John Mires crunches numbers, that’s what most track coaches do before big meets.
The way the Mead coach figured it, the Greater Spokane League track championship meet was going to be close.
“I love the numbers, that’s my baby,” he said. “I had the advantage go to Ferris for the distances, especially without Laef (Barnes). I have great faith that Chuck (Bowden, Central Valley coach) is going to have his throwers ready. I have great faith Ivan (Corley, Shadle Park coach) is going to have his quartermilers. I had all the meets between five and 15 points across the board.”
That meant the difference in the Wednesday evening quadrangular meet at Mead was going to be decided by the numbers that were hardest to follow, the surprise efforts by those in the middle of the pack.
It’s a good thing Mires is a track coach and not a mathematician.
The Panthers won their third straight GSL championship by beating Ferris and Shadle Park by 19 points and CV by 35. Shadle was second, followed by Ferris and CV.
“I had it doped out as us losing 80-65, and based on the score, we did the best we could,” Corley said. “We had a lot of PR’s today and we gave it our best shot.”
“Coach always puts the points out on a big board, showing the possible outcomes,” senior thrower Reese Boyer said. “He favors the other teams so we know what we need to do.”
“They didn’t doubt themselves,” Mires said. “They came in with the expectation to win … they find a way, they answered up, they believe in themselves. It was all the little pieces here and there; it was amazing.”
At University, West Valley won three meets to finish fifth, with Lewis and Clark, U-Hi and East Valley splitting their matchups. In the six-way meet at North Central to finalize the rest of the GSL standings, it was Cheney, NC, Mt. Spokane, Gonzaga Prep, Rogers and Clarkston.
But the big meet was at Mead, where the Panthers were competing without Barnes, the state leader in the 800 and 1,600 meters, because of a sore knee.
The running events finished early, leaving the discus and triple jump to decide the event.
“Coming into this we needed a win,” Mead jumper Jeremy Brett said, pointing toward the discus ring. “We needed five more points.”
Brett, the league leader, took the suspense out early, reacting to the large, enthusiastic crowd lining the runway to pop a jump of 44 feet, 10 inches on his first attempt, improving his league-best by almost a foot. Just to be safe he went 45-7 on his third attempt.
“Everybody being here got my adrenalin going,” he said. “I felt my nerves flying through my body.”
The truth is, though, that Boyer and Pete Clark beat him to the meet-clinching punch.
Of course, part of that is because Brett was the surprise winner in the long jump, getting a 4-inch PR with a winning last jump of 21-5.
“At first I wasn’t jumping too well,” he said. “When my last jump came I knew we needed to win.”
Boyer threw the discus 150-8 and Clark went 140-7 to finish 1-2.
“I felt pretty good going into the day, I knew it was coming,” said Clark, who had an 8-foot PR for the season and a 1-foot PR for his career. “I’ve been working on trying to peak at the end of the year. Last year I did well in the middle of the season. It was hard (to be patient) but right now it is paying off. It was worth it. I knew they wanted to count on me so I did the best I could.”
Like Brett, Boyer was expected to win his best event.
“For me, personally, I feel it helps if the team needs my points,” Boyer said. “I try to rise to the occasion.”
Ferris sprinter Robert Davis joined Brett as a double winner, taking the 400 (50.2 seconds) and the 200 (22.3). Shadle’s Bryan Braman upped his area best in the high jump to 6-6 but he was upset in the javelin by CV’s Travis Rund (179-8). The area’s top hurdlers lowered their area bests, CV’s Tasheen Gary in the 300s (38.2) and Shadle’s Jared Bjerkestrand in the 110s (14.5).
Each school had a double winner at University: Titans hurdler Kallen Lewis, LC sprinter Andre Jennings, EV thrower Andy Roof and WV jumper Rashad Touissant.
Cheney’s Bob Wilske was the only double winner at NC, taking the javelin and high jump.
GSL girls meet results change
Scoring errors discovered after two of Wednesday’s GSL girls track finales have altered the results.
Points that should have gone to East Valley in the high jump went erroneously to North Central during the league’s championship quad. As a result the two teams tied 75-75 to finish at 6-2-1 behind unbeaten Mt. Spokane (9-0).
Because Ferris was awarded extra points in a race that should have gone to another school, Gonzaga Prep ended up winning the six-team meet for ninth through 14th places. The two teams originally had tied 107-107.
Great Northern League
The Pullman boys and girls teams completed unbeaten league seasons with double dual victories at Newport. The boys (7-0) defeated Riverside (1-6) 109-43 and Newport (5-2) 77-56, with Newport winning the matchup with Riverside 78-56. The Greyhound girls (7-0) defeated Newport (2-4) 109-30 and Riverside (5-2) 99-43. Riverside topped Newport 80-46.
Ashton Gant lead the Pullman boys with victories in the triple jump (41-6) and long jump (20-2). Lindsay Myron won three times for the Pullman girls in the long jump (14-7), high hurdles (16.6) and low hurdles (48.05). At Col-ville, the Indian boys (3-4) topped Chewelah (2-5) 73-64. DJ Goble won both sprints to lead the Indians. In the girls meet, Chewelah (1-6) edged Colville (1-5) 69-65. Heather Peppen won both sprints to pace Chewelah.
The Lakeside girls won twice in a double dual at Deer Park. The Eagles (6-1) topped Medical Lake (2-5) 106-37 and Deer Park (4-3) 92-47. Deer Park defeated Medical Lake 72-37. The Lakeside girls were led by double winners Erika Cummings (javelin, discus) and Charley Brinkman (100 hurdles, 200). In the boys meet, Medical Lake (6-1) defeated Lakeside (4-3) 91-41 and Deer Park (3-4) 100-32. Brandon Propeck sparked Medical Lake with a triple-win day (100, 200, 400) while Cardinal teammates Scott Traynor (800, 1600), JD Kottwitz (both hurdles) and Steven Wesley (high, triple jumps) had two wins apiece.
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