PASCO – Jakobe Ford had a feeling he’d reach 7 feet in the high jump Saturday at the 54th annual Pasco Invite.
Now the Shadle Park sophomore wants to clear it – and some.
Ford, who transferred from Central Valley this year, vaulted 6 feet, 10 inches to capture a title on a sun-baked day at Edgar Brown Stadium’s John Crawford Track.
He tied the school record set by Bryan Braman.
Ford took three attempts at 7-0. His best effort came on his first attempt when he appeared to be over, only to brush the bar with his butt.
The 6-10 eclipsed his personal best of 6-9 set in the first Greater Spokane League dual before spring break.
Ford had the event won after clearing 6-4, 6-6 and 6-8 on his first attempts. He skipped 6-9, and the runner-up missed three attempts at that height.
With all competitors out, Ford had the bar set at 6-10. He missed on his first two tries but sailed quite comfortably over it on his final attempt.
“It felt good,” Ford said of clearing 6-10. “I was over it on my first attempt, so I back up a little bit on my last try.”
Ford was one of 11 individual winners from the Inland Northwest in an event that has state-meet quality.
Nick Johnson of Gonzaga Prep captured the 110-meter high hurdles, winning in 14.11 seconds.
“I had a better start in the prelim, but I just went hard and snapped my leg hard going over the hurdles,” Johnson said. “I’ve been battling a shin splint in my left leg.”
Ferris’ Jalen Hicks won the long jump (21-10). He didn’t take any of his jumps in the finals.
“I could have jumped a little better,” Hicks said. “I would have jumped in the finals if I had to, but I didn’t want to waste any energy if I didn’t have to.”
Sophomore Hayden Dressel of Mt. Spokane won the 800 in 1:57.38 – a personal best by 3 seconds.
“It (the race) was just how I wanted it to go,” Dressel said. “I wanted to hang back between third and fifth, and it played right into my hands. It’s a definite confidence booster to win something like this so early.”
Justin Janke of North Central cruised to victory in the 3,200 in 9:07.53, a season best.
“I had the lead from 200 meters on,” Janke said. “I was hoping somebody would push me. This was a great opportunity. I was really happy to win.”
Logan Feasline of St. Maries won the discus (174-2).
Wenatchee captured the team title with 46 points. Mt. Spokane was sixth (28) and Ferris was a point behind in seventh.
In the girls meet, a young foursome from Lewis and Clark provided a victory in the 400 relay.
Sophomores Grace Ellis and Isabella Millsap combined with freshmen Maya LeBar and Anna Rodgers.
“I know I can trust all of them to run their best and Isabella to get me the stick when I need it,” Rodgers, the anchor, said.
Rodgers is quickly establishing herself as a GSL force. She won the long jump at 19-1. That broke her two-day-old school record (18-6), which she set Thursday when she broke the mark (18-4 1/4) set by Linda Lester in 1985. That jump also broke the GSL record.
LC finished third with 39 points, one behind runner-up Rocky Mountain. Kamiakin captured a fourth straight title.
Kaitlin Krouse of Chewelah won the discus at 139-7, topping her previous best by nearly a foot.
“I’m pretty happy right now,” said Krouse, who finished seventh last year. “My season got off to a slow start. My first throw was 106. Relaxing has been the key. I was putting too much pressure on myself. Now I’m having fun. I was forgetting that for a while.”
Micaela Kostecka of Mt. Spokane won the elite mile (5:09.88).
“The pace was really, really slow,” Kostecka said. “It was a good 6 seconds too slow. Before the race I talked with my coach and we debated whether I should go for time or practice strategy. I practiced strategy.”
It paid off – and she had the spike marks from being boxed in and working her way out to prove it.
“We tussled a little bit, but I settled in,” she said. “The time wasn’t what I wanted but in terms of competition and strategy, it was everything I wanted.”
Another GSL freshman, Zella Conley of Mead, is making an early mark.
Conley knocked off defending Idaho State 5A champion Kaitlyn Gunnerson of Coeur d’Alene in the 100 hurdles.
Conley finished in 14.91 – .03 ahead of Gunnerson.
“I’ve been working hard all week, especially on my trail leg,” Conley said. “I knew (the competitors) were fast and I had to work my hardest.”
A fantastic showdown between 2B long distance runners happened in the 3,200. Marika Morelan of St. George’s edged Tracy Melville of Lind-Ritzville/Sprague by three-hundredths of a second. Morelan prevailed in 11:08.03.
“My races against her tend to end like that,” Morelan said. “I don’t know if it’s a curse or a blessing.”
It was a breakthrough for Morelan, who had lost two previous races to Melville.
“Now we can go eat a bunch of food,” Morelan said.
Angel Nkwonta of Pullman won the shot put (41-3).
“It came on my last throw in the finals,” Nkwonta said. “I was happy because I didn’t do too well in any of my running events.”
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