TACOMA — The rain poured down much of the afternoon and the Sequim boys just kept pouring points on the competition.
Sequim got outstanding performances from javelin thrower Riley Cowan, middle distance runner Alec Shingleton and their 4×400 relay team late Saturday afternoon to pull out of a logjam to win the state 2A team track and field championship by what turned out to be a fairly wide margin.
Meanwhile, the Port Angeles girls finished tied for second in the state as a team, narrowly missing a state championship themselves.
“I’m still getting used to it,” said Sequim track coach Brad Moore.
It was the first boys track team state championship from the Olympic Peninsula since the Crescent boys won state in 1997.
Moore said the team knew coming in to state that it had a serious chance to win the state championship after easily winning the West Central District III title.
“We knew it was a possibility, but a lot of things have to go your way,” Moore said. “The kids were well aware of it. They’re really smart.”
Unfortunately, Sequim started off with some bad luck, losing pole vaulter Liam Byrne to a sprained ankle two days before the state meet. Byrne likely would have placed at state, Moore said.
The Wolves were led by Murray Bingham, who won the state championship in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:55.937. Bingham also came in third in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 4:21.73 and he ran on the Wolves’ 4×400 relay team — along with Shingleton, Darren Salazar and Logan Laxson — that finished third with a time of 3:24.56.
But, really it was depth that won the state championship for the Wolves as the team had one first-place finish, three second-place finishes, two third-place finishes, a fifth place, two sixth-places finishes and an eighth.
Sequim was already having an outstanding track meet through Saturday afternoon, with Bingham’s state championship run and his third-place finish in the 1,600, and a second-place run in the 110-meter hurdles by Riley Martin (missing a state championship by a heartbreaking 0.001 of a second).
However, the Wolves were in a dogfight late Saturday afternoon with Tumwater, Ridgefield and Pullman for the state championship with all four teams around 40 points and only a handful of events left.
Sequim picked up eight points for Shingleton’s second-place finish in the 400-meter dash with a time of 50.01 (just 0.12 of a second from a state championship time).
Then Cowan uncorked a season-best in the javelin at 176 feet, 6 inches to finish second in that event to give the Wolves another eight points, up to 56, giving Sequim a commanding lead over second-place Tumwater. Moore said the whole Sequim team was able to watch as Cowan somehow came up with his best javelin throw all year on his first throw of the day despite horrible conditions in Tacoma Saturday afternoon with heavy rains.
To top it off, the Wolves’ 4×400 team, running in one of the final events of the day, finished third in the state, picking up another five points and sealing the deal.
In the end, it wasn’t even close. The Sequim boys finished with 61 team points to Tumwater’s 46 for a commanding state championship.
Sequim had 11 top 8 finishes, a dominating performance no other 2A team in the state could keep up with.
Bingham credits his championship to “lot of sacrifice and hard work” beginning last summer.
“I’ve been eating better and improving little things … that accumulates. It paid off. All the miles in the summer and winter weren’t all for nothing,” Bingham said.
Shingleton had a fifth-place finish in the 800, Salazar finished fifth in the 200 and sixth in the 100, Fischer Jensen finished eighth in the 300 hurdles and the Wolves’ 4×100 team (Theo McMurray, Laxson, Jarret Allen and Keeshawn Whitney) finished sixth. A total of nine boys contributed to the state championship with points in the finals.
Bingham will miss his teammates.
“We’ve put in a lot of time on that [Sequim] track,” he said. “it’s fun to see it all pay off. They’ve been very, very supportive of me. We’ll be keeping in contact.”
Moore said the two biggest surprises for him at state were Shingleton’s performance in the 400 and the 800, picking up 12 total points for the Wolves in those two races. Moore also said the 4×100 team (Theo McMurray, Logan Laxson, Jarret Allen, Keeshawn Whitney) finishing sixth was a pleasant surprise.
For the Sequim girls, Riley Pyeatt finished fifth in the 400 meters with a time of 58.88 and Elizabeth Sweet finished sixth in the pole vault at 10 feet, 0 inches.
Riders girls second
The Port Angeles girls also had an amazing meet with their own state champion, Millie Long in the 300-meter hurdles (44.65).
Long came in to the state track meet with the No. 1 300 hurdles time in the state. But, the top time in the state coming in doesn’t always translate into a state championship.
“I can’t believe it, honestly,” Long said. “I knew I had a chance [for a state title], I didn’t want to think too much about it, but of course I did. I didn’t think it would come true.”
Long said her sister Gracie, a state champion distance runner for Port Angeles High School who now runs track at Corban College in Salem, Ore., was able to attend the state meet in Tacoma.
“She’s excited for me. She’s missing it. She said it’s super weird to sit there and watch,” Long said.
The Roughriders finished tied for second in the state with 39 team points. Bellingham won the state championship with 42 team points, while North Kitsap also had 39.
“I’m so happy about that,” Long said.
The Port Angeles girls placed in the top 8 in six events — three of those by Lauren Larson and two by Long. Myra Walker also finished fourth in the shot put with a distance of 36-6¾ to pick up five valuable points for the Riders.
Larson finished second in the 800 (2:14.47), second in the 3,200 (10:54.11) and third in the 1,600 (5:03.04), single-handedly tallying 22 points for Port Angeles. She is just a sophomore, so has two more years to build on that fantastic result.
The Roughriders’ Liam Clark got off to a rough start at state, failing to height in the high jump. But, he made up for it Saturday. Clark came in 10th in the long jump (20-2) and fifth in the triple jump (43-3¾.).
State 1A, 1B Meet
CHENEY — Port Townsend’s Nathan Cantrell came within a whisker of joining Bingham and Long as an Olympic Peninsula track and field state champion.
Cantrell, who earlier at the 1A meet had finished ninth in the 1,600 meters, ran a near personal-best in the 3,200 on Saturday afternoon, finishing in second place with a time of 9:50.84, less than half a second behind Landon Davies of Cascade (Leavenworth), who won the race with a time of 9:50.46. In fact, it was a three-way race down to the finish line as third-place finisher Isaac Cortes of Granite Falls was only barely over a second behind Cantrell at 9:52.02.
At the 1B meet at the same venue, Clallam Bay’s Ryan Strid had the best individual showing of any Peninsula athlete.
Strid earlier at the meet finished fourth in the 100 meters at 11.98, also picked up a third-place finish in the 200 meters at 23.46.
Neah Bay’s Robert Richardson also finished third in the 400-meter run with a time of 53.66. Richardson was also part of Neah Bay’s 4×100 relay team along with Toby Croy, Josey Tyree and Keith Johnson that finished third with a time of 46.25.
The Neah Bay boys finished 13th at the state with 15 team points, while Clallam Bay was 19th with 11 team points (all by Strid). Mount Vernon Christian won the 1B state championship.
State 2A Track
800 Meters — Murray Bingham, Sequim, first, 1:55.937; Alec Shingleton, Sequim, fifth, 1:59.208.
110-Meter Hurdles — Riley Martin, Sequim, second, 14.910.
400-Meter Dash — Shingleton, Sequim, second, 50.01.
Javelin — Riley Cowan, Sequim, second, 176-6.
4×400 Relay — Sequim (Shingleton, Bingham, Darren Salazar, Logan Laxson), third, 3:24.56.
1,600 Meters — Bingham, Sequim, third, 4:21.73.
200-Meter Dash — Salazar Sequim, fifth, 22.86.
Triple Jump — Liam Clark, PA, fifth, 43-3¾.
100-Meter Dash — Salazar, Sequim, sixth, 11.43.
4×100 Relay — Sequim (Theo McMurray, Logan Laxson, Jarret Allen, Keeshawn Whitney), sixth, 44.70.
300-Meter Hurdles — Fischer Jensen, Sequim, eighth, 41.801.
Long Jump — Clark, PA, 10th, 20-2.
300-Meter Hurdles — Millie Long, PA, first, 44.65.
3,200 Meters — Lauren Larson, PA, second, 10:54.11; Kynzie DeLeon, PA, 10th, 11:24.05.
800 Meters — Larson, PA, second, 2:14.47.
1,600 Meters — Larson, PA, third, 5:03.04; DeLeon, PA, 13th, 5:19.86.
Shot Put — Myra Walker, PA, fourth, 36-6¾.
400-Meter Run — Riley Pyeatt, Sequim, fifth, 58.88
Pole Vault — Elizabeth Sweet, Sequim, sixth, 10-0.
100-Meter Hurdles — Long, PA, seventh, 15.61.
Long Jump — Long, PA, 10th, 16-3¾
Javelin — Camille Stensgard, PA, 12th, 114-0.
High Jump — Abby Schroeder, Sequim, 14th, 4-8; Delaney Wenzl, PA, 16th, 4-6; Eve Burke, PA, 16th, 4-6.
State 1A Track
3,200 Meters — Nathan Cantrell, Port Townsend, second, 9:50.84; Wesley Camacho, Forks, 16th, 11:01.31.
1,600 Meters — Cantrell, Port Townsend, ninth, 4:35.35.
Shot Put — Luke Dahlgren, Forks, 13th, 43-7¼.
Javelin — Bjorn Danaan-Devas, Chimacum, 13th, 134-8; Tusker Behrenfeld, PT, 15th, 124-2.
Discus — Dahlgren, Forks, 13th, 112-8; Dylan Tracer, PT, 15th, 111-6.
Long Jump — Jada Trafton, Chimacum, seventh, 16-3½.
100-Meter Hurdles — Elizabeth Shifflett, Chimacum, eighth, 17.94.
Javelin — Eileen Leoso, PT, 12th, 101-1; Jazzy Apker-Montoya, PT, 16th, 89-0.
State 1B Track
200-Meter Dash — Ryan Strid, Clallam Bay, third, 23.46.
400-Meter Dash — Robert Richardson, NB, third, 53.66.
4×100-meter Relay — Neah Bay (Toby Croy, Richardson, Josey Tyree, Keith Johnson), third, 46.25.
100-Meter Dash — Strid, Clallam Bay, fourth, 11.98.
110-Meter Hurdles — Malachi Treadway, Crescent, sixth, 18.18.
Triple Jump — Isaac Jay Brunk, Neah Bay, sixth, 40-6¼; Sean Bitegeko, NB, 12th, 37-5¾.
Long Jump — Bitegeko, NB, ninth, 19-5¼.
Discus — Brendan Bergstrom, Crescent, 13th, 104-3.
Javelin — Ramon Tinoco, NB, 14th, 118-2; Brunk, NB, 16th, 114-2.
200-Meter Dash — Miriam Wonderly, CB, eighth, 28.09.
Long Jump — Hannah Olson, CB, 10th, 14-6.
Shot Put — Olson, CB, 11th, 29-10½.
High Jump — Miriam Wonderly, CB, 11th, 4-4.
Javelin — Olson, CB, 12th, 84-11; Branndi Bowechop, NB, 81-1.
Discus — Faye Martinez, NB, 14th, 77-2.