Franza Dresses For Success
A track and field
Cascade’s Megan Franza and Goldendale’s Jill Pimley took friendly competition to a new level Saturday afternoon at Eastern Washington University.
Locked in a fierce battle in the finals of the girls long jump at the State A track and field championships, the rivals sat on the soggy Woodward Stadium grass between attempts, thumbing through the latest issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.
“We were looking at dresses and stuff,” Pimley said through an embarrassed giggle when questioned about their choice of reading material. And from the jumps the two turned in, it was apparent their time was better spent looking at dresses than it might have been reading some long-jump manual.
Pimley soared 18 feet, 7-1/4 inches, but was forced to settle for a silver medal after Franza won the event with a leap of 18-10-1/2. The victory was Franza’s third of the two-day meet and made her the highest-scoring individual in the history of Washington high school track with a career total of 145 points.
After being upset by Omak freshman Ann Sullivan in the 100-meter high hurdles, she came back to win the 300 intermediates in 44.57 seconds, the high jump with a leap of 5-8 and the long jump.
Pimley, after winning the triple jump Friday, finished second in the 300 hurdles and the long jump.
Franza, who was defending titles from last year in each of the four events she entered, scored 38 of Cascade’s 49 points and led her team to a second-place finish behind King’s (79). Pimley helped Goldendale roll up 39 points and finish third.
In the boys team race, Ridgefield scored 50 points to easily outdistance Quincy (40), Steilacoom (38) and Colfax (35) for the title.
The individual standouts in Saturday’s boys competition were Tonasket’s Pete Lopez, who won the 100-and 200-meter dashes with times of 11.11 and 22.48, and Chelan’s Josh Rogge, who won the 400 with a meet-record time of 48.78 after finishing second in the 200 and third in the 100.
Franza said the pressure of trying to defend four titles helped her get over her upset loss to Sullivan in the 100 hurdles.
“Actually, it wasn’t as big a deal as I thought it would be,” she said. “Knowing that I had to come back here and defend four (events), I figured if I lost any one of them I would be devastated.
“But it wasn’t that bad, mainly because it wasn’t my last event. I had other things I had to think about and I couldn’t take time to cry or be disappointed.”
It helped, too, that the loss resulted from a stumble out of the starting blocks rather than a lack of effort or poor race in general.
“I had to stutter - take about four extra small steps - before I got to the first hurdle, and by that time the entire field had passed me,” Franza explained. “I had a lot of ground to make up and I just couldn’t catch (Sullivan).”
Franza added that winning the next three events and setting the career scoring record was “awesome,” but said she was ready for her high school career to end so she can concentrate on playing basketball with Pimley at the University of Washington next winter.
“I’m sad, but I’m ready to move on,” she said. “I’m excited for next year so I can be young again. I’ll be the new freshman on the block. It’ll be a new experience, not so competitive, maybe.”
Franza’s heroics overshadowed a marvelous effort by Foster’s LaShaunda Fowler, who won the 100 (12.13) and 400 (57.31) after finishing second to Steilacoom’s Alexis Yeater in the 200.
King’s fueled its title drive with victories in the 800 and 1,600 relays and Heather Reichmann’s winning throw of 129-4 in the discus.
The head-to-head duels between Lopez and Rogge in the sprints stole much of the spotlight away from Cle Elum’s Ted Craven. But the junior hurdler still managed to pick up state titles in the 110 highs and 300 intermediates.
Ridgefield, which scored 21 points Friday, did not win an event during Saturday’s storm-delayed competition, but it did pick up a 2-3 finish from Kevin Smith and Jim Reed in the 800 and a 4-6-7 finish from Reed, Smith and Nick Leroy in the 3,200.
Other individual champions included Highland’s Carlos Cisneros in the 800 (1:56.7), Toledo’s Ross Jorgusen in the 3,200 (9:34.35), Bellevue Christian’s Matt Isbell in the long jump (22-2) and White Pass’ Justin Taylor in the long jump (20-8).