Bellarmine girls: team first

FULL STORY - Tacoma News Tribune-

PASCO – There was a bit of extracurricular pointing toward the sky by the Bellarmine Prep girls track and field team as it was presented its trophy for winning the Class 4A championship Saturday.

The girls were tired.

They were somewhat relieved.

And they were still fuming.

The Lions achieved their goal of winning the 4A team title for the second time, and first since 2005, but the way they went about it? That was something coach Matt Ellis never figured on.

“As a coach ... you figure out how to script a run at a championship,” Ellis said. “And nothing went according to that plan.”

With 761/2 points, Bellarmine Prep ended Gig Harbor’s reign as 4A champion. The Tides were runners-up with 65 points in what turned out to be a two-team battle.

Heritage High of Vancouver (50) won its first 4A boys title, with Todd Beamer (38) running second.

In two days, South Sound athletes captured 14 titles in 4A competition, 12 in individual events at Edgar Brown Stadium.

None came from the Lions camp, even with two defending state champions in senior Nicole Cochran (1,600 and 3,200 meters) and junior Shaquana Logan (100 and 300 hurdles).

Bellarmine thought it had one Friday night when Cochran ran away in the 3,200, but she was disqualified for running on the inside line of the first lane for three consecutive steps.

Cochran never seemed herself after that. She lost the 1,600 on Saturday on the final lap when Oak Harbor’s Mietra Smollack out-kicked her on the final turn to win in 4 minutes, 56.44 seconds.

Hours later, the Harvard-bound Cochran was in the 800 field. She ran in last place for much of the race, won by Gig Harbor’s Anna Kalbrener (2:13.86).

“(On Friday), I gave a lot of physical effort in the 3,200. And then there was the emotional toll afterward sitting here for a whole hour while they got the 3,200 figured out, which was unfortunate because I know I wasn’t in the wrong and I got penalized for it,” Cochran said.

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