During a ritual reserved for special occasions, four members of University High School’s state placing relay teams personally placed their names on the track record board located inside the U-Hi gym.
“For the relays in particular you have to do it,” said their coach, Steve Llewellyn. “I think it is a big deal.”
It was last performed six years ago.
These girls did not just establish new records, they obliterated the old ones. The school’s first undefeated 400 relay team won state and tied the fastest time ever by a Spokane team.
The 800 team placed second a week after posting the second-fastest time ever in the region.
“I can’t say we ever got risky,” said Llewellyn. “They never flubbed a baton pass and never ran over each other all season.”
In all, Katharine Hough, Lora Auch, Adrienne Wilson and Heather Silvey were responsible for six school records this year.
Culminating a sparkling four-year career, Hough now solely owns records of 11.9 seconds in the 100-meter dash and 24.9 in the 200.
Wilson, a junior, beat the previous long jump record by a foot, reaching 18 feet, 7 inches, and the triple jump record by more than two feet at 36-10 1.2.
Like the protagonists Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D’Artagnan in “The Three Musketeers,” it was all-for-one and one-for-all when they teamed with Auch and Silvey to lower their year-old 400 relay record by 1.3 seconds to 48.2 and the sixyear-old 800-meter time to 1:42.7.
“They are a big difference from what was up there,” said Hough. “I just realized that when I walked by them the other day.”
“We wanted to bury them (the records),” said Auch, still smarting from last year’s failure to reach state when the girls missed an exchange in the short relay.
The former school 800-meter record of 1:44.3, in particular was one Llewellyn thought might stand.
“I didn’t know if it ever could be broken and this group just thrashed on that,” he said.
Thursday’s ritual lent a certain act of finality to the careers of Hough and Auch, two of five athletes who became the school’s first four-year track letter winners.
The former is a four-time district 100-meter champion and two-time 200 champ who improved each year and made four appearances at state, placing five times individually and on as many relay teams.
“I’m going to miss this,” said Hough, who will run for the University of Idaho next year. “It’s going to be hard when I attend the awards banquet next week. At Idaho, I’ll be starting over.”
Auch was more successful in soccer than track and twice Llewellyn had to convince her to turn out.
“I did not have a lot of success except in the relays,” said Auch. “I love being on a team.”
She was, however, the second-leading soccer scorer in league last fall and may walk on at Washington State University.
A gifted athlete, Wilson is one of the league’s better sprinters as well as a jumper who improved immensely this year in the long jump and who is just learning the triple.
“She got so consistent she was a threat to go over 18 feet every time she jumped,” said Llewellyn. “And she’s got so much possibility in the triple jump.”
Wilson said her goals next year are to reach 20 feet in the former and 38 feet in the latter.
Silvey ran 58.65 in the 400 this year, a time not good enough to get her to state given the strength of the region, but one that would have placed sixth had she been able to run.
“I did hate it last year but love it now,” said Silvey. “I want that school record (57.1).”
Wilson and Silvey will be the torch bearers on next year’s Titan team.
Hough and Auch have made their final relay baton pass, unless they can do so from eight miles apart as collegians.
But the University record board will recall efforts they hope won’t soon be surpassed.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo