It took a long three years, but the Mt. Spokane boys 4x400-meter relay team repeated as 3A state champions on the final day of competition on Saturday at Mt. Tahoma High School.
The Wildcats team, comprised of junior’s Bradley Runge, Ben Sonneland, Jackson Hale, and sophomore Boden Gardner, lowered its state No. 1 time to 3 minutes, 23.35 seconds to come away with a new personal best team effort that was dominant from start to finish.
“I just wanted this all year long,” Runge said. “Anchoring was a bit stressful because you’re the one that finishes, you’re the one at the end, and you’re the one who has come through. I just had to do it for my boys.”
Runge’s brother, Craig, was a member of that 2019 state champion team that ran 3:22.75 the last time a state meet was held prior to the pandemic.
Led by its 4x400 state champion team, the Mt. Spokane boys placed fourth as a group in the team standings, scoring 47 points. Outside the relay in their individual races, both Gardner (5th, 50.91) and Runge (6th, 51.21 earned podium finishes in the 400 final, and Sonneland ran a personal best 1:54.86 to place third in the 800 final.
“It was just an honor to be on this team with these guys,” Sonneland said. “Especially as a distance runner, not very many distance runners get this opportunity, so I was just grateful for that.”
Mt. Spokane senior Ethan Williamson took 4th in the discus with a mark of 146-08, and junior Jarom Liljenquist was fifth, throwing 144-10 to add to the team total. The Wildcats 4x100 team placed sixth in the final in a time of 43.73.
Central Valley junior Brandon Thomas won the boys ambulatory shot put in a meet record mark of 42-4.5 just one week after throwing in his first competition at the district meet. Thomas also took second in the ambulatory 100 on Friday, running 13.91.
“I’m excited to do new things and compete as an athlete” Thomas said, who’s in his first season of track. “I didn’t think this was going to help me for football when in reality, I am much faster than I was months ago. I’m very glad I am doing it now.”
The CV boys also took home fourth place honors as a team, scoring 39 points. Senior AJ McGloflin added another medal to his state title in the high jump as he placed third in the long with a mark of 21-07, and senior George Tonko took third in the discus, throwing 139-04. The Bears’ 4x400 took sixth in the final, running 3:25.61.
CV’s Kylah Lopez won two state titles of her own on the girls ambulatory side, winning the 200 in a personal best time of 46.40, and the 100 on Friday in a personal best 21.56. The CV girls 4x100 took eighth in its final in 50.47.
The Mead girls placed fifth as a group in the 3A team race behind 33 points led by its 4x400 team that put up a good fight in the final, finishing third overall in a time of 4:03.25.
“All season we all worked really hard,” sophomore Teryn Gardner said. “I didn’t think we ran what we wanted to, but we still ran our butts off, and we worked hard. I’m proud of where we are.”
Gardner also took fourth in the girls 800, running a personal best 2:15.20 to place fourth. Sophomore teammate Charlotte Cullen was seventh in a personal best 2:17.13. Junior Cassie Moeller was sixth in the javelin throwing a distance of 120-11.