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Track and Field: NC seniors figure to challenge best in 3A

Megan Murphy and Deja Svastisalee have big goals this spring.

The North Central seniors should be the best in their events in the Greater Spokane League, but they have higher aspirations. They want to be the best in 3A.

Svastisalee took fourth at state in the 300-meter hurdles last year, and she holds the school record at 45.64 seconds – a mark set at last year’s regional meet.

Undersized at 5-foot-4, Svastisalee figures she must get into the 44s to get serious overtures from colleges. She’s determined to do so.

She also ran a leg on the school record-breaking 1,600 relay last year (3:59.8) – a time that would have easily placed at state. But the Indians ran it at regional behind two other faster foursomes and didn’t earn a state berth.

“In the 300 hurdles, I’m going to be competing against myself in the GSL,” said Svastisalee, an honors student with a 3.5 grade-point average. “I hope I get competition at the Pasco Invitational, Lake Washington or Mooberry.”

She attended a five-day camp last summer at Washington State. Clinicians videotaped Svastisalee and she learned a lot watching the replays.

“I’ve improved my block starts, but it’s been mostly a bunch of little stuff,” she said. “It has helped a lot.”

Murphy, who carries a 4.0 GPA and will be one of NC’s valedictorians, has taken fourth at state in the triple jump the past two years. She also ran a leg on the 1,600 relay. Three of the four runners return. The hole they must fill was vacated by standout Katie Knight.

Murphy holds the school record in the triple jump (37-9). She set that mark at regionals as a sophomore.

Her personal best last year was 36-10. She has accepted a partial scholarship at Eastern Washington.

She’s been pleased with her early jumps.

“They’ve been more consistent early than last year,” she said. “I’d love to get into the 38s.”

She didn’t start triple jumping until her sophomore year.

“It was a little awkward at first, but once I figured it out it was fun,” she said.

NC coach Justin King has the utmost respect for Svastisalee and Murphy.

“The biggest thing with those two is they’re solid people,” King said.

Streak continues

The Mead boys extended their Greater Spokane League dual winning streak to 58 but by the slimmest of margins.

Mead opened with a 73-72 win over North Central last week.

“We competed,” NC coach Mark Vandine said. “There’s not much else we could have done.”

NC outscored Mead 26-1 in the distances, but the Panthers got the Indians 26-1 in the throws.

Early returns

If early results mean anything, area athletes should have outstanding seasons.

Perhaps the best early mark was put up by Mead pole vaulter Braden Barranco, a transfer from Newport.

Mead was already going to be deep in the vault, but Barranco has made the Panthers overwhelmingly deep. Mead could sweep nine points in the event in every GSL dual.

Barranco went a personal-best 15 feet at the first GSL dual. He’s being chased by teammates Aleks Vasilyev (14-0), Korey Jacque (14-0) and Colton McLendon (13-6).

Here are some other impressive early marks: Josh Richter of Mead (javelin, 185-4½); Sabrina Keys of NC (shot put, 42-9; discus, 131-0); Mariah Cunningham of Central Valley (long jump, 17-9½); Shelby Kantner of Ferris (triple jump, 36-4½); Kaitlin Krouse of Chewelah (shot, 36-6½; discus, 133-3); Jonah Jordan of Mead (shot, 55-0); and Carrie Jacka of Mead (pv, 10-6).

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