Pasco Invitational

Nicholas Boersma & Marcus Dickson

      Teams from Idaho &Oregon joined the hosts and a score of Washington teams in yet another fine edition of a meet, which has records from the 1960s.   There was plenty of action on a pleasant day, which seemed quite warm after a less than awesome spring and with of a hundred teams on hand there was a high quality to the competition.   The Pasco meet is such a well run meet with great standards that one retired reporter returned to make this event his twentieth straight Pasco.   He certainly was not disappointed in the day’s action, as there was almost too much to see.   Given the duration of the meet and its long-standing excellence of athletes, it is difficult to establish a new meet record but Anandae Clark of Lakeside not only managed the feat but also established a new State record in the process, when she cleared thirteen feet in the Pole Vault.  Despite her record Elizabeth Quick of Richland was not all that far behind, as she topped twelve feet in the event.  Courtney Bray of Mount Spokane placed third with a fine mark of 11-09.    Austin Sodorff of Woodinville claimed the guys’ version with his vault of 15-06 and Dylan Johnson of Jesuit edged Blane Neumann of Mead on misses with both clearing fifteen feet.

     The was celebratory dancing near the High Jump pit after Melissa Merrill soared 5-08 to earn a victory in the event with a new personal best performance, which was not far off the meet’s record.  She now will set her sights positively on 5-09.  Audrey Ketcham of Wenatchee took second with 5-06.  Dakarai Hightower of Curtis cleared seven feet in the boy’s high jump but was still in the pit, when the bar fell. Yes there was a solid breeze at times, which may well have impacted his effort!    He was credited with a winning jump of 6-10 and will confidently set his sights on the magic barrier in his next meet.    

Melissa Merrill

     Fans of distance running had plenty to savor especially with the elite fields in the Mile event.  The guys’ event was surely an event of national significance and Marcus Dickson of White River added another plaque to his growing collection this year with an impressive time of 4:09.   Marcus, who won the Brooks PR Invitational and usually has a style utilizing a late kick surprised the field and this reporter by taking out the pace from the gun.  He pushed the pace through a first lap of 63 and was followed by Keith Williams of North Central & Dallin Farnsworth of Highland.  Marcus then followed that with a 64 for a combined 800M split of 2:07.  Dallin Farnsworth led the group of contenders at the time, that included  Williams, Jacob Smith of Wenatchee, Farnsworth plus Izaic Yorks of Lakes.   In spite of his early speed Marcus had plenty left in the tank and he upped the ante to a brisk 61 second third lap, which dropped everyone except Erik Harris of Twin Falls, who had placed second at the Chandler Invitational in Arizona a few weeks ago.   Anyone hoping that Dickson would come back to the field had to be disappointed, when the White River star turned on the jets and blazed the final lap in 58 seconds to win in a national class time of 4:09.01.  Later the mark was converted into meters and he became the new Pasco record-holder for the 1600 Meters with a mark of 4:07.57.  

    As strong as that effort was Erik Harris came close to matching Marcus, as he sped home in 4:10.15.  At first we thought, that he had broken into the 4:09 realm but he was tantalizingly close.  Korey Krotzer of Riverside, who might have preferred a slightly slower early pace,  closed fast to garner third in a brisk 4:10.20.  Lakes’ Izaic Yorks was not far behind with his fourth place effort of 4:11 and Foot Locker national finalist Dallin Farnsworth, who ran 8:55 for Two Miles at Arcadia, crossed the finish line in 4:13.    Jacob Smith, whose training has been compromised by injury, showed that he is returning to form with his sixth place mark of 4:13, which was a second better than Joe Hardy of Seattle Prep.   Blake Nelson of Henry Jackson followed with 4:15 as he edged Cody Curtis of Coeur d’ Alene, who had a second to spare over Keith Williams.   Alex Kinsey of Ferris rounded out the top eleven finishers and Anthony Armstrong, who is still dealing with some physical issues, followed in twelfth with 4:23.  It was an excellent race and Curtis probably best summarized the spirit of the meet as well as the day, when he stated that I’d rather place ninth with a good time than win with a time five seconds slower.

     It was a prestigious group that toed the line in the Elite Mile for young ladies and Katie Knight of North Central led the field through an opening lap of 73 seconds.   Knight, who has been on a roll including a State record in Cross Country, was challenged early by Maddie Meyers of The Northwest School and Jordan McPhee of Mount Rainier.  Jordan, who is just coming off a stellar basketball campaign, is probably a little lower in base mileage and finally yielded a bit after 1200 Meters leaving Meyers and Knight to argue over first.   Katie opened a gap over the ensuing 400M to win in 4:51 – a time, that probably was compromised by the surprising heat.  Maddie, one of the few four-time State champions in national cross country history, followed in second with a fine time of 4:53 and Lily Engelbrekt of Bishop Blanchet secured third with a break-through effort of 4:55.  McPhee ran 5:00.99 to hold fourth and Lauren Perry of Richland placed fifth (5:02)  Woodinville’s Chandler Olson, who also ran last weekend in Arcadia, finished sixth in 5:03 and Morgan Willson of Colfax followed a second later.    Megan Beauchene of Kamiakin, winner of the earlier Richland Invitational, took eighth in 5:04 edging Sanne Holland of Cheney (5:04) & Marina Roberts of Kingston (5:05).

Knight leads elite Mile

       Meyers came back late in the afternoon in 3200 but conditions had changed.  Instead of the bright Sun making it feel warmer than it was, especially given recent weather, the temperature was more pleasant but a rather brisk wind had begun, that made it more of a challenge on the far turn.   Maddie was challenged early by the diminutive Kendra Weitz of Shadle Park, who ran at her side.  Following the pair were Marina Roberts of Kingston, Adrienne Demaree of Jesuit & & Jessica Rawlings of Jackson.  The first lap went in 78 and in the ensuing circuit Meyers gained a slight lead over Weitz, who was joined by Roberts in a duel for second.  Morgan Wilson of Colfax joined the conversation at that time & was followed by Demaree.  Meyers began to assert herself and by the end of 1200M had opened up a slight gap over Weitz, who was the only remaining challenger, as Roberts, Demaree, Wilson & Lindsey Bradley of Richland were relegated to argue over third place a good fifteen yards behind the leaders.    Meyers reached the half-way point in 5:20 and Weitz was another ten meters back.  Kendra, who has been hampered by a breathing issue of unknown causes, valiantly tried to fight through another recurrence and began to falter at that time.  She gallantly tried to fight through the issue but after five laps had fallen a good thirty meters back and was now joined by Wilson, who was shadowed by Roberts.    Demaree & Bradley remained another ten meters back locked in their own private duel.   In the end Maddie celebrated a victory in the event for the second straight year, although the wind made it difficult to challenge her record of the previous year.  Her winning time was 10:47, which gave her a 21 second margin over a somewhat surprising Morgan Willlson, who ran a PR of 11:08.  The always game Marina Roberts placed third in 11:11 and Adrienne Demaree claimed fourth in 11:18.   Bradley followed a second later to garner fifth ahead of Stephanie Rexus of Kamiakin, who was clocked in 11:28.

Roberts, Meyers & Weitz in 3200

     The guys’ 3200 Meter was a battle of determination, which was clearly displayed on the faces of Andrew Gardner of Mead & Nathan Weitz of Shadle Park.  Nathan went to the lead almost from the gun and was trailed by Gardner plus Kai Wilmot of North Central.  Santos Vargas of Eisenhower & David Leavy of Jesuit were the only other runners to maintain contact, as the rest of the field dropped back early.   Another circuit would allow for little change with Weitz leading Gardner, while Wilmot, Vargas & Leavy followed in close pursuit.   The third lap saw Leavy fall off the pace leaving only a quartet in contention but soon the relentless pace of Weitz forced all but Gardner to give up the challenge.  Over the next 800 meters the effort was etched on both Weitz’ & Gardner’s face with the underclass runner refusing to yield but in the end the Shadle star  drew away to win convincingly in 9:03.   Although he had not reached his goal of sub nine minutes it was a solid victory as well as time given the wind.   Gardner ran the last lap a bit distressed due to his earlier effort, yet he refused to yield to the fast closing Wilmot, who lost 9:06.63 to 9:06.74.  Connor McCandless of Gonzaga Prep moved late to take a distant fourth in 9:28 and Dayde Collins of Deer park & Austin Frostad of North Central earned fifth i&  sixth.  Santos Vargos, paying a bit for his earlier challenge garnered seventh in 9:30 ahead of Joel Estelle of Lewis & Clark, while David Leavy came in ninth in front of Aaron Roe of Jackson.

Weitz leads Gardner, Wilmot, Vargas & Leavy

    Middle distance runners get a bonus at Pasco, because there is also a 1600 Meter race.   Kyra Burke of Inglemoor took advantage of the situation by pulling away late in the event to take first in 5:07.  Coming in second was Rose Chrsiten of Central Kitsap, who ran 5:08.  Hazel Carr of the Northwest School in Seattle ran 5:11 to edge Jess Mildes of Riverside, as both were credited with versions of 5:11.    Nicholas Boersma of Wenatchee ran a cautious race in the guys’ version and cruised home to triumph in a time of 4:20.59.  Summer Goodwin of Lewis & Clark finished second in and Stephen Bottoms of Onalaska earned third.  Mead’s Daniel Schofield ran 4:24.35 and Idaho junior Kaden Clay secured fifth with 4:24.   Boersma came back in the 800 Meters and was able to be more aggressive, as he earned laurels with 1:55.   Keith Williams of North Central &  Hap Emmons of King’s followed in second & third. respectively.   Katie Knight was another athlete to double and she battled Megan Beauchene of Kamiakin in the 800 Meters. Both ran 2:14 and change.   Beauchene edged Knight for the victory as Stephanie Spiekerman of Bishop Blanchet followed in third with 2:15.           

  Nicholas Boersma

  Action in the 400 Meters was stout but Wes Bailey of mead was the winner and the only runner to break 49 seconds (48.59).  Byron Howell of Garfield was just over that mark with 49.01 and Kris Durr of Emerald Ridge ran 49.50 for third.  Bailey also was victorious in the 200 Meter Dash with a time of 22.00.  Marketh Harris of Nathan hale ran 22.24 for second.    Kamiakin’s Ellie Heiden is only a sophomore yet she topped her elders in the 400M with a fine 56.87 and, like Bailey, triumphed in the 200M (25.46).  Whitney Diggs of Highline ran 57.09 for second & Jessica Crisp (58.91) of Riverside was third.   Brandi Williams followed Heiden in the 200 meters in 25.46.  Marketh Harris had more success in the 100 meter Dash, which he won with 11.03 – nipping Byron Howell, who ran 11.15.  The girls’ 100M went to Kennadi Bouyer of Curtis whose 12.29 edged Madelayne Varela of Kentwood (12.56)

Ellie Heiden - 400

Aaron Castle of Newport (Wa) “tweaked” his wrist early in the day, which compromised his avowed goal of topping 70 in the Shot Put.  Still he won the competition with a solid 62-10 with Dennis Christensen of Richalnd placing second.   Joshua Syrotchen of Lewis & Clark scored in the Discus with 17900 and Sam Hilmes of Mead took advantage of Sean Keller’s (Heritage) absence in the Javelin to annex that title with 187-05.  Courtney Hutchinson of mead won the girls’ Shot with 44-11.5 and Bothell’s Alex Hadley topped the Javelin field with 140-04, while Madison Seaman of Coeur d’Alene gave Idaho a victory in the Discus with 132-10.

     The Jesuit Crusaders of Oregon scored a victory in the Distance Medley with a time of 10:30.51.  The team made up of Hunter McGuirk, Sam Remington, Ryan Stevens & David Leavy topped Lewis & Clark, which ran 10:32) and Deer Park.   The Auburn Riverside girls with Rachel Atwood claimed the girls’ DM with 12:23.91.  Also on the team were Cassidy Brown, Lauren Saunders & Rachel Covey.  Second went to Henry Jackson with 12:39 and Jesuit finished in third with 12:43.  Mackenzie Mathews of Jesuit won the girls’ Low Hurdles with 14.67 as Capital’s (Id) Jade Childs was second with 14.78.  Morgan Struble of CDA went 14.77 for third.  Struble bounced back to score in the 300 Hurdles in 43.97.  Brandi Williams of AR topped her team mate Ali Rodseth  in the Long Jump 18-07 to 18-02, while Courtney Bray of Mt. Spokane was right behind with 18-00.  Curtis leaper Kelly Cronin was the best in the Triple Jump with 38-01.   The boys’ versions of the jumps went to Davia Barlow of Mead (22-01) and Justin Peterson of Lakewood (44-04)    

Farnsworth, Dickson & Harris

Krotzer, Olson, Meyers & Dickson