Blue Devil tracksters qualify for regional meet

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YAKIMA - Wa-Hi qualified 15 boys and 20 girls for the Regional track and field meets here Friday in District Columbia Basin Big Nine 4A track and field action.

"We had an outstanding day!" Wa-Hi coach Eric Hisaw said. "This is the one meet that we tell the kids we never, ever try to win as a team. This meet is about the kids and their individual success. They were disappointed at the team scores a bit (Wa-Hi was third in both boys and girls team standings), but we really don't load anything up and try to win it. The kids work for the team all year, and this meet is about getting as many kids to advance to regionals as possible.

"We earned 50 event spots to the Regional meet," Hisaw continued. "We had 4 District Champions. There were 5 events where we qualified 3 kids (girls' 400, boys' 300 hurdles, girls' javelin, girls' triple jump, boys' 3200). We had PR after PR after PR. The kids did a great job of being focused and they truly competed to the end."

On the boys side, Wenatchee claimed the district team title with 84 points as the Blue Devils scored 65 to finish third.

However, Kyle Jameson and Jake Robertson brought home gold for the Blue Devils.

Jameson ran a 40.7 to win the 300 hurdles.

"Kyle was absolutely outstanding," Hisaw said. "He just controlled the 300 hurdle race after the 4th hurdle. He got into a rhythm and was able to attack the hurdle and win in a very competitive field."

Robertson triple jumped 41-feet-10.75 to win the event.

"Jake had a breakout triple jump," Hisaw continued. "He's so strong and competitive. He really put it all together today and performed extremely well."

On the girls side, Richland earned 70 points to capture the District title and the Blue Devils took home 45 points to finish third.

The CBBN 4A female track athlete of the year lived up to her award as Kailee Davisson brought home a first place in the 400 meters and ran a leg on the winning Blue Devil 4X400 relay team.

Davisson won the 400 in 59.35 to lead a 1-2 Wa-Hi finish. Maggie Callan finished right behind Davisson as Callan ran 1:00.84 to finish second.

"Kailee just dominated the 400 field," Hisaw said. "She led from start to finish. Finally breaking that 60 second barrier is a huge relief for her, she's been gunning for it for so long."

The 4X400 relay team of Ashley Cornia, Dominique Cox, Callan, and Davisson ran to a 4:05.35 to beat second place Eisenhower by three seconds.

"The girls' 4X400 relay team led from start to finish," Hisaw added. "Dominique absolutely blew this race apart half-way through her leg. She was awesome. A great race for these kids, as they want to get back to state."

The top eight finishers in each event earned a ticket to Friday and Saturday's Regional Meet at Spokane Falls Community College in Spokane.

Austin Morgan ran a 2:00.81 to finish second in the boys 800 and Ty Hafen kept his season alive with a seventh place run of 2:02.99.

Sawyer Neiffer ran third behind Jameson in the 300 hurdles. Neiffer ran a 41.49.

John Paul Wolpert led a trio of Blue Devil qualifiers in the 3200. Wolpert ran the course in 9:44.23 to finish fourth. Aaron Nelson ran a 9:54.46 for fifth and Greg Heller grabbed the eighth spot in 10:03.42.

On the girls side, Gabby Anderson took third in the 100 hurdles as she ran a 15.89. Jamie Klicker earned a spot in the 100 hurdles as she finished sixth in 16.89.

Davisson moved on in the 200 with a run of 26.87 to grab sixth, and will be joined in Spokane by Brittany Gibbar who squeezed into 8th in the 200 with a 27.07 run.

Cornia also earned a spot in the 300 hurdles with a 48.28 that earned her the fifth qualifying spot.

Those athletes that earned berths with great efforts earned accolades from Hisaw for their performances.

"Ty (800), Sawyer (300H), Maggie (400), Jamie (100H), Gabby (100H), Ashley (300H), Greg (3200) and Brittany (200) ran the races of their lives in the events they qualified in," Hisaw commented. "Getting in by the slimmest of margins or by having a huge PR. They just performed so well. Great kids who stepped up when called upon. They've been part of the glue all year that helped hold our team together, and I'm happy that they all get to continue on in their races."

Nelson ran his 1600 in 4:19.05 to finish second. Morgan has his second in the 800, and Sydney Christensen took seconds in both the girls shot and the discus. Christensen threw the shot 36-06.5 and got off a 125-09 heave in the discus.

"Aaron, Sydney, and Austin all took care of business," Hisaw said. "They competed very well, but just missed out on being district champs. They get the chance to really attack next week, when it's for all the marbles. Only the top 3 kids between the Greater Spokane League schools in Spokane and the Big 9, qualify for the state meet."

Wa-Hi got strong performances from athletes that were on the bubble going in to the meet.

"Megan Thompson(javelin and discus), Marie Hallowell(javelin), Liz Wood (TJ), Alexa Simcock (HJ), Alex Ceron (LJ & TJ), and Miguel Torres (HJ) were kids that qualified in the field events," Hisaw commented. "They weren't long shots, but they weren't shoe-ins either. They did an excellent job of rising to the challenges in front of them and performing very well at a huge meet."

Thompson was seventh in the discus with a toss of 100.07 and along with Maddie Jacobson who threw the javelin 116-08 for fourth and Hallowell who wound up seventh with a toss of 97-05, qualified eighth in the javelin with a throw of 94-08.

Wood became the third Blue Devil to earn a spot in the triple jump. Torri Crawford finished third with a 33-05.5 effort. Jacobson was seventh at 32-07.5 and Wood grabbed the last spot with a 32-06.0 effort.

Simcock got the final high jump berth with a jump of 4-10.

Cerone finished sixth behind Wa-Hi's Robertson in the triple jump with an 39-03.25 jump and took fifth in the long jump at 19-06.75.

Torres will go to Spokane behind a fifth place high jump of 5-08.0.

"We have a great group of kids representing us next weekend," Hisaw concluded. "They are going to do an excellent job of representing this community, school, and track program.

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