All records are worth savoring, and some are even sweeter.
With Spokane’s rich tradition of success in distance races and cross country, records can be hard to come by. And that’s one of the reasons Shadle Park’s Nathan Weitz and North Central’s Katie Knight were smiling after they shattered records in the Lindgren Mile, named after former Rogers star Gary Lindgren, at the sun-kissed Mooberry Relays Saturday at Whitworth University.
Weitz took the lead on the third lap and finished in 4 minutes, 12.76 seconds, easily besting Ben Johnston’s record of 4:19.06 set last year. Second-place Kenji Bierig of Lewis and Clark ran 4:16.23 and NC’s Vince Hamilton clocked 4:17.77.
“It’s pretty cool to get a record here,” Weitz said. “It’s hard to get records in this town.”
Knight’s name will remain in the Mooberry record book, but she lowered her 2010 mark of 5:01.7 to 4:54.61, holding off Shadle’s Kendra Weitz (4:56.26).
“They (records) keep getting harder and harder to get,” Knight said. “If you’re going to be a distance runner, Spokane is the place to be. The goal is to keep improving and I’m glad I’m doing that.”
Kendra Weitz, who anchored Shadle’s 4x800 relay team to a Mooberry record time of 9:35.23, was voted female athlete of the meet.
The Highlanders’ time is in the top 10 in state history.
“I wasn’t even thinking about any record,” Shadle distance coach Bob Isitt said. “They’re all doing the mile or 2-mile, so to run this fast without any 800 speed workout, I wasn’t expecting it.”
Cheney’s Diondre Moore-Young, who won the 100 meters and 110 hurdles and was second in the 300 hurdles, was named male athlete of the meet.
Central Valley, with 90 points, repeated as girls champion, followed by Mead (85), Mt. Spokane (63.5) and Post Falls (42).
Mt. Spokane’s boys captured first place with 107.5 points. NC was second with 98 and CV took third with 60.
Mt. Spokane won the combined title.
Nathan Weitz wasn’t sure if he was on record pace, but he had a pretty good idea.
“My coach said I needed a certain split for the last lap to break the record, but I couldn’t quite hear what he said,” Weitz said. “I knew if I pushed it hard, I might be able to get it. That sort of motivated me.”
Knight was hoping to run 4:50.
“Four fifty-five isn’t anything to sniff at,” she said. “I’m really happy with it. It’s a gift to have so many good people in the GSL. Ten minutes before we warmed up, (Mead’s) Baylee (Mires) and I were sitting on a blanket, chit-chatting about prom and other things. Kendra and I go for runs over the winter. We’re still friends at the end of the day, no matter what happens.”
NC’s boys eclipsed the 4x800 relay record by more than 3 seconds with a blazing time of 7:50.3. That’s the second-fastest time in state history behind Auburn Riverside.
“Coming around on the final lap, it was nice to have guys (one lap behind on other teams) in front of me and I was trying to get this guy and then the next guy,” anchor Andrew Wordell said. “It’s great for (teammate) Casey (Adams) because he just got back from an injury. He was fast.”
Moore-Young won the 110 hurdles in 14.8 seconds. After a 10-minute turnaround, he won the 100 in 11.11, barely edging Mt. Spokane’s Chase Naccarato (11.12).
“I’m a little tired, but I’ve got prom tonight so I have to have some energy left,” Moore-Young said. “I was just running off motivation. I was mad because I lost the 300s.”
NC’s Gunnar Swager (39.66) edged Moore-Young (39.67) in the 300 hurdles.
Mt. Spokane’s Afton McKinlay won the girls 100 in 12.91. As McKinlay returned to the infield, a Wildcats coach gave her a high-five and said, “Welcome back.”
“I strained my right hip flexor, so I was out for the first month of the season,” McKinlay said. “I’ve only had two meets so far, so this feels great.”