With one perfect throw, West Valley’s Vinnie Pecht set a discus standard that eclipsed all other individual performances during the conclusion of Frontier League district track.
Shaking off the effects of the flu, Pecht threw a stunning all-time state best 207 feet, 2 inches. The throw is the best in the state for all divisions and approaches this year’s national lead.
It’s not considered a state record, however, because records can only be set at the state meet.
It was more than 18 feet farther than his previous high, nearly hitting the fence protecting pole vaulters, where another record-setting effort was taking place.
The throw, a remarkably calm Pecht said, felt effortless.
“Early in the season I felt pressure on my arm,” he said. “Saturday me and coach (Howard) Dolphin worked out and it was coming off nice.”
The throw, said Dolphin, who has coached state leaders in the shot put and javelin, was most impressive.
“This is one of my big-time moments,” he said. “I never dreamed of this. It doesn’t get much better.”
Dolphin said he worked with Pecht correcting two flaws.
“No. 1, he was throwing way too fast and was getting into poor position,” said Dolphin. “The other thing he was bent over and kind of scooping his throw.”
Not during districts, at Woodward Stadium in Cheney, where Pecht was electrifying.
The top two individuals and relay teams in each event qualified for next week’s Star Track in Tacoma.
Included is Eagles sophomore vaulter Rick Collins, who cleared 14-3 to defeat East Valley’s Cory Haskins, after both broke the old league record of 13-9.
Haskins, EV’s No. 2 vaulter, cleared 14-0, and Collins responded.
“I broke my pole earlier in the week in practice,” said Haskins. “I think it was a blessing.”
Once he adjusted to a new one, Haskins improved by a foot.
But Collins, who cleared the winning height with plenty of room, said, “I just think when competition gets going, I suck it up.”
Pullman’s amazing speedsters gave the league champion Eagles and runner-up Knights all they could handle during the meet.
The Greyhounds garnered 10 state berths to nine apiece for East Valley and West Valley.
Ricardo Colon won the 100 over teammate Cole Sheridan, Keith Davison won the 200 and 400 and Nick O’Neill the 800 in an area AA-best 1:56.92.
The Greyhounds also added two relay victories with teams altered because of injury to Serign Marong.
WV had eight district titles overall. Included were Clayton Holmes’ second distance win, Devion Tensley’s personal-best 44-9-1/2 triple jump and Ryan Schroder’s 6-6 high jump, beating EV freshman Andrew Burgess and standard bearer Jon Ashcraft of Riverside.
Ashcraft qualified for state in three events.
East Valley’s Brandon Blize won both hurdles races.
There was no stopping Staci Adams, who helped WV to four of its six district wins.
She won both the 100 sprint and 300 hurdles and had decisive legs on two short relay triumphs.
Her efforts were nearly duplicated by Riverside’s gritty Abbey Wood.
Wood won the 100 hurdles, helped the Rams to a 4x400 relay triumph and was second in the triple jump and 300 hurdles.
“It really scared me to run against her,” said Adams, whose speed between the hurdles overcame her foe. “I have no hurdle form.”
Trailing Pullman by 10 meters in the 4x200 relay when she got the baton, Adams steamed by Pullman on the third leg.
“I really want to take advantage of the relays,” the sophomore standout said. “The rest of the team are seniors and I’m going to miss them.”
Wood was comfortable with her arduous event regimen.
“I’ve been used to it the whole year,” she said. “I try to relax and take each event as it comes.”
WV’s Cindy Simpson qualified in four events, winning the 200 meters. Cheney’s Jeannette Zimmer, 3,200; Colville’s Alison McGrane, 400; EV’s Ann Marie Adams, 800; Kristy Blindauer, discus; and Crystal Gerky, high jump; and Clarkston’s Heather Tucker, triple jump, were other Friday district winners.
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