SEQUIM — If Alex Barry’s last hurrah ended when he was put on a cart, his high school track and field career still would have been a tremendous success.
After all, the Sequim senior would have won a state championship and nearly earned a medal in another event.
But Barry, who has been selected as the All-Peninsula Boys Track and Field MVP by area coaches and the Peninsula Daily News sports staff for the second straight year, still had his loudest hurrah left.
Barry won the state title in the javelin at the Class 2A state championships, but later that same day he injured his ankle on his third attempt in the triple jump. (Despite only three attempts, he still placed ninth.)
He needed to be carried, piggy-back style, by teammate Miguel Moroles to the Wolves’ team tent. Then he was transported elsewhere by a medical cart.
“I saw the cart, and I said, ‘Holy cow, that’s Alex,’” Sequim coach Brad Moore, who was watching another event at the time, said.
“A normal kid, when they are carted off like that . . . most of the time they’re done.”
Barry’s chances to run the third leg of the 4×400-meter relay the next day did seem dim, which was disappointing because although the Wolves weren’t in the state-championship conversation, they had set themselves up for a high podium finish after finishing fourth in the preliminaries.
“It really hurt the first day, and I just iced it and took ibuprofen,” Barry said.
Barry was finally cleared to run an hour before the 4×400 finals.
“It just felt pretty much numb,” Barry said of his ankle while he was running.
“I also got blister on my other foot, and the blister in other foot made both feet not hurt.”
Not only did he run, but Barry put up his fastest time of the season, finishing his 400-meter stretch in less than 50 seconds.
“And then he ran a 49 . . .” Moore said. “That was his best split of the year. He never broke 50 [seconds] before, and he broke 50.
“He just competed. He didn’t think about it, he didn’t stress about it. He just competed in the moment.”
And, perhaps inspired by an alpaca, the Wolves — Moroles, Jason Springer, Barry and Oscar Herrera — stunned the stadium by winning the state championship, becoming the first boys or girls relay team in school history to do so.
“You’re not even in the conversation coming into the event as potential state champions,” Moore said.
“No one is saying watch out for Sequim. No one thought those guys could win it.
“They ran just a tremendous race.”
The Wolves also broke the school record, set in 1987, in the event, and pulled off the uncommon feat of having a better time in the finals than in the preliminaries (more than two seconds better — 3:22.53 compared to 3:24.65).
“Our team wasn’t super serious like the other teams,” Barry said.
“We make joke bets, we had fun pep talks.
“I think our team enjoying it and having fun in the moment is why we did well.”
One of those bets was made with assistant coach B.J. Schade, who coaches Sequim’s relays.
“We made a bet: if we won we’d get an alpaca,” Barry said.
“And now he won’t hear the end of it because we still want our alpaca.”
Barry said he was more proud of the relay state championship than his javelin title “because it was something we weren’t really expected to win.”
On the other hand, Barry was expected to win the javelin title — at the very least, he was one of the favorites.
He placed third at state as a junior, and the two finishers ahead of him had graduated. He also entered state with the best javelin throw of the year: 186 feet, 4 inches.
“I was happy that I ended up winning state and that I PR’d by about 5 feet,” Barry said.
“I would have liked to do better, but it all worked out.”
Barry entered his senior season hoping to surpass 200 feet, which would have given him the Sequim school record.
He didn’t do that, but Moore said 200 feet is well within Barry’s reach, especially as he moves on to Western Washington University, where he will focus his time and body on track and field — Barry also was named the All-Peninsula Boys Baskeball MVP this year — and, specifically, the javelin.
“It’s not like he got to state meet with absolute perfect form. I think there’s a lot more in him,” Moore said.
“His marks will definitely improve. It’s going to be fun to see just how far they improve.
“It’s kind of funny to say that with a kid whose performed as well as he has, but I think he’ll do even better at the collegiate level.”
Sports Editor Lee Horton can be reached at 360-417-3525 or at [email protected]