FROM SPORTS REPLAY (Tuesday, March 31, 1998): West Valley’s Brad Groh, a two-event winner at the Big Red high school track invitational, had his name misspelled in a headline Sunday.
As a freshman who had to be talked into turning out for track, Brad Groh remembers being in awe.
“Before, it was discouraging,” the West Valley junior said. “Now, it’s nice to be one of those guys they look up to… . It makes you stand up tall.”
Groh was standing tall Saturday after winning the 300-meter hurdles and triple jump and placing second in the 110-meter hurdles to lead the Eagles to a strong second-place showing behind Mead at the Ferris Big Red Invite.
“Basketball is still my favorite,” Groh said. “(Track) is getting more serious now. I used to do it for conditioning. Now, I know I can compete with the big boys. It’s more fun.”
Groh was the only boy to win more than one individual event, which helped West Valley score 83 points.
Mead rolled up 145 points. University was third with 75 in the 17-team meet, and Ferris had 70.
Mead’s girls also won big, scoring 132 points. East Valley was second with 86, followed by Ferris at 79 and University at 73.
The only multiple winner was Lewis and Clark junior Teresa Brooks in the 200 and 400.
A strong, biting wind hampered all but a few events.
The 100 was one event that got a big boost from the wind, and University sophomore Anthony Buchanan took full advantage, racing to a 10.5. He skipped the 200 but helped the Titans win the 400 and 1,600 relays.
“I feel great, actually,” he said, despite his moaning and groaning after a rare appearance in the longer relay. “It hurt at the end. It’s not my favorite, but it helps me with my speed.”
Last year as a freshmen, Buchanan was surrounded by speed. That kept the pressure off through the state meet, where the Titans won the 400 relay.
This year, there is no sneaking up on and blowing past unsuspecting foes. Buchanan is being stalked.
“It makes you nervous in every race,” he said. “Before, they didn’t notice I was there.”
Going 10.6 Thursday and 10.5 Saturday - even with a strong tail wind - puts a bull’s eye on his uniform.
Groh will have the same problem, especially now that he has reached one of his goals, beating Tyrone Asterino of Ferris. That was in the 300s, going 41.4 in the heat before Asterino’s 41.5.
His goal now shifts to the 110s, where Asterino ran 14.7 to Groh’s 15.0.
Maybe more surprising for Groh was his 43-foot, 10-1/2-inch effort in the triple jump. That improved his personal best by 21 inches.
“I didn’t expect to go that far, especially with the wind in my face,” he said. “I knew I had a chance, but there were a lot of good jumpers.”
The Shadle Park girls finished third and the boys sixth in the meet at West Valley in Yakima.
West Valley won the girls meet with 91-1/2. The Highlanders had 70 points, 13 behind Kennewick.
Shadle Park scored in all but three events and won the discus relay and the 400-meter weight relay.
Davis scored 85 points to win the boys meet. Shadle Park had 43 with Jeff Klages winning the 1,600.
Valley Christian Icebreaker
John Russell won three events to lead Freeman to the boys title in the small schools meet at Central Valley.
Russell won the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 in earning athlete of the meet honors. The Scotties scored 92 points. Reardan was a distant second with 53 points.
Annie Goodson of Kootenai received the female athlete of the meet award for winning the 100, 200 and the high jump. She high-jumped 5-4.
Freeman also won the girls meet with 77 points to beat Kootenai by 13.