Knights, Maurauders advance to 4A state meet | Track and field

Senior Stark overcomes injury to defend discus title
By David Pan | May 23, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Mariner’s Suzy Pace (right) placed second in the 100 and 300 hurdles and won the high jump.

The second time around was even sweeter for Matthew Stark.

The Kamiak senior successfully defended his 4A District discus title Friday, May 18, at Shoreline Stadium.

Stark finished first with a throw of 155 feet, 4 inches, not far off from his season’s best throw of 159-02, which took place during the Shoreline/Mukilteo meet earlier this month at Shoreline Stadium.

What made Friday’s victory especially gratifying to Stark was that he was able to overcome a shoulder injury that sidelined him for a month and a half at the start of the season.

“Coming off an injury it’s pretty exciting to come back and win the district title again,” Stark said.

Stark wore a sling for two weeks and then spent the rest of the time rehabbing. He said that he’s back at 100 percent and hoping for a top 8 finish at state.

As a junior, Stark placed ninth at state with a throw of 138-05, well behind the 151-04 he threw a week earlier at the district meet.

“I feel like I probably could have done better,” Stark said. “It was a little overwhelming my first time being there. But this year I hope to feel more comfortable there and compete better.”

Teammates Braden Leary and Cameron Dockens also advanced to state with their second place finishes in the long jump and the pole vault.

Mariner’s Sebastian Wanjiru, Amalawa Aiwekhoe, Prince Riley and Romelo Mangum edged Lake Stevens to win the 400 relay. The Marauders clocked in at 43.12 seconds to place in front of the Vikings, who finished in 43.14. At the Wesco 4A meet, Wanjiru, Aiwekhoe, Robel Anshebo and Mangum placed third in 43.60. As of Monday, May 21, Mariner had not yet decided on the lineup for this week’s state meet. Mangum also finished second in the 200.

Lake Stevens took the team title with 159.5 points and was followed by Jackson (143.5), Glacier Peak 103.5), Kamiak (74) and Mariner (50).

In the girls meet, Kamiak’s Tracey Hatch, Noelle Young, Savannah Congdon and Kailin Wiley won the 400 relay in 49.62 and the 800 relay in 1:44.12. Hatch also finished first in the 400 in a personal record time of 58.75.

“We’re really excited,” Hatch said of the upcoming state meet. “This was our first time doing it with the actual order of the team.”

Hatch enjoys running at Shoreline Stadium.

“For some reason on that track, I have PR’d before,” she said. “I was getting my blocks and I was telling myself that I can do it and that I wanted it. I wanted to win it. I got out fast and then I just kept the lead.”

Hatch hopes to make the podium this season after finishing 10th in the 400 at last year’s state meet.

“This year I want to advance to finals,” Hatch said.

A strong start is key to Hatch’s success.

“For the 400, I get out fast the first 100 meters and then I just try to hold it as much as I can,” she said. “In the home stretch, I think of my form and just finishing.”

Young finished second in the 100 and Congdon was second in the 200. Junior Tara Koonce also placed second in the shot put and senior Ally de La Cruz earned a trip to state with her second place finish in the pole vault. Senior Sarah Nehring placed second in the triple jump. Kamiak’s 1,600 relay team of Abby Kyles, Wiley, Alicia Anderson and Hatch took second.

Anderson finished third in the 3,200 and freshman Isabelle Leonard took third in the high jump. Both advanced to state by surpassing the 4A state qualifying standards.

Mariner senior Suzy Pace won the high jump for the second straight meet with a mark of 5-06, two inches higher than Lake Stevens’ Adrianna Boak. Pace also finished second in the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles. The Mariner standout took home a fourth place medal in the 300 hurdles and a fifth place medal in the high jump at last year’s state meet.

Lake Stevens finished first with 170 points. Kamiak placed second with 156 and was followed by Glacier Peak (128), Jackson (73), Monroe (62) and Mariner (43).

The 4A state track and field championships are scheduled for Thursday through Saturday, May 24-27, at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma.

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