ELMA — In a meet in which no news is often good news, Grays Harbor’s 1A track teams provided plenty of headlines.
Harbor athletes combined to win some two-dozen events while Hoquiam’s boys and Elma’s girls took team honors in the Evergreen 1A League/subdistrict track meet Friday at Elma.
Capturing seven events, the reigning state 1A champion Grizzly boys amassed 161 points to beat runner-up Elma by 49.
“We’re more suited to district-state type (meets), because we don’t have kids in every event,” HHS coach Tim Pelan said. “But the kids we have perform at a very high level.”
The youthful Elma girls, meanwhile, scored heavily in the sprints and jumps to nip Montesano, 104-100, in the team standings.
“We’re so young. We only had one senior here today, the rest are freshmen and sophomores,” a beaming Eagle coach Dave Beeler noted, praising his assistant coaches for their contributions. “I thought all the girls stepped up huge today. Two or three years ago, we were only scoring 10 points per meet.”
Montesano, meanwhile, went a perfect 6-0 in distance races, with Gabrielle Rudolph and Tyson Lovell registering triples in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters.
Advancing top athletes and averting disasters are always the top priorities in subdistrict meets. Happily, the Harbor schools met those goals, with no major casualties. The top four in laned running events and top six in other events advance to district next Friday at Rainier.
There were, however, also an ample number of outstanding performances.
Perhaps the meet’s highlight was provided by Hoquiam senior Cole Smith in his less-celebrated event.
The reigning two-time state champion in the boys high jump, Smith won that event yesterday but with a subpar mark of 5-10.
Earlier, however, he uncorked a mammoth throw of 191-8 — a personal best by some 13 feet and the best 1A mark in the state this season — to nab the javelin. Teammate Evan Erickson also cracked the 180-foot barrier with a mark of 181 feet, as a slight tailwind aided the throwers.
“They push each other, they don’t like to lose to one another,” Pelan said with a grin. “It’s self-motivation (even though) they’re good friends.”
Hoquiam’s Nolan Hoiness and Devin Kelly exchanged wins in the sprints. Hoiness took the 100 meters convincingly with a wind-aided time of 10.75 (all times, incidentally, were hand-held as a technology malfunction wiped out the automatic timing system). Kelly held off his senior teammate to take the 200 with an excellent mark of 22.34.
Hoiness and Kelly also joined Paul Girts and Tyler White on a winning sprint relay team. The Grizzlies were clocked in 44.6, although at least one bystander unofficially had them breaking 44 seconds.
Hoquiam’s Kenny Huffman established a personal best by nearly 20 feet in taking the boys discus in 134-10 1/2. Teammate Richard Thompson nabbed the triple jump at 38-4 1/2.
The Grizzly girls won the 4x100 and 4x200 relays, while Olivia Rose bounded 34-5 in winning the girls triple jump.
Strong showings by Natalie Grant and Bethany Lipska helped pace Elma’s girls team triumph.
Lipska doubled in the high jump and long jump — going 1-2 with teammate Maddie Thompson in the latter event with a winning mark of 15-2. She and Hoquiam’s Mikaila Johnson each cleared 5 feet in the high jump, but Lipska (who made that height on her first attempt) prevailed on fewer misses.
Grant, rounding into excellent late-season form, beat a fast field in the girls 100 at 12.69 and outdueled Hoquiam’s Savannah Smith in the 200 with a time of 26.37.
On the boys side, Elma’s Ray Stark predictably registered a decisive victory in the long hurdles (40.8) and ran a strong anchor leg to overtake Montesano’s Reed Hughes in the stretch of the mile relay.
Elma’s Erick Atkins won the boys long jump with a leap of 19-0.
Monte’s Lovell and Rudolph ran away with the distance events and were challenged only in their final individual races of the day.
After winning the girls 3,200 in 11:33.71 and the 1,600, Rudolph hooked up in a dandy duel with Forks’ Kari Larson in the 800. A close second entering the final lap, Larson briefly took the lead with about 200 meters remaining, but Rudolph quickly regained the advantage prior to the final turn and won going away in 2:26.75.
She also ran a 65-second split in the concluding mile relay.
“Gaby today was like a machine,” Monte girls coach Doug Schupbach said. “That’s the strongest I’ve seen her run.”
Lovell similarly breezed in the boys 800 (2:04.21) and 1,600 (4:39.22). He was pressed by Forks’ Hugo Lucas for much of the 3,200, but pulled away in the concluding 2 1/2 laps.
Monte’s other victory came from Matthew Peoples in the boys pole vault, contested earlier in the week at Montsano.
Schupbach also cited the performance of Kaitlyn Bradley, who finished second in the girls shot put.
Summaries will be reported in Sunday’s edition.