A recap of Friday’s events at Star Track XXVIII
Stueckle wins two titles: Kayla Stueckle was everywhere at Star Track XXVIII on Friday.
The Emerald Ridge senior was blazing down the track and claiming the Class 4A state championship in the 100-meter hurdles. She was turning in the leap of her life at the long jump pit and capturing a surprise state title. And she was at the awards stand, passing out medals to the finalists in the 3A 100-meter hurdles.
“It was definitely a good day,” the University of Washington-bound Stueckle said.
Stueckle won the 100 hurdles with a time of 14.81 seconds and went 18 feet, 1 inch in the long jump. She left Mount Tahoma Stadium with a huge grin, but the day began ominously. Her foot nicked the first hurdle in her 300-hurdles preliminary heat and when she landed, her other foot slipped on the rain-slickened track.
“You’d think spikes would help but I found out today in my 300 that they sometimes don’t,” she said.
The reigning state champion in the event, Stueckle regained her and finished first in her heat in 45.52 – her slowest time of the season. The weather was partly to blame for the poor time, but Stueckle didn’t make excuses.
“It’s definitely not the conditions you’re hoping for for the state championships,” she said. “Everyone has to deal with it, so we all work to get what we want.”
Maricich goes 7 feet: Mead senior A.J. Maricich waited a year to get what he wanted – the state high jump crown. Maricich and Kasen Williams of Skyline engaged in a thrilling back-and-forth, just like they did a year ago when Williams won.
Maricich got the best of Williams this time, clearing 7 feet.
“It felt good,” he said. “I wish I could have got 7-2.”
Both jumpers topped 6-10 on their first attempts – no other competitors topped 6-4 – and Maricich did it again when the bar was raised to 7 feet. Williams missed on his first two attempts and slipped on his third. Maricich then went for the 4A meet record – 7-2 – which would have been the highest he had ever gone.
“The second one was there, I just had to be patient over the top,” he said. “I’ll be kicking myself about that one for a couple months.”
All wasn’t lost for Williams, however, as he won the state title in the triple jump earlier in the day with a mark of 47-6.
DeHart wants 100 and 200: Kentwood sprinter Holly DeHart has big plans for the 100- and 200-meter races today. After posting the fast times – 12.52 and 25.13 – in the prelims for both races she is eyeing a pair of state crowns.
“That’s what I came to accomplish,” she said, “and I’m just excited for tomorrow.”
Boys 800 shaping up to be a great race: Jackson senior Grant Grosvenor was the surprise fast qualifier in the boys 800, setting the stage for what should be an entertaining final today.
Two state champions – Puyallup’s Jesse Jorgensen and Kent-Meridian’s Derrick Daigre – plus a few other accomplished runners are in the field.
The state leader in the 100 failed to qualify for the finals. Pasco senior Marques Avery had a bad start and finished fourth in his heat – Spanaway Lake’s Anthony Rathbun, Mount Tahoma’s Darrius Leaphart and Shelton’s Ryan Adams finished 1-2-3. Woodinville senior Anthony Nguyen won the second heat and was the fast qualifier with a time of 11.15 seconds.
Mead freshman Courtney Hutchinson dethroned Jefferson’s Kayla Adams in the shot put. Hutchinson, who tossed 42-6 ¾, followed in the footsteps of older sisters Carissa and Ashley, who also won shot put titles.
Tahoma senior Derek Eager won the boys discus with a toss of 179-10. The UCLA-bound senior is the top seed in the today’s javelin competition, too.
Wenatchee brothers Jacob and Lucas Sealby are the top seeds in the finals of the 400.
Eatonville High School has its second state throws champion – and first since 1983.
All week, senior Stephen Hass has been throwing the javelin in the worst of conditions, in hopes of simulating what it would be Friday morning at Star Track XXVIII.
He was correct.
And it paid off – Hass is the Class 2A boys champion with a throw (third attempt of preliminaries) of 172 feet, 3 inches.
“Just this whole past week, we’ve thrown in the rain and wind every day. It’s been nasty out there – muddy, slipping around,” said Hass, who won the West Central District title last week at 177-3. “Just toughing it out and playing in that helped out.”
• Sumner’s Alex Griffith (163-9), the WCD winner, edged Prairie’s Jon Lawson (163-6) to captured the 3A boys discus title.
• Two of the state’s top sprinters – Franklin Pierce’s Germe Poston (12.43 in 3A) and Blaine’s Cherish Morrison (12.50 in 2A) – were top qualifiers Friday in the 100 meters.
• W.F. West’s Andy Robertson (1:55.51) and Dakota Parker (1:56.79) won their respective preliminaries’ heats, and are the top two qualifiers in the 2A 800 meters.
Round one in the girls 2A shot put went to Steilacoom High’s Shreese Gotel, who captured the WCD title.
But defending champions have a way of finding their form at the right time.
That is what happened to Sequim’s Anna LaBeaume, who popped a personal-best 43-101/2 on her final throw to repeat as the winner.
“She’s been kickng my butt all season, so I needed to show up and defend it,” LaBeaume said.
Gotel was the 2A runner-up at 40-61/4.
• Lexi Morton came out of the gates slowly in the 3A girls 100-meter hurdles finals.
Fifteen meters into the race, she had a thought: This isn’t going as fast as I’d like.
After that, she brushed by the field and grabbed Auburn Mountainview’s first 3A track title by winning in 15.05 – ahead of runner-up Holy Names Academy’s Cecelia Jackson (15.42).
• It’s only qualifying, but Franklin Pierce’s Germe Poston (24.79) has a sizable lead on West Valley of Yakima’s Chantel Jaeger (26.04), who wasn’t going full bore as both sprinters won their respective heats.
Poston is the defending 3A 100 and 200 champion.
• Blaine’s Cherish Morrison is on track to become a repeat winner in all three 2A girls sprints – the 100 (No. 1 time 12.50), 200 (25.24) and 400 (56.29).
• Here’s a rarity sight at the state meet – a standing ovation during a preliminary race. The crowd applauded Rainier Beach’s Michael Berry’s 47.59 in the 3A boys 400, best of the day. This came a night after he ran a 46-second split in the Vikings’ 1,600 relay.
• Clover Park’s Spencer Marr, the 3A leader in the long jump (23-71/4) finished third at 22-1 to Rainier Beach’s Marquis Davis (22-3).
• Site change on a couple of the pole vault events Saturday: The 2A boys will go at Pacific Lutheran University at 11 a.m., followed by the 2A girls at 2:30 p.m.