The Greater Spokane League District Meet got underway today at Spokane Fall Community College. The two-day meet is used as a qualifying meet for both 3A and 4A classification to the East Region Meet next week in Yakima. Most of the events held today on the track were preliminary heats with finals tomorrow. There were finals in the some field events and the 3200 meters where the 3A qualifies eight to Regionals and the 4A only five.
3A Boys: A group of four edged away from the rest of the field in what turned out to be a very tactical race for the3A boys. The group included NC’s Ben Johnston and Vince Hamilton, Shadle’s Nathan Weitz, and Mt. Spo’s Allan Schroeder. The foursome came through the first mile in 4:53 and pace reminded pedestrian until the sixth lap then Johnston took off. NC’s Coach Knight “we are just focusing on qualifying for Regionals and working on the final two laps.” Johnston ran the last 800 in 2:09 on his way to a winning time of 9:24.59. Schroeder came back on Weitz in the final 50 meters to get second. Hamilton finished up fourth.
4A Boys: In contrast to the strategic 3A boys race the 4A boys got after it right from the start with Ferris’s Adam Thorne jumping out to the quick lead. Thorne’s said his goal was to “break 9:00 here then focus on qualifying for State next week.” He led the pack through the first lap in 1:05. The pressure by Thorne continued after the first lap, which splintered the pack. A lead group of six which included Thorne, Mead’s Andrew Gardner, Ferris’s Alex Kimsey and Tim Colliton, and University’s Jon Smith and Christian Bucko blistered the first mile in 4:29. Thorne and Gardner pulled away from the others. Gardner raced a stride behind Thorne until the final lap where the freshman made a huge move with 250 meters to go, which prompted a gasp from the crowd in the stands. Gardner was able to gain a slight advantage over the senior but Thorne had another gear down the final straight-away and won by a stride in 9:06.11. Gardner finished in 9:06.75, which is the all time best in Washington for a freshman. The previous best was set by Blanchet’s Cajh Hafferty in 1985 with a time of 9:10.46. Kimsey finished alone third, Lewis & Clark's Kenji Bierig worked his way up to fourth out leaning U-hi’s Jon Smith and Ferris’s Perry Domini.
3A Girls: The girls’ 3A race was very similar to the boys’ 3A with runners focused on next week. NC’s Katie Knight and Shadle’s Kendra Weitz took the lead right from the start and cruised through each lap running consistent 12:00 3200 pace. Taking a cue from her teammate Johnston, Knight also worked on pushing her last two laps. Knight pulled away from her classmate to victory in 11:29.35. Weitz finished in 11:44.06. Shadle’s Andrea Nelson dogged by injury most of season and supporting a taped leg finished in third ahead of teammates Chelsea Chandler, and Megan Inman.
4A Girls: With only five qualifying to Regionals the 4A girls, like the boys, got after it from the start. Mead’s Danielle Moldonado took the early lead and pressed the pace, which casued a small pack to form. The pack included Moldonado, CV’s Jamie Lambie and Kiah Condos, Ferris’s Kara Walther, and LC’s Allison Keenan. Lambie took over the pace setting but couldn’t shake the group. In the final lap Walther made a move to go by Lambie on the back stretch and the pair got a little daylight on Condos and Keenan. Down the final straight-away Keenan fought back to get the win in 11:37.67 and dragged Condos with her who finished in 11:37.92. Walther slipped ahead of Lambie for third and fourth. LC’s Hannah Allen picked up the final qualifying spot.
Long jump: Mt. Spokane jumpers dominated the 3A boys’ competition going 1 – 5 with Shane Concepcion getting the win with a 21-10.5 jump over Ryan Greenwood’s 21-8.75. In girls 4A competition Mead’s Jazmine Redmon got the win set a new school record with a jump of 17-8.5.
Javelin: Lewis & Clark’s Caity Cunningham eked out the five inch victory in the 4A girls’ competition. Her throw of 133-5 was done on the final attempt and was just ahead of Jaz Crum from Gonzaga at 133-0 and CV’s Shannon Johnson at 132-6.
Pole Vault: Mead swept the top three spots in the 4A vault with Jared Wehde getting the win with a vault of 14-0. Michael Green won the tie break over Hayden Douglass at 13-6.
High Jump: Jazmine Brown from Gonazaga set a new school record on her way to victory with a jump of 5-4.