TACOMA – Courtney Hutchinson witnessed her first Star Track as a first-grader when her sister Corissa was participating for Mead.
After Corissa was a surprise winner in the shot put, Courtney got a shirt that said, “Future State Champion.”
That day came Friday when Hutchinson ignored the steady rain and cold wind to capture the State 4A title at Star Track XXVIII at Mt. Tahoma High School.
“I love throwing in really bad weather,” Hutchinson said after her 42-feet, 6¾-inch put edged state leader Kayla Adams of Thomas Jefferson by 3 inches. “My first 40 I hit was in 50 mph winds. I threw a 41 when it was all rainy.”
The key to beating the weather was mind over matter.
“I usually don’t do very good in rain,” Cheney senior DeAngelo Jones said. “Something coach (Todd) Herring was saying is you can’t control the weather but you can control your attitude … after he said that I had a better attitude coming out.”
All Jones did was win the 2A high jump and finish third in triple jump to go with Thursday’s long jump medal.
By the end of the day, when the rain had subsided, the Mead boys had put a stranglehold on their second straight team title. With A.J. Maricich clearing 7-feet to win his second high jump crown, Casey Monahan parlaying a perfect start into the 110-meter hurdle championship and Sam Wright adding a second in the discus to his shot put title, the Panthers have piled up 53 points, four more than they totaled last year. With a half-dozen possibilities today, they have a shot at the 81 points Lincoln scored in 1974.
The brutal weather postponed all three pole vault competitions with the 2A boys and girls scheduled for Pacific Lutheran University today, the 3A and 4A girls moved up and the 4A boys slotted in after the girls.