CHENEY — Throughout the spring, Raymond’s boys track &field team piled up wins in dual meets and invitationals by sheer numbers and talent on its roster.
On Saturday, the Gulls used the same approach at the state 2B track &field championships and came away with a historic win at Roos Field at Eastern Washington University in Cheney.
Raymond brought nine athletes — all of them scored championship points — and held off the field to claim the state 2B boys team title, its first since 1969.
The Gulls’ team title wasn’t the only championship claimed by Twin Harbors athletes on Saturday. In all, 11 individual event titles were won by Harborites.
Elma’s Ray Stark and Wishkah’s Keigan Gardiner each claimed two individual event wins, while the same four girls comprised Hoquiam’s two title-winning relay teams.
Raymond and North Beach each had state team title aspirations when they walked on to the Roos Field track on Saturday.
The Gulls used multiple qualifiers to tally up points early in the meet, with the Hyaks grabbing points as well and one individual state title — junior Caleb Bridge outthrowing the field in the discus (166-10).
After Bridge’s win in the discus, the Hyaks closed the gap to within six points of the Gulls in the team race. Raymond, however, got the cushion it needed in the 200m sprint.
Rayce Newman, top seeded in the event, broke a 19-year-old school record to edge out North Beach’s Carson Ketter by .02 seconds to win at 22.68 seconds. Jesse Buchanan held the previous school record in 1995, also a state-winning title.
“That was huge,” Raymond head coach Mike Tully said. “That was enough of a cushion to where the only way anyone could get us was for us to be DQ’d in the 4x400 relay and North Beach won it. We had a sense early in the day that we were in a good position, but we really didn’t know until the 200m. If Rayce didn’t win, we may have won the state team title without an individual event win.”
In the 4x400m relay, Elliott Murdock, Hunter Borden, James Hamilton and Alex Vaca took fifth, edging out North Beach, to clinch the team title.
“After the conclusion of the 200m dash, it was clear Raymond was going to win the title,” North Beach head coach Bob Wiley said. “We almost pulled it off. All of our boys stepped it up and almost caught Raymond. Give the Seagulls their due — they got it done. All in all, its been a good season for the Hyaks — 19 of our kids (more than 50 percent of our program) including alternates qualified for state.”
One key result for the Gulls came in the triple jump — senior Ally Phansisay reset his own school record to finish second at 44-8, giving Raymond a few more points. Tully cited Phansisay for overcoming an up-and-down experience at state from the past to finish high in the event.
“We knew (North Beach) were strong,” Tully said. “It was nice to see two Pacific League teams up there on the stand with top-four finishes. All year, it has been our depth, having guys in multiple events and doing well. That’s how we do it. This was truly a team win. I told the kids at the first practice that they had a chance to do something special. I’m glad they proved me correct.”
South Bend’s Makenzie Russell overcame a near-miss on Friday — coming in second to Raymond’s Hannah Dykes in the triple jump — to win the high jump. The Indians finished seventh overall in the team race.
Russell went clean on her first high jump up until 5-3, where she hit her second jump to win.
“She did what she had to do and she did exactly what we wanted her to do,” South Bend head coach Steve Lazelle said. “I told her just to be clean, because we thought it would come down to misses. She did well. It is always fun to see the kids compete over here.”
Lazelle cited all of his seniors, thanking them for their work and performances this season and through their careers.
Elma’ Ray Stark put down his best races of his season on Saturday and walked away with two individual titles — good enough to claim the top points scorer in the state 1A boys meet with 21 1/4 points.
In the 100m, Stark’s takeoff was more than enough to leave the field fighting for second place as he reset the 15-year-old meet record at 10.86 seconds. Matt Isbell of Bellevue Christian set the old record in 1999 at 10.88.
Stark made it a double with a “nearly perfect” run in the 300m intermediate hurdles for the win by 2 1/2 seconds at 37.90.
“He was so far out in front in the hurdles, when he came around the grandstands, you started to wonder where the rest of the field was,” Elma assistant coach Bryan Schneider said. “It was almost the perfect race. He really came on in the last month. In practice, he would put his foot down and it was like someone hit the fast forward button on the VCR. He picked it up at the right time.”
Schneider cited his seniors — Stark, Rashad Lorton, Chance Bremer and Tyson Nauman — who made up Elma’s fourth-place 4x400m relay team for their work and dedication for the season. Nauman won the Eagles’ first state event title on Friday in the triple jump.
Hoquiam fielded the same lineup for both of its 4x100m and 4x200m relays — Olivia Rose, Brittoni Wright, Emma Skinner, Savannah Smith — and it paid dividends.
In the 4x200m relay, the Grizzlies reset the state meet record by just over one second at 1:44.10. Second-place Meridian also reset the state mark in the same race.
The team returned in the 4x100m and edged out Lynden Christian for the win at 49.72.
The relay team wins gave Hoquiam its second and third individual event titles in its history. Before Saturday, the only Hoquiam state title in girls track came from Michelle Steward, who won the shot put in 1988.
Rose also came away with a school record in Saturday, resetting a 29-year-old record in the triple jump with a third-place finish at 36-6 1/4. Rose finished third in the event last year as well.
In the boys meet, Devin Kelly finished his career with a win in the 200m, coming in at 22.12 to give Hoquiam a school repeat — Nolan Hoiness won the event last season. Kelly also finished fourth to Stark in the 100m.
“Those four girls have been on a tear; a state record by one second in the 4x200m, that’s a helluva time,” HHS head coach Tim Pelan said. “Over the last few years, the girls have been overshadowed by the boys. This year, they were awesome. They were outstanding to watch and it was their year. They far (outdid) our expectations.
“Devin ran really well,” Pelan added. “It was a fabulous state weekend for our track team. It was a good day for the Harbor overall. I was glad to be a part of it. To see Raymond and North Beach do well, it was nice to just sit back and watch the Harbor kids hold their own out there.”
Gardiner entered Saturday’s finals as the defending champion in the 110m and 300m hurdles and he left the day with a two-time repeat, with some drama.
In the 110m hurdles, Gardiner wasn’t challenged as he won the event to defend his title by just over a half-second at 15.59. It was a different story in the 300m race.
Racing against Pomeroy’s Shawn Weisner, Gardiner was behind after the sixth hurdle, but caught up and outleaned Weisner to win by .04 seconds at 41.35.
“Yeah, he was a good 5 yards ahead in the 110m and he won by a good 5 inches (in the 300m),” Wishkah head coach Bob Eager said. “He went over a couple of hurdles with his left foot, so that threw him off. Between the seventh and eighth hurdle, he pulled up next to (Weisner) and outleaned him. It was a close one.”
Eager cited his entire team for their state weekend performances and his assistant coach Dan Brown for his work.
Mary M. Knight’s Hannah Frost popped a nearly 5-foot PR to live up to her top-ranked billing in the discus to win at 117-02. The win is possibly the Owls’ first state title in track &field and she added a second-place finish in the shot put on Friday.