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Wildcat girls win in final event

What’s the equivalent in track of basketball’s last-second, game-winning shot?

Try the 1,600-meter relay.

The Mt. Spokane girls knocked off defending Greater Spokane League champ Central Valley by winning the four-lap relay, the last event, in dramatic fashion Thursday afternoon.

The Wildcats (3-1) finished with 76 points, two more than the visiting Bears (2-1). Both teams topped Mead (2-2) and trail league-leading Lewis and Clark (4-0), which swept North Central and Rogers.

Kelly Brown of Mt. Spokane and Rachel Backsen of CV waged an entertaining final-lap duel. CV’s Justine Del Medico had overcome a 15-meter deficit on the third lap to give the Bears a chance when the batons were exchanged the final time.

Trailing most of the lap, Backsen over took Brown with 200 meters to go. But Brown found another gear, pulling ahead of Backsen with 60 meters remaining, and she held on at the finish line in a time of 4 minutes, 9.12 seconds – .35 ahead of CV.

“You can’t beat that,” an elated Mt. Spokane coach Annette Pedersen said. “What a day. It was quite a finish.”

Pedersen’s daughter, junior Ashlee Pedersen, did a lot of the heavy lifting. She captured the 100 (13.04), 200 (26.82) and 400 (1:00.82) and anchored the winning 400 relay (50.84).

She figures to add another relay and drop an open event by district.

“It depends on what Mom wants me to do,” Pedersen said.

First-year CV coach Geoff Arte knew his team was in tough Thursday. The Bears have lost standout sprinter/jumper Savannah Hoeckstra with a hamstring injury.

Trying to pick up the slack were junior Mariah Cunningham and freshman Briegan Bester, who has surprised early in the long-distance races.

Cunningham won the long jump (17-11) and high jump (5-0) while Bester took the 1,600 (5:26.31) and 3,200 (11:50.6).

“I thought we were bailing water all day,” Arte said. “I thought our kids competed well, but I thought they (the Wildcats) outcompeted us through and through. That’s how you lose meets.”

CV is hoping to make the league title chase a scramble next Thursday when it hosts LC.

Mead thrower Courtney Hutchinson had an outstanding day. She extended her overall personal best in the discus (124 feet, 1 inch) and had a season best in the shot put (46-½).

Mead’s boys (4-0), meanwhile, handled CV (103-42) and Mt. Spokane (96-49). CV (2-1) held off Mt. Spokane (2-2) 78-67.

The Panthers were the usual dominating selves in the sprints, relays and distances.

Davian Barlow swept the 100 (11.29) and 200 (22.4) while anchoring Mead’s 400 relay (43.65).

Andrew Gardner, who appeared to be training through the meet in preparation for Pasco Invite on Saturday, captured the 1,600 (4:25.01) while finishing second in the 800 (1:58.74) to teammate Daniel Schofield (1:58.72).

Mead’s Luke Hilmes and Mt. Spokane’s Carlos Riojas battled back and forth in the javelin before Riojas threw 188-1 on his last attempt to edge Hilmes (182-9).

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