The weather has been pretty crummy in the Spokane area all spring, so why would Saturday be any different at a state track meet?
But the rain and wind didn’t damper anyone’s enthusiasm for the return of the State 1A/2B/1B track and field championships at Roos Field on the campus of Eastern Washington University on Friday after a two-year COVID-related hiatus.
Friday saw medals awarded in field events with several area athletes – and one with a national profile – taking home first-place honors.
Reardan’s Richard Alsept won the boys 2B high jump at 6 foot, 3 inches – a personal best.
“I think (the weather) added to it because the wind was coming out of my back, so that gave me a boost,” Alsept said.
Alsept has been high jumping for two years.
“I’ve just been getting a lot of support from my friends, family and a lot from the coaches and teachers at my school,” he said. “Honestly, they’re the main reason why I’ve gotten to where I am now.”
Sydney Kinch of Lind-Ritzville/Sprague won the girls 2B pole vault at 10-0.
“It was crazy,” she said. “I’m just feel super blessed.”
Kinch was second in state in 2019 as a freshman at 9-6. She wasn’t bothered by the conditions.
“I’ve had a lot of wind and rain this year, so I was kind of used to it, so it wasn’t too bad,” she said.
LRS’ Myra Miller took the girls 2B discus at 125-5, a personal best.
Jaxson Orr of Garfield-Palouse placed first in boys 1B discus with a personal-best 141-7 and was eighth in the triple jump at 38-7 1/2.
“It felt amazing. It’s awesome,” Orr said.
“I love to be here and everyone else did amazing. It was super great.”
Despite the wet conditions, six of the state placers in the discus set personal bests .
Orr took up the event his sophomore year.
“The COVID season kind of cut everyone out – this is my first year actually to have a full big season,” he said. “My teammates helped me a lot. I’m still pretty new to the sport.”
Valley Christian’s Blake Sturgis won the boys 1B javelin with a personal-best 184-4 and was third in the triple jump (39-10 1/2), which was won by Tomeko Cates of Springdale at 41-0.
Rainier’s Jeremiah Nubbe came into the state meet ranked third in the country in the discus with a throw of 207-4 earlier this season.
The University of Texas signee is also the state record holder, previously held by Vinnie Pecht of West Valley.
Nubbe’s signature event is Saturday, but on Friday he participated in the shot put and won with a meet-record – and personal-best – 56-10.
“I was just looking for a PR and the meet record was along way, so it’s all part of it,” he said.
Nubbe expressed frustration with his results in shot put this season.
“Finally,” he said. “Just to hit one and actually get a good mark for the first time this season.
“Happy to get it on the last one, especially senior year.”
Other state placers
2B boys: Ben Sudlow (St. George’s), long jump, sixth (19-5 1/2); Corban Stevens (Chewelah), shot put, third (44-1); Willie Waters (Davenport), shot put, eighth (42-9 1/2).
2B girls: Mia Bellevue (Chewelah), pole vault, fourth (8-6); Emma Bryson (Colfax), pole vault, tied-fifth (8-6); Justine Flett (Reardan), javelin, sixth (107-0).
1B boys: Trace Fletcher (Republic), discus, second (138-9).
1B girls: Shot put: Kathryn Burnette (Odessa), second (34-0); Belle Stark (Northport), fourth (33-1); Danea Norman (Wellpinit), sixth (32-6).
High jump: Lily Starkel (Odessa), second (5-0); Kaidyn Maioho (Wilbur-Creston), third (5-0); Tamia Cates (Springdale), seventh (4-9); Ashlyn Neilsen (Odessa), eighth (4-6).
Pole vault: Sophie Larsen (St. John-Endicott/LaCrosse), fourth (7-9); Hailee Marty (SJEL), tied-fifth (7-0); Cami Larsen (SJEL), tied-fifth (7-0); Ashlynn Archer (SJEL), tied-fifth (7-0).
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