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NC’s Williams owns GSL’s record in 800

Last year was a disappointing season for North Central long-distance runner Keith Williams.

He earned one medal at state and that was an eighth in the 800 meters. Williams didn’t throw the medal away, but it’s not front and center in his collection.

“I think I was a little burned out from the season for whatever reason,” he said.

And he was nagged season long by minor injuries.

He should fare much better later this month at state. Williams showed he’s among the elite last week when he broke a 47-year-old Greater Spokane League meet record in the 800, finishing in 1 minute, 53.4 seconds. He broke the record set by Fred Lake of Rogers (1:53.5) in 1966.

“I was basically by myself the whole race,” Williams said.

It was about a second short of his all-time best he set last year at the 3A regionals.

“I went into it wanting to run fast and it just ended up being fast,” Williams said. “I’m usually not very good at running by myself in longer races. But it’s definitely easier in the 800 because it’s practically a sprint.”

He’s ranked third among 3A runners in the state in the 800 and first in the 1,600 (4:15.60).

Williams is after NC’s record in the 800 – 1:52.3 set by Wade Ingebritson in 1986. He’s also after the 1,600 record (4:06.54) set by Ben Johnston in 2010.

“I think I can get the 800 because I have a little more confidence in that race,” Williams said. “The mile, that’s really fast, but I still want to get it.”

Out of state

The Mead boys enjoy attending the Centennial Invitational in Gresham, Ore., each year.

It provides the Panthers different but quality competition.

As usual, coach John Mires’ crew fared well, capturing the team championship.

“Overall, we had a good meet,” Mires said. “We didn’t have production out of our sprint/hurdler crew.”

Mead’s distance combo of Andrew Gardner and Daniel Schofield scored big points. Gardner was first in the 1,500 (3:54.82) and Schofield (1:53.44) and Gardner (1:54.27) placed second and third, respectively, in the 800.

Gardner was true to form in the 1,500 as he made up big meters to come from behind.

Blasé Neumann broke through the 14-foot barrier in the pole vault to win with a vault of 14-6.

It was a good pick-me-up for Mead as the Panthers prepare for the stretch run of May.

Finish lines

Makenzie Baker of Coeur d’Alene soared to personal bests as he won the long and triple jumps at the Inland Empire League championships last week.

“I’ve been here all year,” Baker said. “It’s getting closer and closer to state and it’s my senior year. I have three meets left. It’s now time to peak.”

• Defending State 3A high jump champ Eddie Gonzalez of University continues to leap to new heights.

He cleared 6-10 in a league dual last week. He tried three attempts at 6-11, hoping to break the league record (6-10¾) set by Steve Lucas of Mead in 1983.

Gonzalez wants to break the school record. To do so, he’ll have to reach 7-¼, set by Jeff Barrett in 1977.

Sumner Goodwin of Lewis and Clark moved into second in the state in 4A in the 3,200 with a time of 9:01.52, about 10 seconds behind the leader. He won the event at the Shoreline Invitational last Saturday.

• The North Central boys finished second at Shoreline. Williams won the 1,600 (4:15.60) and sophomore Tanner Anderson finished second (9:01.80) behind Goodwin.

Carson Murray of Rogers won the high jump (6-8) and Gonzalez was second (6-8).

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