Jim McLachlan has been attending the Mooberry Relays since he was a sophomore in high school. By his count, that takes in about 29 of the events, which reached 33 on Saturday at Rogers High School.
Standing in the rain with his back turned to the biting wind that put the wind chill close to freezing, he figured it was the worst weather ever for the unique track and field meet where field events are scored as two-person relays.
So, how did the athletes manage to turn in so many good performances?
“I don’t think weather has much to do with the way you run,” Mead’s Autumn Wood said. “It’s all in the attitude, what you do. If you have a good attitude, you’re not going to let the weather get you down.”
So, Wood went out and ran a career-best 14.9 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles; a solid 45 seconds in the 300 hurdles; leadoff for the winning 400 relay team; and a strong anchor for the heat-winning but third-place 1,600 relay team.
“I’m very happy,” the drenched senior said. “I think I’ve got a ways to go, I’m still waiting to peak. I’m happy with the times. I’m confident they’ll come down when we start tapering.”
With Wood, record-breaking triple jumper Jamie Wakefield and the return of state champion javelin thrower Allison Beatty, Mead won the team title with 92 points. Gig Harbor was second with 68 and Pasco had 57.
The Mead boys placed in all but three events, rolling up 110 points to 74 for Pasco and 60-1/2 for Gig Harbor.
Pasco swept the individual awards. Christina Horning was named outstanding female after winning the long jump (17 feet, 7 inches) and the 100 (12.5) and running anchor for the first-place 800 relay team and second-place 400 relay team. Trent Ady, winner of the 110-and 300-meter hurdles in 14.7 and 40.5, respectively, was the male winner.
Beatty, slowed by mononucleosis, was competing in just her second meet. She threw the javelin 142-10 and teamed with Shannon Roberts for first place in the relay at 256-6.
Wakefield became the first Mooberry triple jumper to break the 35-foot barrier in the triple jump - by a half-inch. Combined with the 33-foot jump by Erin Helms, the duo set a meet record by 2 feet.
“I was really shooting for it because the meet Thursday was here and I went 34-10, and I was behind the board,” Wakefield said. “I was pretty confident.”
D.J. Miller of Mead was outstanding and unknown. He led long jumpers (22-2) and triple jumpers (44-11) and teammed with Chris McCullough to give Mead first place in those relays.
However, with field event results announced only as combined, the Mead senior went unnoticed. And, with the weather, slipped away unknown.
Mead went 42-11-1/2 in the long jump and 86-2 in the triple jump.
Pasco had another top performance from Renard Edwards, who tied the meet record with a 10.8 clocking in the 100.
Hermiston (Ore.) Invitational
Adrienne Wilson won two individual events and ran on one of University’s two winning relay teams as the Titans scored 123 points to easily win the Hermiston Invitational.
The University boys had three individuals champions and scored 82 points to finish six points behind Davis of Yakima.
Wilson won the long jump (16-6) and triple jump (36-10-1/2, a career-best by a quarter-inch) and anchored the 400 relay (50.48). She was also second in the 100 (12.59).
Syd Perno was the other individual winner with a 40-1 heave in the shot put. The 1,600 relay team also won in 4:09.76.
Jesse Wilson had a big day for the Titans with a 171-5 in the discus. That comes two days after taking over the league lead at 163-10. Craig Allen won the high jump at 6-10 and Cody Hirshi took the pole vault with a 13-6.
Michelle Carrara of Newport won two events and was second in another to earn outstanding female athlete at the Freeman Invitational at Central Valley.
John Beans of Medical Lake won the 100 (11.19) and 200 (23.07) to win the boys’ honor.
Carrara won the javelin (114-5) and shot put (35-7) and was second in the discus (112-7). The Grizzlies scored 86 points to finish second behind Lakeland, which had 94.
The Mead junior varsity boys team had 141 points, 19 ahead of Chewelah. Newport finished third with 84 points.