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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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GSL’s elite have subpar day

PASCO – Oh, there were emotions, from elation to anger and a delightful mixture of both.

On a bright, warm and breezy Friday at Edgar Brown Stadium Greater Spokane League 4A athletes had a good day – but not as great as some expected at Star Track XXIII.

It started well with Ferris junior Cameron Elisara winning the boys shot put on the last throw of the competition and Mead senior Bron Tomeo taking the boys pole vault, but four others came up just short in defense of their state championships.

But it says a lot about the expectations of Lewis and Clark girls high jumper Briann January, Mead girls discus thrower Corissa Hutchinson and Mt. Spokane girls 3,200-meter runner Megan O’Reilly that they achieved personal records but weren’t satisfied. Shadle Park long jumper Catie Schuetzle was downright angry when she didn’t have her best day.

Still, with nine finals, the local athletes earned 16 medals, including three seconds and four thirds.

One athlete who didn’t PR was Elisara, who won with a throw of 59 feet, 5 1/2 inches to beat Kenny Alfred of Gig Harbor by an inch.

“Winning is the best thing,” Elisara said. “If I would have thrown 68 and he threw 69, I would have been upset.”

Both entered the meet having thrown 60-10 last week. Elisara’s third throw of 58-3 1/2 gave him the lead by an inch entering the finals. Alfred took the lead on the fifth throw with a 58-11 1/2 and Elisara scratched. Then Alfred went 58-11 1/2 .

“I needed motivation on that last throw,” Elisara said. “When I saw his 59, it got me going.”

Elisara, who wanted to hit 60 again, made a great throw but it wasn’t 60. Splitting inches at that distance is difficult.

“I knew it was close,” he said. “My heart was pumping.”

When the distance was announced, he jumped up and down.

Tomeo was much more reserved. He has experience as a state champion, having won a B title as a freshman at Glenwood.

This one wasn’t easy, as he fell behind Jake Hull of Heritage when he missed his first attempt at 15-3.

To try to regain the advantage, Tomeo, who had a state-leading 15-8, moved up to 15-6 for his final two attempts. He cleared that on his final attempt, winning when Hull missed three times.

“This was fun, there was more competition,” said Tomeo, who had one good attempt at 16. “I wanted to get 16, but I’m pretty happy with the win. That’s pretty cool. When I missed at 15-3 I wasn’t too worried, but (after) that first jump at 15-6 I was a little worried. I was pretty comfortable with that last jump.”

The emotional mix was displayed by January, who got into a battle with Skyview junior Jasmine Kelly.

January led until it took her three attempts to match her best of 5-7. Then she got 5-8 on her second jump to regain the advantage. But Kelly, whose PR was also 5-8, got 5-8 on her third attempt and 5-9 on her fourth.

“It’s over, man,” January said, choking up. “I did what I asked myself to do. My name is always going be there. This is a good note, I can say that. My name will stay with track.”

January’s jump is the best by a Spokane girl and she can officially say she jumped over her height listed in the basketball program, which seemed like a good reason to cry.

“I don’t know why,” she said. “I love track so much and it’s over. I hate this. I didn’t think I would cry.”

Ferris freshman Kelly McNamee was third with a 1-inch PR of 5-6 in a competition that saw the first 4A 5-9 jump in a decade.

“I’m definitely happy. I knew I could get 5-6,” McNamee said. “I knew Briann was going to get 5-8. I was happy for her. I was hoping for third, maybe second. Third is good for a freshman.”

O’Reilly, Hutchinson and Schuetzle were disappointed they didn’t win.

O’Reilly, the two-time defending 3,200 champion, was badly beaten by Bellarmine Prep star Brie Felnagle. Felnagle ran 10 minutes, 27.58 seconds, third-best in the nation, 9 seconds ahead of freshman teammate Nicole Cochran and 21 seconds faster than O’Reilly.

“It was definitely really disappointing,” O’Reilly said. “I really wanted to win it. We ran a really fast time. I guess I thought I could do it, but not today.”

Still, O’Reilly ran a small PR on a breezy evening and was 10 seconds faster than her winning time last year. Lewis and Clark’s Whitney Porter had an 18-second PR in finishing fifth in 10:51.06.

Hutchinson threw 139-10, a 4-inch PR but short of her 140 goal and putting much of a scare into Cascade’s Whitney Hooks, who went 145-6, passing Hutchinson on her third throw.

“I’m just frustrated,” Hutchinson said. “I (set a personal record), that was good, (but) I know I could have done better. It’s hard when you see yourself do better in practice and come here and not go anywhere near that.”

Shadle’s Rainey Culp had a 2-foot PR to finish fourth.

Schuetzle never got her steps down and almost didn’t make the finals until a near-scratch of 16-11 3/4 on her third attempt.

Even though that put her in second, she was nowhere near her state-leading 19-4 3/4 and clearly frustrated. She added a couple of inches on her fifth jump, into the wind, but never threatened Christina Tupper of Skyline.

“All my jumps were stutters,” Schuetzle said. “I thought I jumped like 10 feet every time. It makes me angry. I got second, but I got my butt kicked. I didn’t need to win, but I wanted to jump (well).”

Shadle’s Bryan Braman, who came in with the state-leading mark in the javelin and second-best long jump, but wound up third in both, had the same feeling.

Braman, who went 23-4 3/4 ; Mead’s Jeremy Brett, who jumped 23-4; and Kyle Williams of Bellarmine Prep all had nice season bests and the lead at one time, but were eclipsed by Gig Harbor sophomore Tony Henderson’s 24-3, the only non-wind-aided jump of the competition.

“I got fifth last year and I wasn’t going to settle for anything less than first,” Brett said. “I had a couple of scratches that were 24.”

Braman got three throws in at the javelin and was sitting fourth when he raced off for the 400 relay, where he botched a handoff that kept the Highlanders out of the finals. Then he rushed three more javelin throws, getting 190 on the last one to move into third, but almost 9 feet short of his best.

“I choked in all events,” Braman said. “I (almost) got us (disqualified) in the (relay). … I threw 190, that’s nothing. I don’t even know what to say.”

But things are looking up. Braman is the state leader heading into the high jump today. Schuetzle has the triple jump and could get four medals because she’s in the 1,600 relay and 100 finals.

O’Reilly has the 1,600 and Hutchinson the shot put.

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