Anandae Clark found rarified air Saturday afternoon at the 51st Pasco Invite.
Clark, a senior at Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls), became the first Washington female pole vaulter to crack the 13-foot mark, breaking the state record of 12-10 set by Kentlake’s Stevie Marshale in 2002.
It was just her third meet after she pulled a hamstring in a jamboree at West Valley in mid-March. She couldn’t practice for two weeks.
Clark is also dealing with a bum ankle, which she injured during the gymnastics season.
The fact that she hit the 13-0 mark was more impressive and unexpected considering the injuries.
Now Clark, who is 5-3, wants to soar higher.
“My goal is 13-7,” Clark said. “I know I can go higher. I haven’t run out of my poles and I was still blasting through (Saturday). It’s not like I can’t get on a bigger pole.”
Clark is tied for second in the nation. Jessie Johnson of Argyle, Texas, leads at 13-6. Clark took three attempts at 13-5¼. Her best try was on the third attempt, but she bumped the pole going over.
“Pasco is such a big meet to win,” said Clark, who is heavily favored to capture a fourth straight State 1A championship next month. “Thirteen feet has been my goal since my freshman year.”
She cleared 10-9 her first year.
• Four other area athletes are ranked among the top 10 in the nation in their respective events.
They are: Aaron Castle of Newport (second, shot put, 64-7); Katie Knight of North Central (third, 3,200, 10:20.11); Josh Syrotchen of Lewis and Clark (seventh, discus, 185-10); and Courtney Hutchinson of Mead (ninth, shot, 45-1).
Our story Sunday could only highlight area winners, and there were plenty of those.
Here are a few other things that were noteworthy.
• Shadle Park’s Kendra Weitz collapsed early in the seventh lap of the 3,200. She was helped off the track.
She’s had infrequent times in which she’s hyperventilated, losing her breath. She said she’s scheduled to see a pulmonary specialist this week to try to determine what is going on.
“I’m not sure what it is, but I couldn’t breathe,” Weitz said.
• The showdown in the State 4A boys 200 should be nothing short of entertaining.
Wes Bailey of Mead gained a measure of revenge, edging 2011 state champ Isaiah Brandt-Sims of Wenatchee by two-hundredths of a second (21.72). Bailey took third at state last year and believes Mead would have won a state title had he won.
• Speaking of a state team title, Mead’s boys definitely sent a statement that they’re the team to beat.
Mead coach John Mires cautions that there’s a lot of season left.
“We’re chasing a trophy,” is as far as Mires would go talking about a state title. “This is the meet that gives you a taste of what the West Side teams have. It was cool to see how the kids responded. This month we have a number of significant duals and great invites. The key is keeping the kids healthy.”
Mires went on to say how much he appreciates the Pasco meet.
“We love Pasco, we love John Crawford (longtime meet director) and we’d love it if the state meet came back here,” Mires said.
And the weather couldn’t have been better.
“It’s the first time we’ve been warm since last summer,” Mires said.
• NC’s Keith Williams took second in the 800 in a season-best time of 1:55.99. University’s Matthew Fry was fourth (1:56.67).
• Seven of the top eight finishers in the boys 3,200 are from the area.
Winner Nathan Weitz of Shadle Park (9:03.11) and runner-up Andrew Gardner of Mead (9:06.63) were followed by Kai Wilmot of NC (9:06.74), Conor McCandless of Gonzaga Prep (9:24.27), Dayde Collins of Deer Park (9:26.56), Austen Frostad of NC (9:29.73) and, eighth, Joel Estelle of LC (9:32.48).
• Other Pasco top finishes: Zack Linscott of Lake City (second, high jump, 6-4); Blasé Neumann of Mead (third, pole vault, 15-0); Ben Pavish of Pullman (second, triple jump, 43-5 1/2); Adam Mahama of Pullman (second, discus, 173-6); Durran Bates of NC (third, discus, 163-9, followed by Damon Unland of Ferris (162-10) and Drew Sharkey of Ferris (156-9); Adam Chamberlain of Central Valley (fourth, javelin, 172-11); Sumner Goodwin of LC (second, 1,600, 4:21.25); Morgan Willson of Colfax (second, 3,200, 11:08.16); Lake City’s girls in the 1,600 relay featuring a junior and three freshmen (second, 4:06.52); Courtney Bray of Mt. Spokane (third, pole vault, 11-9) and Bailee Jacka of Deer Park (fourth, 11-0).
• Mead successfully defended its combined team title as the boys and girls finished with 86 points.
Another old meet that has undergone a facelift in recent years takes place Saturday with the 49th edition of the Mooberry Relays. It returns to Rogers where a newly surfaced track awaits the athletes.
Every Greater Spokane League school, five Great Northern League schools (East Valley, Cheney, Deer Park, Pullman and West Valley) and two from North Idaho – Lake City and Post Falls will be on hand. Twenty-four teams are entered.
Most events will be scored in a relay format – taking the best times or marks of two athletes from each school. Action begins with the hammer throw at 8 at Spokane Community College. Running events begin at 9:15 and other field events at 10.
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