At the Top of Their Game

At the top of their game
Three Everett track athletes rank No. 1 in the state in their events

By Bob Mortenson
Herald Writer

EVERETT - It seemed appropriate for Everett javelin thrower Rick Gervasi to get right to the point.

\"Last year at state I was favored,\" Gervasi said during practice at Everett Memorial Stadium last week. \"I\'d been having elbow problems towards the end of the season. When I tried to gun my first throw it just killed my elbow.\"

The result was a struggle to a fourth-place finish for Gervasi, who, with a throw of 196 feet, 9 inches, is one of three Seagulls\' seniors returning as the top-ranked athlete in their respective events in Class 4A this season.

In addition to Gervasi, the Everett boys team features Spencer Warfield, who is ranked No. 1 in the discus (174-3).

The Everett girls team is led by Cori Moore, the fastest 4A returnee at 800 meters (2 minutes, 11.36 seconds), who placed third at last spring\'s state meet.

Gervasi and Warfield are the most highly touted members of a deep and talented Everett boys squad, which is seeking its third consecutive district championship.

The Seagulls\' strengths include sprinter Andrew Skorney, a 2005 state qualifier at 100 meters. Also back are Matt Kaftanski and Axel Stanovsky, who each qualified for state last year in the 800.

Everett coach Doug Hall has overseen the resurrection of a program, which endured a drought of more than 40 years before claiming both the Western Conference South Division and district titles in both 2004 and 2005.

\"We waited a long time for that first one so that was sweet,\" Hall said. \"I think the only thing harder was getting the repeat.\"

Insiders credit Hall for the resurgence.

\"We\'re one of the smallest schools in Wesco 4A and he\'s got 95 kids out,\" assistant coach Bruce Overstreet said of Hall. \"It\'s amazing what he does with these kids.\"

Gervasi - who has undergone three left-knee surgeries in four years, including a procedure to repair torn cartilage in his left knee last November - is bent on earning a state title and maybe more.

\"It would not surprise me if he flirts with the all-time state record,\" Hall said of the 211-foot toss put up by Michael Davis of King\'s in 2004.

\"I\'m pretty confident I can get it,\" said Gervasi. \"I\'ve got the jav painted in school colors to get the hype and emotion going.\"

The intricacies of throwing the javelin didn\'t come easily to Gervasi.

\"It was weird. When I first learned I felt like a ballerina in a sense,\" said Gervasi, who is ranked No. 10 nationally among high school athletes.

\"But, then the jav just clicked for me.\"

Warfield, who saw his football season end after just three games last fall when he suffered a dislocated shoulder and a hyper-extended elbow, only took up throwing the discus last year - his first throw traveled 114 feet - and is still mastering the craft.

\"Last year I was the new kid who came out of nowhere,\" said Warfield, who with a throw of 53-9.5 is a threat to the Everett school record in the shot put.

\"I really like both events,\" said Warfield, who squats 530 pounds and bench presses 300 pounds. \"You can get all jacked up to throw the shot, but the discus is more about athleticism.\"

Leading the Everett girls is Moore, who recorded her fastest time when she placed second at the state meet as a sophomore.

\"Definitely I\'m pumped up,\" said Moore, who carries a 3.7 grade point average and has committed to run for the University of Portland, where she expects to major in music or education. \"Our team is going to be a lot better.\"

\"My boy throwers are great and will probably be state champions,\" Hall said.

\"But, (Moore\'s) in a different league. She\'s an amazing, phenomenal runner, and beautiful to watch.\"