Missy Blackshire added gold to her blue.
And Mead had its gold taken away.
The superstitious Blackshire, who paints her fingernails blue to match the color of a first-place ribbon, defended her title in the State AAA 800 meters Saturday and her Ferris teammates Isaac Hawkins and Jennifer Smith completed their distance doubles.
The Mead boys, however, had their two-year winning streak ended when Eastlake finished second in the 1,600 relay, giving the Wolves the team championship, 48-45 over the star-crossed Panthers. Ferris tied for fourth place with 26 points.
The Garfield girls edged Lake Washington 45-44 despite losing sprint star Candace Young for the day with a hamstring injury. Pasco was third, Kennewick fourth and Ferris fifth, with 30 points.
The Ferris distance aces won the same five events they did last year. Saturday it was Blackshire in the 800 in a meet-record 2 minutes, 10.15 seconds. Smith followed up her 3,200 win with a 4:50.78 run in the 1,600, the eighth-fastest in state history and the No. 4 time in the nation this year. Hawkins capped the haul with his sixth state championship, lowering his second-best time in the nation to 8:56.57 for the 3,200.
Blackshire was confident she could win with a good time.
“I felt (the competition) coming (at the final turn). I just turned it on. It’s good to have competition. This is the first time I’ve been tested,” she said. “I was a lot more confident coming into this one. Last year I didn’t know what would happen. This year I knew if I ran my race I’d win.”
The idea of trying to match Smith, who won the 3,200 last year and doubled this year, doesn’t appeal to her, however.
“This is my strength,” she said. “I have speed and I can take pain. This race is who can run the fastest and take pain the longest.”
The same could be true of Hawkins and Smith, who dominated the distances both days.
“I pushed myself and I finally came through,” Smith said, after powering through the first 1,200 meters in 3:34 to deliver the personal record she promised a day earlier. “I was 76 (seconds) on the last lap, I still have to work on that. But I really pushed myself through the 1200. I try to push myself, but I don’t know, I need to work on that (last lap), I guess.
Smith raised a few eyebrows by going for a run in the morning. “Just a mile, pretty good pace,” she said.
“I watched Missy this morning, that inspired me, and Isaac last night. Everyone is running well. I was hoping for more competition. I pretended there was somebody there to push me.”
Hawkins completed his second distance triple crown - a cross country championship and two track wins - with a wire-to-wire run.
“I was happy I was able to win. To finish out high school with this, to go undefeated this year, I’m happy,” he said. “I would like to be faster in some of those but to win six titles, that was my goal.”
Six titles, but the memories are fresh.
“My first cross country (was the best) because that was the first,” he said. “I said I’d give anything to be up there (with Spokane’s famous distance stars). I was more nervous for that than anything in my life. And the mile last night because I had to prove myself.”
The state meet was a lot like district and regional for Mead, a lot of ups and some big downs.
“Second place isn’t bad,” Mead coach Gary Baskett said. “(Eastlake) has a good team, they’re nice guys.”
In the end, though, the Panthers gave themselves a chance to win, thanks to Joe Collier’s expected second in the discus, Chris Callahan’s unexpected second in the javelin and Jason Fayant and Morgan Thompson gutting out second and third behind Hawkins in the 3,200.
Fayant ran 9:03.09. Thompson, who was seventh in the 1,600 on Friday, was a little more surprising in third at 9:08.74.
Just over a week ago, Callahan was a 178-foot javelin thrower who wasn’t expected to get out of regionals. Today, he’s a 200-footer who finished second at state.
“I focused mentally,” the junior said. “I didn’t think I’d get (to 200). Two weeks ago I didn’t think I’d even get to state. I started feeling really good about it when I started throwing farther consistently.”
Other Greater Spokane League placers among the boys Saturday included University’s Jason Berger fifth in the 200, Ferris’ Jonathon Parker seventh in the 200, Mead’s Ryan Wiser fourth in the 800, Tyrone Asterino of Ferris fifth in the 110-high hurdles, U-Hi’s Tim Buchanan eighth in the 300-intermediate hurdles, Oliver Cook of Shadle Park third in the javelin and teammate Sam Glanzer seventh in the triple jump.
For the GSL girls, it was Central Valley’s Whitney Schmaljohn second in the 200; Lewis and Clark’s Teresa Brooks third in the 400 with Gonzaga Prep’s Kara Laney eighth; Prep’s Lisa Bradley sixth in the 100 hurdles; Mead’s Allie Bailey third in the triple jump with U-Hi’s Julie Schroeder eighth; CV’s 800 relay was third and the 1,600 relay went fourth behind LC’s third.
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