YAKIMA – If Friday was West Valley’s day at the Eastern Regional 3A track meet, Saturday belonged to Cheney.
Hurdler Katie Kimball, quarter-miler Rubie Palmer and pole vaulter Jessica LaCambra of the Blackhawks had three of the five wins for Greater Spokane League schools to go with the three wins West Valley picked up on the first day of competition at Zaepfel Stadium.
Clarkston hurdler Morganne Jenkins also had a win Saturday and Rashad Toussaint of West Valley became the league’s only double winner by adding the triple jump to his long jump title.
Overall, the three GSL schools, despite having just three of eight participants in the laned events and four of 12 in the others, advanced a fair number of athletes to the state meet in Pasco next weekend. The girls got 18 out of 54 spots and the boys 16 out of 51.
LaCambra was all smiles and jokes after winning the pole vault with a mark of 10 feet, 6 inches for the first time since the regional in Cheney last year.
That came after not getting over 9-6 until her third attempt.
“That was to scare everybody, just for fun,” the junior said, though she admitted this hasn’t been a stellar year, despite getting 10-feet, 10-3 and 10-6 on her first attempts.
Palmer set a school record of 59.07 -seconds in the 400 despite running in the mid-afternoon rain.
“You know, with this weather I wasn’t expecting that time,” she said. “Rachel (Johnson, a West Valley-Yakima freshman) caught up. It’s so fun to run against a girl with heart. In the starting blocks I asked Jesus to come with me and he did.”
Palmer’s previous best was a 59.54 in districts last week but Johnson had gone 59.21.
“This race is not one that a lot of people like to run,” she said. “You have to hate it to be able to race. You hate the feeling you have before you run it but the feeling you have after is unbelievable.”
Kimball was expected to win the 300’s but then again she had the best district time in the 100’s.
“It’s not a given,” the junior sasid. “I just had to run my race. It was a pretty good time.”
She was 45.63 for an easy win in the 300’s with Jenkings third. Jenkins went 15.53 in the 100s with Kimball second at 15.7.
“Morganne and I have always been neck-and-neck,” Kimball said. “She had a good race. I just knew I wasn’t going to let her beat me again.”
Toussaint bounded 44-11 ½ in the triple jump to win by more than 2 feet.
West Valley’s Kayla Mainer, who won the high jump and was second in the long jump on Friday, anchored the Eagles’ second-place 400 relay and third-place 800 relay to qualify for state in four events.
The top three advance to Pasco.
West Valley-Yakima won the girls team title with 155 ½ points. Cheney was third. The Rams also took the boys title with 150 points with WV-Spokane third.
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