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Pole position: Mount Si sends nine to state track finals
With the post-season entering its final stretch, Jimbo Davis, Danielle Curley and Lexi Swanson spent a recent sunny spring afternoon at Mount Si High School, honing their craft.
The three teens—Davis is a junior, Curley a freshman, Swanson a senior—are pole vaulters, and are part of what is the school’s strongest vaulting contingent in years.
Davis and Swanson, both statebound after recent strong showings at league and districts, excel at going vertical. Both have pole vaulters in their families. Swanson is Mount Si’s most experienced gymnast-vaulter, while Davis is a football player whose verticality will benefit his fall season.
Both want to be on a state podium next weekend.
“It’s always the goal, whatever it takes,” Davis said. “I’m not looking for a height, just to be competitive.”
Left, junior Bradly Stevens winds up for a throw. The record-holding Stevens heads to state after dominating districts at javelin. Courtesy Photo
Six girls and three boys are statebound this weekend for the Mount Si track team.
The Wildcat boys and girls teams took eighth and 12th, respectively, at the 3A Sea-King District Championships, held May 18 at the Southwest Athletic Complex in Seattle.
Besides Davis and Swanson, Mount Si is sending school record-holding javelin thrower Bradly Stevens, shot thrower Kolton Auxier, hurdler Ashley Jackson, and the 4-by-400 relay team of Abbey Bottemiller, Jesse Guyer, Karlie Hurley and Christina Volken, to state.
Senior Brian Copeland has an alternate spot in discus, while Sydney Leonard took an alternate slot in shot.
Stevens topped all challengers with a 202-foot, four-inch javelin toss. He had already broken the school record, set by his brother Kyle, Class of ‘09, a few weeks ago. His father holds the old unrestricted-flight Mount Si javelin record,
“I just try to do my best, every day,” the junior said. “You’re never as far as you can throw. You can always do better.”
Stevens dreams of getting to 205 feet by the end of the season, and has another year of high school to improve himself, while helping younger teammates rise.
“It’s fun to teach them how to do it,” said Stevens, who praised his “amazing coaches,” Dave Ovall and Jan Olaf.
Auxier took second at shot with a 51-foot, 3.75-inch put. At discus, Copeland took sixth with a 137-foot, 3-inch toss.
Jackson took third in the 300 hurdles with a time of 47.32. Mount Si took fifth in the 4-by-400 with a time of 4:06.41.
Leonard took sixth with a 31-foot, 10-inch put.
At this year’s league meet, eight of the 16 girls who qualified—half the field—for competition were from Mount Si. Two of the four Mount Si athletes who advanced to district were Wildcats, with one in sixth place and two others tied for eighth.
Two of the freshman girls set the all-time freshman vault record this year.
Mount Si head track coack Gregg Meyers describes his vaulting group as the cream of the local crop.
“We are the different level,” he said.
Several of the girls vaulters come from gymnastics—“They’re not afraid of doing something upside down,” Meyers said.
At districts, held last week at Seattle’s Southwest Athletic Complex, Davis took third with his 13-foot vault at districts, while Swanson had fourth with a nine-foot, six-inch vault.
Swanson has vaulted throughout her high school career, as has Davis.
“Sometimes I get nervous before meets,” Swanson said. Her family “pumps me up and make sure I’m relaxed and confident.”
Davis is the opposite.
“I don’t get serious before sporting events,” he explains. “I play better when I’m out there, having fun with friends.”
• WIAA State Track championships are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Mount Tahoma Stadium, 4634 S. 74th St., Tacoma. Learn more at http://www.tacoma.k12.wa.us/information/departments/athletics/Pages/WIAA2A,3A,4ATrackandFieldChampionships.aspx.