To figure out why the Mead boys and girls wrapped up undefeated Greater Spokane League seasons Thursday afternoon, check out the hurdles.
With the postseason beginning next week, some of the Panthers’ biggest guns were either doing workout races or taking it a little easy because of injury or illness.
It didn’t make any difference as both teams easily turned backed Lewis and Clark, Mt. Spokane and East Valley to finish 10-0, with the hurdles providing a glimpse of the Panthers’ depth.
With two league leaders deployed elsewhere, Mike Smith gave the Panthers wins in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles. The girls got a 1-2 finish in the 300s from Lindzee Baker and Emma Kost as part of their four-event days, both doing the 100 hurdles plus the 800 and 1,600 relays.
“We all trust each other to get the job done,” Smith said. “We’ve always been consistent so I wasn’t worried at all.”
Baker said it was just a typical day.
“They didn’t say we’re missing a few people, you have to step it up,” she said. “They said you have to step it up, because we don’t know if it’s going to be a close meet. They tell us that every time, it’s nothing new. Just do your best.”
Smith was a little disappointed he didn’t have his teammates, Casey Monahan in the 110s and Wes Bailey in the 300s, to chase.
“I always like competition. I get bummed that I don’t get to race him,” he said, nodding at Monahan. “I’m used to racing against him in practice and every weekend.”
Smith tied his best league time in the 110s (15.2 seconds) and had a personal record (40.8) in the 300s, joining teammate Sam Wright (shot put and discus) as a double winner.
Monahan won the 100 and teamed with Smith and Bailey – who tied the area best in the 400 (50.2) – on the league’s best 400 relay, which was run twice after technical difficulties.
“I kind of hurt my hamstring a little bit at Centennial (Oregon, last weekend),” Monahan said. “It only hurts when I hurdle so I only focused on sprints today.”
Hurdling has always been Monahan’s thing and last year he was sixth at state.
“I started in seventh grade,” said Monahan, who will run track and play football at Whitworth next year. “My form just came natural, so I just stayed with them. Then I got faster as I got older and a little taller, so I got better.”
While Monahan and Smith took to track early, Baker didn’t even turn out for track until halfway through her freshman year.
“I was not a runner, I did not like track,” the soccer standout said. “I went to a meet because my brother (Jordan) is a huge track and cross country guy. It just looked like fun, I don’t know why, but it did.”
After running 48.1 in the 300s, Baker stepped up and ran on the 1,600 relay for the first time.
“I wouldn’t say piece of cake, but it wasn’t bad,” she said. “I’d do it again.”
Kost loves competition, so adding a pair of relays to the challenge of running hurdles has made for more interesting days.
“It’s been a huge change having to adjust my body to do four events and having the rest time that’s necessary,” she said.
At Rogers, the University boys and Gonzaga Prep girls went 2-0. Among boys, Cor’de Bailey of Rogers had a fast day in winning the 100 (10.4), 200 (21.7) and anchoring the 400 relay (44.0). For the girls, G-Prep’s Jessica Bennett won both hurdles, lowering her 4A area best in the 300s to 46.6.
At Central Valley, the Ferris boys and CV girls went 3-0. That gave the Bears (9-1) second place in the final league standings. Ferris, with a win over NC, moved into a tie for second with the Indians at 8-2. Ferris’ Brendon Olson and Kelsey Lin were double winners in the sprints, with Lin adding the triple jump to her season-best times in the 100 (12.6) and 200 (25.9). Shadle Park’s Shayle Dezellem swept the hurdles, including lowering her area best in the 300s (45.8). Shannon Johnson of CV took over the area lead in the javelin (138-5).
Shae Carson of Coeur d’Alene climbed to 10th nationally with a discus throw of 147-8 – more than a 5-foot PR – at the District I meet of champions at Post Falls. Sabrina Ewing of Coeur d’Alene Charter won the high, long and triple jumps, taking the North Idaho lead in the triple at 36-1. The Post Falls girls won the team title handily. After not finishing the 400 relay, the Trojans came back to lower their league best in the 800 relay to 1:47.17.
David Norris had a distance triple as CdA coasted to the boys title. The Vikings also took over the North Idaho lead in the 800 relay (1:32.74). Lake City took the lead in the 400 relay (43.81), while Timberlake did the same in the 1,600 relay (3:30.19). PF’s Matt Wardell increased his lead in the shot put to 54-11½ but lost his lead in the discus to teammate Austin Funk (154-6). PF’s Jordan Pastras added an inch to the high jump lead (6-4).
At West Valley, the host Eagles swept Colville and Medical Lake in boys and girls, setting up a grand finale at league-leading Cheney next week in a triangular that will include Pullman. WV’s Jenae Martin won the 200 and 400 for the girls, but Colville had the big marks. Sara Lentz took over the area lead in the discus at 133-8, adding 8 feet to her league-leading throw, and Tasha Luu, who won the high jump, had a 7-inch PR in the long jump (16-10). The Colville boys had three double winners, Jared Fisher (200-400), Ned Fischer (distances) and Alex Pond (triple jump-javelin).