Anandae Egland played the waiting game to perfection Friday afternoon during the first day of competition at the State 1A/2B/1B track and field championships at Eastern Washington University’s Roos Field.
The Lakeside junior, who had won the State 1A pole vault each of the last two years, overcame a prolonged period of inactivity to capture a third straight title with a record-setting vault of 11 feet, 6 inches.
Her winning vault, which broke the previous 1A state record of 11-3 that was set by former Lakeside standout Loreah Winlow in 2007, came nearly 4½ hours after the competition started.
Egland, who warmed up at the start of the event with 14 other competitors, didn’t attempt her first vault until the bar reached 10 feet, and all of the other entrants – including sophomore teammate Davina Carr, who finished second at 9-6 – had been eliminated.
To win the event, she only had to clear her opening height, which she did easily. But between then and the start of the competition, she was forced to endure a nearly 20-minute wait while officials replaced a broken standard, and another long delay while waiting for third-place finisher Colleen Newell, from La Salle, to finish a preliminary relay event.
“I ended up having to warm up three times,” said Egland, who earned another title despite an ankle injury she sustained when she landed in the plant box on her first attempt at regionals. “I was doing absolutely nothing for almost four hours, so I was really excited when I finally got to vault.
“I vaulted really well today. The plan, in the end, was to use the same pole (in a failed attempt at 12 feet) that I used to clear 12-7 in practice, and that, obviously, didn’t work out. But I’m not a bit disappointed.”
Egland’s win capped a cool, blustery day of competition that ended with only a handful of spectators in the stands. But most of those who remained were heartily cheering Egland’s late-afternoon heroics.
“Oh, those were all teammates,” she said, when asked about her fan following, “because they couldn’t leave without me.”
The 1-2 finish of Egland and Carr, gave Lakeside the first-day lead in the team standings with 21 points. Orting and Naches Valley are tied for second with 13, followed by Newport with 12.5.
Freeman senior Morgan Romey finished second in the shot put with a throw of 41 feet, 9½ inches, and Colville junior Tasha Luu finished fourth in the triple jump with a leap of 35-¾.
The competition in all three classes continues today at Roos Field, with opening ceremonies starting at 9:15 a.m.
Morgan Willson had learned far too much about finishing second, having lost to White Pass’ Mikel Elliott in the 3,200-meter run each of the last two years.
So with Elliott having graduated last spring, the Colfax junior finally took her turn atop the medal podium after posting an impressive wire-to-wire victory in this year’s event.
Willson, who finished almost 20 seconds ahead of Lake Roosevelt runner-up Kim Barry with a winning time of 11 minutes, 8.09 seconds, was never really threatened in the race.
“I was on the very end lane and got our fast,” she said. “The first few laps, I knew they were right behind me, but, progressively, I stayed strong, ran my race and pulled away.”
Willson, whose previous personal best of 11:12.91 came against Elliott in last year’s final, topped that for the first time this spring.
“I just felt like it was time to do what I knew I could do,” she said. “And just went out there and did it. It feels great.”
Asotin’s Kayla Loop also dominated her event, throwing the discus 135-8 to best her nearest competitor, Wahkiakum’s Blaine Land, by more than 17 feet.
Loop won last year’s title with a throw of 130-8.
Kettle Falls senior Nikka Yankus finished third in the high jump with a leap of 5-2.
Pe Ell was in the lead in the team standings after the first day with 24 points, followed by Oroville with 16 and Asotin, Colfax and Bear Creek, who were tied with 10.
Cusick’s Andrea Heinen made up for a disappointing second-place finish to Taholah’s Tilly McCrory in the javelin competition by coming back to dominate the field with a winning shot put of 36-5 1/4.
Heinen, who routinely throws 120 in the javelin, managed a throw of only 114-5 on Friday and lost to McCrory, who threw 119-04.
“I did really bad in the javelin,” said the Panthers’ junior standout, who claimed her third consecutive state title in the shot put. “So this felt really felt good. I’m excited.”
Heinen’s effort was enough to give Cusick 18 team points, which puts them in a tie for third with Taholah, behind 1B leader Trout Lake/Glenwood (32) and Mount Rainier Lutheran (21).