Jade Wilson was a pretty good sprinter, but that was last year.
Now he’s an even better hurdler, winning both events at the 2A regional track and field meet Friday night at Spokane Falls Community College and going to state in a discipline he learned only this spring.
“It’s pretty amazing,” said Wilson after winning the 330 intermediates in 39.86 seconds, beating his personal record by more than a half-second and putting himself in contention for a medal at next week’s state meet in Tacoma.
Wilson’s new coach, assistant Barry Sartz, “had some of us guys go over hurdles, and he just pointed me that way.
“It was just the coach telling me.”
That’s just what happened to another Deer Park athlete Friday night. Freshman pole vaulter Carrie Jacka was feeling satisfied with a personal-best of 9 feet, 6 inches. She felt even better when her coach gave her the news that she was going to state.
“I had no idea,” Jacka said. “I was just so happy with getting a PR.”
It was a bittersweet night for the Jacka family. Senior Bailee Jacka, the third-ranked vaulter in the state, no-heighted after struggling with a possible stress fracture. But at least she’s going to state with the Stags’ regional-champion 400-meter relay team that owns the third-fastest time in the state.
“I was just trying to see if I could leave the ground … and it didn’t work out because it’s a lot harder on my foot to take off on my foot than it is to sprint.
“But I’m so proud of my sister and I’m so glad she made it to state.”
Ephrata easily won the boys team title with 140 points, with Deer Park second with 97, Quincy with 58 and Pullman fourth with 52½.
Cheney’s Sanne Holland won the 1,600 and 3,200 to lead the Blackhawks to the girls team title with 120. Prosser was second with 86 and East Valley – led by double-winner Darbi Dobson – placed third with 74.
The state meet begins Thursday at Mt. Tahoma High School in Tacoma.
Dobson celebrated a personal-best of 39-9 in the shot put that moves her up the second in the state, and took the discus with a throw of 126-9, ahead of teammate Elisha Allred.
“I’m going home to celebrate with my family,” Dobson said. “I feel I have a chance to win state with the PRs I’ve been having.
“I just want to throw my heart out and see the ocean.”
Holland pulled off the toughest double of the night, winning the distance races.
“The season has really gone well,” Holland said. “I’m really looking forward to state to see how it all plays out, and I think it will be a PR or close to a PR.
“And getting all of our girls there is exciting too.”
The Blackhawks’ Kelsey Schwendiman and Kali Klotz-Brooks qualified in both the 800 and 1,600, and Mariah Brenton qualified in the 3,200.
Another Blackhawk, sprinter Janessa Day, is also dreaming of a state title or two. She has the best 400 time in the state, and won that event with a time of 57.11, more than a second ahead of Kolby Childers of Prosser.
Cheney also won the 800 relay.
“It’s very exciting,” Day said. “We just need to work on our handoffs and we can drop our times a lot quicker. And if we run with heart, we can do it.”
Clarkston’s Jamie Weisner won three events – the high jump, javelin and high hurdles – and was edged at the tape in the low hurdles by Kendall Dunn of Cheney.
Pullman’s Anna Guo won the long jump with a leap of 17-3¾ and the triple jump at 35-9½, a foot and a half better than Anna Cartee of Deer Park.