STATE TRACK AND FIELD: Neah Bay, Clallam Bay and Crescent eye titles at 1B meet; Port Townsend and Forks ready for 1A meet
Dave Logan/for Peninsula Daily News
Neah Bay’s Faye Chartraw will compete at state in the shot put for the second consecutive year.
By Lee Horton
Peninsula Daily News
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That alone is impressive.
But what makes it jaw-dropping is that neither high school has a track or the all of the proper equipment to use for practice.
The Red Devils have three boys and one girls competing at the state meet, which begins today and runs through Saturday at Eastern Washington University.
The Bruins have six girls and one boy competing, and they also are bringing two alternates.
They will be joined at state by four girls and four boys from Crescent, which will again be in the thick of a handful of individual state titles.
Port Townsend and Forks also will be at Eastern Washington for the Class 1A state championships.
“I can only imagine how good these kids would be if they had a track,” Clallam Bay coach Aaron Burdette said of his team.
However, they are more than making due with what they have.
This year, the Red Devils won the North Olympic League boys title and took second at the Quad-District meet last week, while the Bruins were the league's girls champions.
“It shows how dedicated they are to track,” Neah Bay coach Serena Elvrum said, “and how much they can accomplish with so little.”
Faye Chartraw, a junior making her second consecutive state appearance, practices the shot put on cement but still manages to be one of the top throwers in the state in her event.
“She's very competitive in that event,” Elvrum said. “She stacks up very well.”
Chartraw's season-best mark of 34 feet and 4 inches ranks fourth among state competitors and is less than a foot short of state leader Alyssa Vaiese of Muckleshoot.
Neah Bay doesn't have a high jump pit, so Grayson Porter must go to Clallam Bay to practice the high jump.
Porter's 5-06 jump ranks fifth and is only 4 inches short of second place, so it should be a competitive vertical jump.
Mansfield's Macen McClean is at 6-feet, but he has a 6-06 to his credit this season and tends to have his best jumps at the state meet.
McClean is a three-time defending state champion in the high jump, long jump and triple jump and is the favorite to four-peat in each event.
Neah Bay's Josiah Greene and Elisha Winck, seeded third and fifth, respectively are gunning for McLean in the long jump.
Elvrum doesn't expect Winck or Greene to concede the title to McLean.
“They're both very competitive [athletes],” Elvrum said.
The triple jump might be where McLean is most vulnerable, and, in fact, Winck enters state as the top-ranked jumper.
Greene also will run in a competitive field in the 100-meter dash, in which Nos. 2-9 are within 15-hundreths of a second of each other.
“What we really want is for all of them to medal,” Elvrum said of her team.
“That's not out of the question. They all have a chance to medal.”
The top eight in each event earn medals.
The lack of a track hinders the relay teams because they can't practice handoffs, but Clallam Bay still managed to qualify two girls relays.
Burdette said the Bruins take advantage of free time at meets.
“We practice handoffs when we get to the track,” he said.
The 4x400-meter relay will be comprised of Inga Erickson, Marissa May, Chelsey Ritter, Molly McCoy, Kaylin Signor or Jennica Maines.
May, Mariah Lachester, Erickson, Atokena Abe or Jennica Maines will make up the 4x100 relay.
“The relays have PR'd the last three weeks,” Burdette said. “They're peaking at the right time.”
McCoy also will compete in the 300-meter hurdles and the high jump.
She enters the high jump with a 4-08, but Burdette said she has been practicing her technique and takeoff, and has shown the ability to have a 5-foot jump, which would put her in contention for a state title.
Evan Messinger is the only Clallam Bay boy competing at state. He will throw the discus, which is up for grabs with no clear favorite, and Burdette said Messinger has the ability to make the big throw that will win the event.
Crescent back at state
The Bruins and Red Devils finally wrested the league title away from the Crescent boys and girls this season and the Loggers' teams aren't expected to be in the state trophy hunt as they have been in recent years, but Crescent will still be chasing hardware over the next few days.
Senior Devanie Christie will be back at state four the fourth consecutive year.
But after competing in three events, and nearly a fourth, in 2013, an injury has limited Christie to only qualifying in one event, the javelin.
She took third in the event last year and should have a similar finish, if not higher, as long as her knee doesn't flare up.
Another state veteran, Meghan Shamp, is competing in the discus, which appears to be up for grabs.
“It's a traffic jam,” Crescent coach Darrell Yount said. “Nobody's got that big, big throw this year.”
Shamp took fifth last year.
Sophomore Ryan Lester qualified in four events, the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles, long jump and triple jump.
She'll have a busy schedule both days with the long jump finals and preliminaries for the two hurdles today, and both hurdles finals and triple jump finals Saturday.
“That's like a meet two days in a row for her,” Yount said.
Freshman Ashara Dodson is competing in the high jump and Yount said the state meet will be all about gaining experience and trying to achieve a personal record on the biggest stage.
The Crescent boys are led by javelin throwers Quenton Wolfer and Travis Walker. They are seeded third and fourth, respectively, and defending state champion Jon Jackson of Taholah is back, but Yount foresees big things.
“I'll be surprised if the winner doesn't come from Crescent,” Yount said.
Wolfer also will compete in the discus.
Senior Quinn'Tin March, after narrowly missing state last year will cap his career by competing in the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles.
Martin Waldrip will compete in the triple jump. A year ago, Waldrip took fourth at state in the 3,200, but he was converted to a triple jumper this year.
Forks, PT aim for podium
Also in Cheney are Forks and Port Townsend for the 1A state meet.
The Redskins are bringing some familiar faces. Seniors Skyler Coppenrath, Rebecca Stewart, Trish Reeves and Jewel Johnson are all state veterans, each making their third appearance.
Junior distance runner Ryan Clarke is at the state track and field meet for the first time, but in the fall he placed fifth at state in cross country.
Port Townsend coach Dustin Johnson said all five Redskins have a shot at the podium.
“It's an exceptional group of seniors,” Johnson, who is in his first season as the Redskins head coach after several years as an assistant.
“I don't think I've had a group of seniors like this. They've been leading the team since their sophomore year.
“I just really want to see them do well.”
Coppenrath took third in the triple jump at last year's state meet.
“He wants to finish third or better this year is his goal,” said Johnson.
Clarke, who will run in the 1,600 and 3,200, has been preparing since last spring to do well at the state meet.
Rebecca Stewart competed in the triple jump and 300 hurdles last year, but this year she and her coach decided to drop the triple jump because its finals are at the same time as the finals for the 300 hurdles.
“The 300 hurdles is by far her best event,” Dustin Johnson said.
Stewart also made state in the 100 hurdles.
Reeves will see the same competition in the high jump this week as she did at last week's Tri-District meet as the top five seeds at state were the top five finishers at Tri-District.
Johnson said Reeves' consistency this season and her experience put her in a good position to place high.
Jewel Johnson made state based on her sheer speed. She finished sixth at the Tri-District meet, one spot short of state, but her time met the minimum standard time to advance her to state.
Jewel Johnson has competed in the 200 at state, and likely could have again, but Dustin Johnson said she elected to drop the event so she can make it back to Port Townsend for prom.
Law in two events
Out of all of Forks' stellar throwers, Jonny Law wasn't the most likely to make state early in the season, but at last week's District IV meet, the sophomore qualified in the shot put and discus.
“He came from out of nowhere,” Spartans coach Pam Gale said.
Law will battle teammate Miguel Morales in the discus.
Morales made state with a throw of 124-01 at districts, but at the Evergreen 1A League meet he threw 140-09.
“Hopefully we see that 140-foot throw,” Gale said.
Alan Ensastegui beat his personal record by more than 20 seconds to take second at districts in the 3,200.
Afterwards, gave credit to his pre-meet meal.
“He ate a lot of corn, and said, 'I think that corn was magic,'” Gale said.
“So we're going to make sure he eats corn [before state].”
Kari Larson ran a season-best time at districts to take second and qualify in the 800 for the third straight year.
“I think every one of them [has a chance to medal], I really do,” Gale said of her team.
“It's so cool . . . they all have that desire to do well.
“I have some tough cookies who are looking to bring home some hardware for Forks.”
Last modified: May 29. 2014 6:37PM