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Panther boys capture District 8 4A track championship; CV girls win

Josh Richter scratched on his first throw in the javelin Friday.

Nothing unusual about that, but it was the inner demons he was battling that frustrated Richter.

“It was weak and my nerves were getting the best of me,” Richter said. “I started talking to myself. I told myself to calm down. I think I was overthinking things.”

Richter calmed down in a hurry, heaving the javelin a meet-record 208 feet, 11 inches on his next throw – a personal best by 18 feet.

His big throw highlighted another District 8 4A championship for Mead, which finished with 193.5 points – 39 ahead of runner-up Central Valley.

Richter, who led a 1-2-3 finish for Mead in the javelin, didn’t take another throw. He admitted he thought he couldn’t top his record heave.

“Truthfully, there’s some truth in that,” Richter said, smiling. “I’ll take a couple of days and bask in the win. But on Monday I’ll be back to work trying to fix and tweak some things.”

Richter’s main goal this year was to reach 200. Now, he’s not sure what to think.

“It was a great feeling. I want to keep chasing the feeling and not the number,” he said.

Mead’s depth was too much for the rest of the 4A teams. Sam Brown was a winner in the 100 meters and 200. Sam Johnson edged teammate Bryan Anderson in the 300 hurdles. Jonah Jordan, the field male athlete of the meet, won the shot put and discus.

“We had a pretty complete meet,” Mead coach John Mires said. “We weren’t as polished as we’ll need to be next week but we’ll work on that this week.”

Peter Helman of Ferris pulled off a double in the 1,600 and 3,200, which he won on Thursday. Helman finished in 4:18.69 to win the 1,600. He was named the male track athlete of the meet.

Helman, who finished 11th in state cross country, wants to qualify for state for the first time in both races.

“Last year I ran well but I was behind Andrew (Gardner) and (Summer) Goodwin,” Helman said.

Lewis and Clark senior Coleton Fitzgerald finally cracked the 50-second mark in the 400, winning in 49.34.

Fitzgerald has battled a turf toe injury that dates back to football his sophomore year. He had to scale back his events this year, eschewing the 200 to keep from aggravating the injury.

“I’ve noticed it the most in the backstretch,” Fitzgerald said. “I had to cut down my work load this year. My toe couldn’t take it all.”

Isaiah Troutt of Ferris won the triple jump with a leap of 46-3. It was a personal best by 4 inches.

He hit the winning mark on his first attempt.

“I felt it before I jumped,” Troutt said. “I was relaxed and calm and it felt like I had a lot of energy to break out.”

Gonzaga Prep sophomore Nick Johnson won the 110 hurdles and the high jump (6-6). Teammate Frankie Hoerner ran away from the field in the 800 and teamed with Connor Giannini, Jack Bamis and Jeremiah Cooney to win the 1,600 relay.

In the girls, CV finished with 236 points and Mead took second (168).

Mariah Cunningham led CV, winning three events on Thursday and assisting the victorious 800 relay (1:43.57) on Friday as she teamed with Kelsey Turnbow, Anna Fomin and Savannah Hoekstra.

Cunningham was named the female field athlete of the meet. G-Prep’s Kayla Leland, an impressive winner in the 400 (57.24) and 800 (221.31), was named the track athlete of the meet.

Leland’s 400 time was a lifetime best.

“Getting under 58 has been my goal,” Leland said. “The competition was great. I always love competition.”

Turnbow and Fomin, both freshmen, won the 100 (12.71) and 200 (26.11).

“Our depth in a meet like this is tough to deal with,” CV coach Geoff Arte said.

Anisa Allaet of Ferris won the 1,600 (5:11.78).