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State 1A/2B/1B girls track: Emerson, Hunt guide ACH to second

For not having an official track team, Almira/Coulee-Hartline fared very well at the State 1B girls track and field meet.

Powered by multitalented senior Katie Emerson, the Warriors, with two competitors, placed second at the three-day meet, which wrapped up Saturday at Eastern Washington University’s Roos Field.

Emerson won both hurdles and the 800-meter run, and placed third in the javelin to score 36 of the Warriors’ 53 points. Mt. Vernon Christian, with 13 athletes, scored 59 points.

Emerson and sophomore Berlyn Hunt, who picked up 17 points by placing in the long jump, triple jump and 100, train at Lake Roosevelt High because ACH doesn’t offer track.

“Lori (Adkins) is our coach and the Lake Roosevelt coach,” Emerson said. “She’s treated us just like we’re part of the team. I couldn’t have asked for a better coach. It’s been a great four years.”

Cusick placed third with 49 points, led by sophomore sprinter Alana Keogh. Keogh ran a leg on the second-place 4x400 relay and won the 100 and 200 after placing second in both last year.

“I’m always nervous going into a race,” Keogh said. “There’s always going to be someone faster than I am somewhere, so I always come in nervous.”

Sophomore distance ace Shania Graham guided Republic to fourth place with 48.5 points. Graham, who won Thursday’s 3,200, captured the 1,600 on Saturday before taking third in the 800.


Strong relays and overall balance allowed Lind-Ritzville/Sprague (74 points) to hold off St. George’s (71) with its distance specialists Madison Ward and Marika Morelan.

The Broncos’ victories Saturday came in the 4x100 and 4x200 relays. Extra points came from senior Tracy Melville, Thursday’s 3,200 winner, in the 800 and 1,600; senior Kate Schell, 100 and 200; freshman Rachel Schell, 100; sophomore Felicia Ziemer, 800; and the 4x400 relay. Senior Heidi Hennings and sophomore Kallie Harder added points during Friday’s field events.

Ward, a sophomore, and Morelan, a junior, were spectacular, both breaking the 25-year-old meet record in the 1,600 (Ward in 5:04.45, Morelan in 5:08.35), turning around to run 1-2 in the 800, and running legs on the winning 4x400 relay.

“It’s been awesome because I didn’t have her last year and she’s been a great training partner,” Ward said. “She’s been a huge part of me getting better and faster.”

“She’s constantly pushing me to be my best and that’s the best thing about running,” Morelan said. … “I didn’t even win and I’m really, really happy.”

Defending champion Colfax placed fourth, with junior Scout Cai scoring 29 of the team’s 52 points. Cai, Friday’s pole vault champ, cleared 5 feet, 4 inches to win Saturday’s high jump and placed second in the 200.

“I might try something different next year,” said Cai, who was also eighth in the shot put. “I might try the hurdles.”

Northwest Christian senior Isabel Clark defended her title in the 300 hurdles.

“I just wanted to have a really fast start and be quick between the hurdles and just focus on the race,” Clark said.


Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls) placed third with 38.5, sparked by senior Jackie Mahowald, who defended her title in the triple jump, and junior Samantha Blake, who won the pole vault.

“I went 36-5 3/4,” said Mahowald, who will compete for Northwest Nazarene in Nampa, Idaho. “Last year I did 38-8 1/2, but today was really windy.”

Blake, who placed third last year, cleared a personal-best 11-9 on her second attempt and came close at 12-0 on her final attempt.

“Definitely better poles and more help from coaches and different coaching styles,” Blake said of her improvement.

Deer Park (36 points) placed fourth, led by sophomore Moriah Duenich’s win in the 1,600. Duenich’s Stags competed at the State 2A meet last year.

“(The 1A) is actually perfect because I’m out there battling for first, which is crazy,” Duenich said. “I never thought I’d be in this position.”

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