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Big day for 2A schools at state track championships

TACOMA – The second day belonged to 2A.

Spokane County 2A schools had the most success at the state track meet Friday at Mt. Tahoma with Cheney hurdler Diondre Moore-Young and Deer Park pole vaulter Bailee Jacka winning titles.

“I’m pleased, (but) I wished I would have run a little faster,” Moore-Young said. “I wanted to get the record, (but) it’s about the gold.”

Ferris did get gold in the 4A boys discus, but it wasn’t from regional champion and top-seeded Drew Sharkey. The junior had to settle for silver when sophomore teammate Damon Unland passed him by 3 feet in the finals.

“During warmups, before finals, I started feeling it,” said Unland, one of the few competitors to have a personal record on a day where three hard rains blew through the Mt. Tahoma Stadium thanks to a steady home-stretch headwind. “It’s pretty crazy. I didn’t think I would get first as a sophomore. It’s pretty cool.”

There were numerous field event finals, but the high hurdles were the only gold-medal event on the track.

The Mead and North Central boys remained in contention to defend their state team titles when the meet concludes today.


Moore-Young had quite a day, starting when he didn’t qualify for the 100 finals, in part because of a poor start, and ending when he qualified for the 200. In between, he qualified in the 300 hurdles before winning the 110s, with a lot of the credit to a great start.

“I knew I had to get out good,” he said. “It’s too long of a season to come here and let down.”

His time of 14.56 was four-hundredths from the meet record.

In the pole vault, clearing the bar was easier for Jacka – who came in off an impressive 11-foot, 7-inch regional win – than clearing her mind.

“I felt a lot of pressure,” she said. “I’m sure it was mostly put on by myself, but I felt it.”

But she settled down and seized control.

“It was probably at about 10 feet when I kind of realized, in order to do what everyone thought I was going to do, I had to take control of my mind and just jump without worrying about anything else,” she said. “For me, it’s pretty hard to get my mind under control because I’m thinking about a whole bunch of ‘what ifs.’ ”

She cleared 10-9 to win and then the rain ended the competition.

“My coach told me today the weather was just going to be ugly vaulting, so it wasn’t going to be a PR day,” said Jacka, who also ran on a qualifying sprint relay.

The rain meant the 2A boys pole vaulters got off late and West Valley’s Joe Aubert got off one miss before it was interrupted. Then the WV valedictorian switched poles and finished second, losing on misses when he cleared 14-6 on his third attempt and Washugal’s Brendan Casey made it on his first.

“It wasn’t really the conditions. It was the stop and go, stop and go,” Aubert said. “It was less the weather than the waiting.”

Teammate Tyler Poldervardt was second in the shot put and Pullman’s Ben Pavish was second in the triple jump, both shy of PRs and well behind the winners.


Sharkey came a long way in two weeks. A 160-foot-plus thrower going into district, he threw 30 feet shorter and was ninth, his season over until a teammate scratched for regional, pushing him back into the field. Given a second chance, he capitalized.

“Pretty unreal, pretty happy. I’m just glad to be here,” he said. “I knew it was in me, it was just one bad week. Next year I’m hoping for the school record.”

Sharkey threw 159-6, 5 feet shy of his best, but enough for a brief lead at state.

Unland went into finals in fifth place with a soggy 154-0, but quickly seized the day.

“I was just hoping that would hold up,” he said.

Beating the first rain, Mead sophomore and defending state champion Courtney Hutchinson put the shot 43-11½, almost 18 inches better than she did last year in a downpour.

It was a bittersweet result for Hutchinson though, as she finished second to 45-footer Kayla Adams of Thomas Jefferson – who finished runner-up to Hutchinson last year – but surpassed the school record she shared with two others, including her sister, Ashley.

“I ended up hurting my back two weeks ago, so I wasn’t able to practice for a week,” Hutchinson said. “That was really frustrating. I’m proud of myself because I just PR’d and I broke the school record – my sister’s – so that was fun. But I wanted to hit a 45 today, so that was frustrating.”

Despite some tenderness in her back, she had a strong day with the big throw on her third attempt.

“I was over 42 on most throws. That shows I’m consistent and I’ll pop a big one next year,” she said.


North Central’s three-time defending boys champions aren’t all about distance running.

Senior Matt Lill contributed a big eight points in the Indians’ bid for another title by placing second in the discus, his throw of 160-1 just a foot shy of his best.

“It’s nice to bring recognition to something that historically we haven’t been good at, so I’m setting a new standard,” Lill said. “It’s nice.”

He was quite a distance behind winner Jon Lawson of Prairie.

“I feel that I still had more left,” Lill said. “On some of my throws I could have put a little more into it. I could have done better but maybe not first because 189 is an extremely good throw.”

Lawson’s 189-11 is 15th on the all-time list.

The Indians’ chances of winning another title took a hit when the 400 relay team couldn’t complete a handoff in prelims.

Last lap

Joining Mt. Spokane’s boys 1,600 relay team on the sidelines were the two-time defending state champion Mead girls. In the 400 prelims, Mt. Spokane’s Jack Cerenzia and Lewis and Clark’s Coleton Fitzgerald were disqualified. All the DQs were for running on the lane marker for four consecutive strides. … The 4A boys pole vault was postponed when the third or fourth rainstorm blew through late Friday afternoon. … Kasen Williams of Skyline set the state meet all-time best in the triple jump at 50-9¾. … Deer Park’s versatile Allison Gladhart, who is here in the 800 and 1,600, sang the national anthem.

Some records fell in those 3,200 races late Thursday. Kendra Weitz of Shadle Park erased Lisa Dressel’s 1988 record; Kenji Bierig of Lewis and Clark replaced the 1968 mark of Phil Burkwist; and Sanne Holland took out Jeannette Zimmer’s 10-year old mark at Cheney. In taking a big whack out of her school record, North Central’s Katie Knight ran the fifth-fastest time in state history, but finished second to Glacier Peak’s Anna-Eloise Neale, who ran the No. 4 time. Weitz is now No. 6.

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