the Vikings. Selah’s team placed 14th with 281 points.

On the girls side, Sammi Jo Blodgett of Wapato returned to the podium with a 15th-place finish — the top 16 win podium honors — to lead all Central Washington Athletic Conference athletes. While her place was two behind what she achieved a year ago, her time of 19:25 dropped 13 seconds from last year.

“It was a lot faster this year. The competition was more intense,” said Blodgett, a junior who had hoped for a top-eight finish coming into the meet. Blodgett, who was fourth at last week’s regional meet behind three Cheney girls, did manage to beat two of those Cheney three at Saturday’s meet.

Annalise Pownall, a junior, again led the way for Ellensburg’s girls with a 20:04 that placed her 38th.

CLASS 1A: The Highland girls duo of junior Olivia Newman and freshman Claire McIntyre placed 25th and 26th in 20:54 and 20:55 respectively to lead the Scotties to an 11th-place team finish, with 305 points, tops among South Central Athletic Conference teams. Right behind was Cle Elum, 12th with 311 points, and Zillah, 13th with 334 points. Carlee Creager’s 20:53 and 57th place led the way for the Warriors, and Criselda Diaz led Zillah in 22:24, good for 76th place.

On the boys side, Zillah’s Scott Thomas placed 66th in 17:50 as the Leopard team placed 14th with 352 points.

CLASS 2B/1B: Dusty Bender’s 25th-place finish in 17:37 topped performances by Riverside Christian’s boys team, which placed 12th with 316 points. Bender, a junior, took a great leap forward from 2009, when he ran 18:54 to place 51st.

For the girls, April Soelberg, a Riverside Christian sophomore, dropped 22 seconds and one place from last year as she took 15th in 21:05.

Track: RC seals the deal for title

May 30, 2010 by  

CHENEY, Wash. — With two events to go, Riverside Christian’s boys sat in third place in the Class 2B state track and field meet, three points out of first and two points out of second.

Fortunately for the Crusaders, they were the right two events.

Derek Byrne and Kyle Gartrell took second and fourth respectively in the long jump, and the 4×400 relay held off a competitive field to hand the Crusaders their second straight state championship Saturday at Eastern Washington University.

The Riverside Christian boys track and field team celebrates with their Class 2B state team championship trophy Saturday at Woodward Field in Cheney. (Contributed photo)

“That was a great two days,” summed up coach Scott Wells.

Also having a productive Saturday was Lyle-Wishram’s Cody Carlsen, who won the Class 2B 400 and placed second in the 100 and 200.  As one can imagine, the 400 is his favorite of the three.

“I basically sprint the 400,” he said after recording a winning time of 50.27 — he has been in the 49s. “At the curve I give it everything.” He held off the field in the final 100 meters into steady headwind on a cool and cloudy day.

But the top team honors went to Riverside Christian and a pleased coach Wells.  “I worked these guys,” he said. “I put the pressure on them and they responded.”

The foursome of Kent Gartrell, Nate VanTuinen, Derek Byrne and Delwin Bazilme also sped to victory in the 4×100.

Adding key points were Kent Gartrell, third in the 200 at 24.12 and eighth in the 100 at 12.58, and Kyle Gartrell’s fourth place in the pole vault, 12-0,

Saturday’s titles added to two victories in Friday’s session: Byrne in the javelin and Kyle Gartrell in the triple jump.

In the 4×100 relay, the Crusaders’ speed and historically smooth handoffs moved the baton to a winning time of 44.21 as Byrne, running the second leg, powered into the lead.

“I just tried to push it to give Nate a good lead. I knew he could hold it,’ Byrne said.

VanTuinen more than held it and Gartrell, the anchor, had a clear lead when he got the baton and stepped into a brisk headwind. “I’m listening for footsteps. I feel like I hear them, but I know I don’t.”

Same foursome, different order and an laser focus in the winning 4×400, as the relay wanted to seal the championship deal.

“That was the most intense; I love it,” said VanTuinen, though the competition wouldn’t agree. Gartrell, VanTuinen, Byrne and Bazilme held a slight but steady lead to win in 3:30:2 and secure their repeat championship.

Last year’s team was led by the sprinting and hurdling heroics of Wells’ son, Dana, now at Washington State University. Going into this season, a repeat state title appeared to be an overwhelming challege, but only for a while.

“It didn’t take long to realize that these guys were state caliber,” coach Wells said. “Not winning never crossed their minds.”

The athletes, for their part, send the credit back to their coach. “Every time we’re down as a team, he builds us up,” said Bazilme. “He will tell you when you were bad, but he won’t make you feel bad.”

And with top two finishes the past four years, the athletes also talk about having established a tradition.

Said Kent Gartrell, a senior along with Bazilme, “It’s time to pass it on.”

CLASS 1B: Trout Lake-Glenwood, coming off a strong Friday, stitched together points in several running events to take fourth place and a team trophy.

Alec England took fourth in the 800 (2:08:36), Chase England likewise placed fourth in the 3200 (10:52.11), Lucas King grabbed fifth in the 200 and seventh in the 400, and the 4×400 relay team placed fifth.

CLASS 1A: Zillah’s Logan Olney took second in the 100 and 200 and led the Leopards’ 4×100 team to a 44.73 finish, good for fifth.

In the 100, Olney put on a charge at the finish a recorded a time of 11.72 into a brisk headwind. It was a similar story in the 200 — “I have a pretty bad curve, then I pick it up in the last 120 meters” — as he finished in 23.13.

Track: TL-G girls just miss repeat

May 30, 2010 by  

CHENEY, Wash. — The faces have changed, but the places were mighty familiar for Trout Lake-Glenwood’s girls.

Their historically strong relays brought home gold in the 4×100 and 4×400, 300 hurdler Liz Vogt and pole vaulter Mckenzie Zoller took first-place medals, and the team almost pulled off a repeat Class 1B track and field championship. They ended up second with 104 points, four points shy of Mount Rainier Lutheran, and wound up in second.

La Salle, led by a winning 4×200 relay and pole vaulter Colleen Newell, just missed a Class 2B trophy, placing fifth with 41 points, five points out of fourth.

Also taking first in Saturday’s finals at Eastern Washington University was Samantha Brewer, who left the field behind in the Class 1B 100 hurdles.

In 2009, Trout Lake-Glenwood’s senior-laden squad raced away from everyone with 125 points. Back from that team were the junior Vogt and senior Zoller.

Vogt won the 300 hurdles, took second in the long jump and led off the winning 4×400 relay team. Zoller defended her championship in the pole vault and vaulted the 4×100 relay, consisting of Anna Nakae, Amanda Zoller, Mckenzie Zoller and Katie Yarnell, into a lead they never relinquished.

“I passed two people on the curve, and Katie held the lead,” said McKenzie Zoller. “That’s my job,” responded Yarnell. They won in 53.76 seconds. Zoller’s winning pole vault cleared 9 feet even.

On the track, Vogt pulled away from Jamie Bruno of Pateros on the curve to win going away in 47.73. In the long jump it, she cleared 15-7 1/4, good for the runner-up spot.

Vogt also led off the winning 4×400 relay, by which time the team members knew they were in the mix for a title. “That was on all of our minds,” she said. The team of Vogt, Amy Underwood and the two Zollers won in 4:21.81. But Mount Rainier Lutheran grabbed second in the relay and earned the first-place team title.

Missing a 400 victory by .20 seconds was TL-G’s Katie Yarnell, whose second-place 1:01:50 was a personal best by almost four seconds.

All these points went on top of Vogt’s triple jump title Friday.

“The girls all stepped up today,” said coach Morgan Colburn.

Klickitat’s Brewer, a junior, stepped up and stepped out to an impressive time of 16.97 in 100 hurdles, a victory by more than a second into a strong headwind.  “I felt good,” she said while acknowledging the weather conditions. “I had a hard time three-stepping between the hurdles.”

The race interrupted her long jump, where she eventually placed third with 15-71?4, the same mark as Vogt’s, who was awarded the higher position based on her second longest jump.

Brewer’s Klickitat teammate, senior Zoe Lindner, placed second in the javelin with a throw of 120-3. That was an improvement from 2009, when she took third with 105-9.

CLASS 2B: The 4×200 highlighted a strong showing by the Lightning relay squads in Saturday’s finals.

Julia Riel, Savannah Bonny, Regine Standley and anchor Alicia Ashby recorded a winning time of 1:49.00 to back up their top-qualifying position.

Standley, a sophomore, said she “felt a bolt of energy” as she pulled into the lead. Out in front, Ashby said, “I closed my eyes and ran. I didn’t want anyone to pass me.”

The relay squad improved from a fourth-place finish last year. “I’m really proud of our team,” said Riel, a senior along with Ashby.

The 4×100 team of Riel, Bonny, Jaryl Pence and Ashby gave Colfax a good run but settled for second in 52.01.

La Salle’s other gold medal came from junior Colleen Newell in the pole vault. A sixth-place finisher last year at 8-6, she upped that by one foot and five places.

Ashby took sixth in 100 and 200, and Standley tied for fifth in the high jump.

The Lighting rounded out its scoring with a sixth in the 4×400 relay, composed of Riel, Newell, Siena Noe and Allie McGree. Their time was 4:25:29.

CLASS 1A: Naches Valley’s Justine Benner placed fifth in the 100 hurdles with a time of 16.73 to go with Friday’s sixth-place finish in the long jump (16-3). Her Ranger teammate, Kelly Snyder, took sixth Saturday in the triple jump in 33-8.

Track: Riverside Christian takes aim

May 29, 2010 by  

CHENEY, Wash. — Derek Byrne got through a pain barrier. Kyle Gartrell overcame a distance barrier. And now the barriers are few to a second straight team championship by Riverside Christian’s boys.

Byrne’s winning javelin throw and Gartrell’s title-winning triple jump highlighted the Crusaders’ performance on the first day of the Class 2B track and field championships at Eastern Washington University.

“We feel pretty strong,” said coach Scott Wells. “I think we’re going to be hard to beat in this meet.” The two-day competition concludes today.

On Friday,  Byrne was feeling no pain as he stepped up to throw, which was good news for him. “I threw out my shoulder in the middle of the season,” said Byrne, who had a season-best195 feet at the Pasco Invite in April. He spent most of the last half of the season nursing it back to health.

“At district it felt good; I gave it all I could (Friday).” His district throw was 177-0, and he almost matched that Friday with a first throw of 175-1, but then Lind-Ritzville’s James Coon responded with 176-10. After his second throw sailed170-plus feet out of bounds, Byrne came back with his winner of 187-8.

From his release, “I knew it was going to be good one,” Byrne said. “It felt a lot better than the others,” all of which cleared 170 or more. Coon’s best of 181-8 gave him second.

Gartrell’s barrier involved space and time — namely, a quarter-inch and a year to think about it.

In winning the state triple jump last year, he leaped 44 feet, 11 and three-quarters inch — a quarter-inch shy of the benchmark 45-foot jump.

“Finally broke that 45,” said a relieved Gartrell. “It’s a good barrier to break.” But again came that time thing: He cleared it on his final jump, knowing that a previous 44-9 had given him a repeat state title. “The pressure was off and I just relaxed,” said Gartrell. Teammate Nate VanTuinen jumped 43-2 to win fourth-place points for RC.

Gartrell also gathered a fourth place of his own, in the pole vault with a mark of 12 feet.

RC could have an even better day today. Byrne and Gartrell come into the long jump with the top two seeded marks, and sprinter Kent Gartrell qualified in the 100 and 200. Also good to go are the powerful 4×100 and 4×400 teams, both of whom recorded the top times in Friday’s qualifying.

All that left coach Scott Wells feeling pretty good about his team’s chances as the two-day meet wraps up today.“I like where we’re sitting right now,” said Wells, who views Northwest Christian of Lacey as RC’s main competition.

Among the busiest individuals in today’s finals will be Lyle-Wishram’s Cody Carlsen, whose 50.75 seconds in the 400 on Friday was the top qualifying time. He had the second fastest qualifiers in the 100 and 200.

On the girls side, La Salle hopes to make its mark in today’s finals with its 4×100, 4×200 and 4×400 relay teams, all of which qualified Friday. The 4×200 team’s time of 1:49:98 led all qualifiers.

Individually, the Lightning’s Alicia Ashby qualified in the 100 and 200.

Bethany Imperial of Riverside Christian took sixth in the long jump with 16 feet, one-quarter inch. Siena Noe of La Salle placed seventh in the 3200 with a time of 12:25:47.

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