Day one of the District 8 4A/3A track and field championships concluded Friday night at Central Valley High School, with multiple Greater Spokane League athletes punching their tickets to next week’s state meet in Tacoma.
Mead senior Lakotah Henderson highlighted the day in the 3A boys pole vault, clearing 14 feet for a district championship. North Central senior Andrew Steinhart, who also cleared 14 feet, also advanced to state. Henderson was first by default because of fewer attempts missed.
“I wish we could have cleared higher heights, but we’re both going to state,” Henderson said. “We put in so much hard work day-in and day-out. I’d wake up at 6 a.m. to get out to the track early, get some runs in, and then later on going to real practice to get real jumps in. The goal was just to make that hard work worth it, and I think we both accomplished that today.”While Henderson and Steinhart are both ranked top three in 3A this season for pole vault, this will be their first opportunity to compete at the state level due to the past two state meets being canceled due to COVID. Both are excited for the opportunity to compete, but to also represent Spokane together.
“I like the community here and all coaches sharing feedback about what they know about the sport,” Steinhart said. “I feel like we should be each other teammates next week because we will be team Spokane.”
The Mead boys also got a district title win from sophomore Justin Sands in the boys triple jump with a mark of 44-1.
Lewis and Clark picked up 4A district boys and girls titles. Senior Ali Groza won the girls 3,200 meters in 11 minutes, 21.81 seconds, and sophomore Antonio Williams took the boys discus in a mark of 151-11.
In relays, the Mt. Spokane boys beat Mead to win the 4x100 district title in 43.07 to qualify for next week’s meet.
Mead senior Emily Hutchinson advanced to state for the first since time her freshman year in the girls shot put as she threw 38-5 1/2 to place second overall.
“It feels so long ago since I’ve been there,” Hutchinson said. “The last time I was there we were 4A, but I’m excited to get back there and place better than I did my freshman year.”
Hutchinson placed fourth in shot put at the 2019 state meet when she was a freshman and watched her sister Jordynn, a sophomore at the time, win a state championship in the same field.
“The next year, I really wanted to come back and beat her,” Hutchinson said. “Unfortunately, with COVID I couldn’t, but I want to beat her mark this year and still keep that competitive energy.”
In total, 29 individuals and four relays teams from the GSL are on their way to Tacoma after Friday.
Plenty more bids will be filled Saturday, which competition ends.
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