Sports

Wildcats take on the best

Owen Strom hands off to Frank McLaughlin in the last leg of the 4-by-400 relay last Saturday, May 24, at state. The team finished sixth overall. McLaughlin set a school record in the 400 meter preliminaries during competition, breaking his own record from last year’s state meet. - Dan Borin / Courtesy photo
Owen Strom hands off to Frank McLaughlin in the last leg of the 4-by-400 relay last Saturday, May 24, at state. The team finished sixth overall. McLaughlin set a school record in the 400 meter preliminaries during competition, breaking his own record from last year’s state meet.
— image credit: Dan Borin / Courtesy photo

The Mount Si High School boys’ and girls’ track teams took a good-sized contingent of athletes over to the Tri-Cities last weekend for the state 3A track meet at Edgar Brown Stadium in Pasco.

The Wildcats fared well against the best in the state.

Wildcat girls’ coach Dave Clifford had planned for a solid performance.

“Our goal was to medal everybody that we [took] over there. Last year we only got one medal,” Clifford said.

Last Friday’s results were strong, as several athletes did well in their preliminary competitions and advanced to Saturday’s finals. In events with finals held last Friday, Mount Si had good results.

First, in the girls’ side, in the long jump, Symone Shaw finished seventh with a jump of 16 feet, 7 1/4 inches, while Helen Hasbun landed a 15th place score with a jump of 15 feet, 4 1/2 inches. Alisha Larion finished ninth in the shot put with a throw of 35 feet, 3 1/4 inches.

On the boys’ side, Brandon Roddewig finished 15th in the pole vault, with a throw of 12 feet, six inches.

In the preliminary events, Diane Keller, Frank McLaughlin, the boys 4-by-400 relay team of Colin Alexander, Owen Strom, Drake da Ponte and McLaughlin, and the girls 4-by-200 team of Hasbun, Katie Woolsey, Kayla McLain and Natalie Opsvig qualified for the finals by placing high in their preliminary events.

However, Alexander and da Ponte failed to qualify for the finals in their individual events, and thus their only chance at a Saturday medal would be in the relay. For Alexander, getting ready for his first state meet was all about taking things one day at a time.

“I just take it all as it comes to me,” he said. “I think, take it one race at a time.”

For the girls’ team as a whole, getting prepared for the state meet is a season-long responsibility.

“Throughout the year, we do hard-core practices,” Hasbun said. “Then at the end, we want to save our legs, so we do more easy stuff and usually just some short sprints. Since I’m also a jumper, I do some run-throughs to get my jumping marks right.”

Last Saturday, the finals proved to be a nice end for the season, as the Wildcat competitors all did well.

For the girls, Keller finished fifth in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 15.13 seconds, while the ladies’ 4-by-200 team came in sixth, clocking in at 1:46.06.

The boys continued that strong performance, with McLaughlin finishing fourth in the 400 meter race with a 49.71 second time, and in third in the 200 meter with a time of 22.28. The 4-by-400 boys relay squad came in sixth in their final event, clocking a time of 3:26.90. Kyle Stevens closed things out with an 11th place tally in the javelin, with a throw of 175-01.

Mount Si scored 14 points total as a team on the boys’ side, and took a tie for 15th with Mount Spokane, Liberty, and Seattle Prep as a result. The Wildcat girls scored nine points, putting them in 23rd as a team all by themselves. North Central from Spokane won the boys’ team title, while Kamiakin, from right across the river in Kennewick, edged out both Skyline and Eastmont of East Wenatchee for the girls’ team title.

The excellent results speak volumes about how strong Wildcat track has been this season.

“It’s just an incredible program,” Woolsey said. “I think we have the best coaches in the state. Our throwing staff is amazing and our sprinting coaches are (among) the best, so I feel that it’s just going to get better and better.”

Hasbun has advice for future track athletes who want to replicate the success seen by present day Wildcats: “If you join, don’t think it’s a joke, because we take it really seriously,” she said.

Senior da Ponte had this message for the Valley community: “Expect great things to keep coming out of Mount Si track.”

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