A bountiful harvest of state medals — including a possible team trophy — loom for Twin Harborites in state track and field meets this weekend.
Most of the action from a Twin Harbors standpoint will be at Cheney, where the state 1A, 2B and 1B meets will be staged concurrently Friday and Saturday.
Aberdeen will send a five-person contingent to the state 2A meet Thursday through Saturday at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma.
Hoquiam was second — albeit a distant second — to King’s of Shoreline in last year’s state 1A boys team competition.
Still possessing considerable first-place punch in the sprints and high jump, the Grizzlies could be in the title mix this year, particularly since King’s graduated some of its top performers.
Hoquiam coach Tim Pelan Sr. is taking a cautious approach to the team race, saying he would be happy with any sort of team hardware. The top four teams earn trophies.
“Ultimately, our goal on the guys side is to win a state championship. We have the potential to do that, but we are realistic enough to realize that things have to be right on for us,” Pelan said. “We could be first; we could be sixth or seventh. It depends how kids perform. I’d like to see us individually do well. The team stuff is secondary.”
Hoquiam junior Cole Smith is one illustration of the uncertainty of state competition.
Smith won the state high jump last year despite failing to capture a sub-district title two weeks earlier. His school-record 6-9 jump at district last Friday represents the state’s 1A mark, but four of the top finishers in last year’s state meet return and figure to provide stiff competition.
The Grizzlies also rank among the favorites in the sprints, but none of their stalwarts own a state-best mark in those events.
Nolan Hoiness ranks second in the 100 meters, with his 10.94 time only an eyelash behind state leader Jake Wiley of Newport. Teammate Tim Pelan Jr. ranks fifth, time-wise, in both the 100 and 200 meters.
Hoquiam’s 4x100-meter relay team of Tyler White, Paul Girts, Pelan and Hoiness has reeled off a season-best time of 45.58. Freeman, the primary competition of Hoquiam’s state championship foursome in that event last year, owns a slightly faster mark, 43.54.
State meets traditionally are marked by major surprises. Here are a few of the notable Twin Harbors contenders.
No Harborite is a bigger state favorite than Montesano’s Tera Novy in the throws.
Shooting for her third consecutive state girls discus crown, the USC-bound senior owns the state’s best all-classification mark of 150-9 in that event.
Novy is also the defending state champion in the shot and her season-best throw of 45-11 1/2 is almost seven feet better than her nearest rival.
Another state leader is Elma’s Joel Stark in the 300 hurdles, with a time of 39.51. He was fourth at state in that event last year, but the three who finished ahead of him were all seniors.
Stark is also a member of Elma’s mile relay team that has the state’s third fastest time.
Elma freshman Natalie Grant is clearly a threat in the sprints, ranking second in the state (12.69) in the 100 and fourth (26.36) in the 200.
Other Hoquiam athletes among the state leaders include Brandon Williams, ranked fourth in the boys long jump, and Alicia Lopez, tied for fifth in the girls long jump. Grizzly sophomore Mikaila Johnson is ranked sixth in the girls high jump, but her top mark of 5-3 is only two inches shy of the state leader.
Hoquiam’s Joseph Winn has moved up fast in the shot put and discus. He ranks sixth statewide in the latter event. Smith and Grizzly teammate Evan Erickson could place in the javelin.
Aberdeen junior Shayna Wilson has emerged as a somewhat late-blooming state contender in the girls javelin. Her top mark of 130-10 ranks second in the state, although her district-winning throw last week was some 20 feet shorter.
Senior Tyson Stipic placed seventh in the boys high jump last year. He’s been plagued by injuries of late, but his season-best mark of 6-2 is tied for sixth among 2A jumpers.
Bobcat distance ace Poli Baltazar ranks fifth in the boys 3,200.
Among the countless Twin Harborites who rank as title contenders include three top-ranked competitors.
Willapa Valley’s David Rockett’s season-best mark of 13 feet in the boys pole vault is tops in the 2B classification by a full foot.
Vikings Michaela Huber, Lauren Friese and Karli Frise rank 1-2-3 in the girls pole vault. Although Huber owns the best mark at 9-9, Lauren Friese won district last week.
Raymond’s Ally Phansisay has the state’s best boys triple jump in that classification at 43-9 3/4.
There are plenty of other area 2B tracksters who rank in the top three in their specialties.
South Bend’s Makenzie Russell finished second in the last year’s girls high jump and has cleared 5-4 this season, but reigning state champion Maddie Magee of Bear Creek is also back and has gone over 5-8.
North Beach’s Gunnar Trygstad ranks second in the 400 meters (50.24) and third in the 200 (22.87). Mossyrock’s Brandon Richardson owns the state’s best mark in the latter event, but Trygstad beat him at district.
Ocosta’s William Helman and South Bend’s Levi Bale ranked second and third, respectively, in the boys shot put with marks of 49-4 and 49-2. Waitsburg-Prescott’s Eshom Estes, runner-up to South Bend’s Kristian Burger last year, is the state leader at 50-10 1/2.
Bale is ranked fourth and Helman fifth in the boys discus.
Raymond senior Hannah Borden demonstrates the rugged nature of Southwest Washington district competition.
Borden is ranked in the top four in the state in all four of her state events, but failed to win an undisputed district title in any of them.
She anchored a sprint relay team that finished a dead heat with Mossyrock and ran second to Adna freshman Regyn Gaffney in the 100 and to Pe Ell standout Alissa Brooks-Johnson in both hurdles.
Borden’s times of 15.41 in the 100 hurdles and 45.16 in the longer hurdles rank second in the state to Brooks-Johnson.
North Beach’s Crystal Lynch ranks third in the girls shot. Raymond’s Alec Oatfield has the fourth-best mark in the javelin, but it was South Bend’s Spencer Case who won district in that event.
Taholah throwers are probably the best Harbor bets `in this classification.
Cecil Capoeman owns a state-best mark in the boys shot put of 50-6 1/2 — four feet farther than his nearest rival. Capoeman was ranked fourth in the discus.
Taholah’s Rachel Cheney is the top-ranked girls javelin thrower with a toss of 122-3.