Before they were two of the Greater Spokane League’s premier boys track and field coaches, Central Valley’s Chuck Bowden and Mead’s John Mires were splitting rent.
Roommates and teammates on Eastern Washington’s track team in the 1980s, Bowden was a thrower and Mires hurdled.
“We were the original track-house boys,” said Bowden, referencing his former college pad that later housed dozens of EWU track and field athletes over the years.
When the two meet again Thursday at Central Valley, it will be in a GSL championship showdown.
The unscathed Bears (7-0) host the undefeated and perennial league power Panthers (7-0) in both teams’ final regular season that will decide the GSL title.
North Central (1-4) is also at the three-team boys meet.
“We’re very evenly matched,” said Mires, whose team won the league title last year. “It’s going to be a battle of who finds those unexpected points.”
Bowden, whose team last won a GSL title in 2015, agreed.
“It’s going to be a good, old-fashioned slugfest,” Bowden said. “It might come down the 1,600 relay (the last event of the meet).
“I’ve been coaching a long time and have rarely seen the scheduling work out to where the last dual meet of the year is a true GSL championship dual. It’s pretty special, and the kids are excited.”
Both teams boast quality and quantity, with several of their athletes ranked among the top in their respective events.
Dual-event standout Ryan Kline has led Central Valley in the 1,600 (4:23.90) and 3,200 (9:24.88) this season. He placed second at state in the 3,200 last season.
Mead thrower Nathan Puletasi has been racking up points for the Wildcats all season, ranking among the best in the discus (159-3) and shot put (50-3).
Defending GSL girls champion and league-leading Central Valley (7-0) is in the driver’s seat to capture another title. The Bears also host Mead (3-4) and North Central (2-2) on Thursday.
Molly McCormick, who runs runs the 100 (12.50), 200 (25.61) and anchors the 400 relay team (49.59), leads the Bears.
Triple-jumper Arnold shines for Shadle Park
Shadle Park triple-jumper Victoria Arnold had a career-best jump of 37 feet, 1/2 inch last week in a GSL meet, a mark that ranks No. 1 in 3A District 8 and seventh in the state regardless of classification.
Lake City’s Wensley tops in Idaho discus
Lake City junior Lizzy Wensley’s discus throw of 136 feet, 11 iniches in a dual meet against Post Falls last week is tops in Idaho in all classifications.
Wensley’s career-best toss topped Coeur d’Alene’s Emily Bronson, who threw 135-10 in Walla Walla last month. Bronson now ranks No. 2 behind Wensley, per athletic.net.
Gardom’s long-jump leaps big for Timberlake
Timberlake senior Chase Gardom, who won a Idaho 3A state title in the triple jump last season, recently posted one of the best long-jump marks in the region.
Gardom recorded a leap of 22 feet, 11 inches at the Christina Finney Relays at Post Falls High School, the second-best mark in Idaho this season and the best in the Spokane-Coeur d’Alene area.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.